Donald Macleod explores Janacek's turbulent, lovestruck, masterpiece-filled final years, as he drew inspiration from his unrequited love for Kamila Stosslova.
Donald Macleod explores Janacek's turbulent, lovestruck, masterpiece-filled final years, as he drew inspiration from his unrequited love for Kamila Stösslová.
The life of Leos Janacek (1854-1928) is one of the strangest in all classical music. Virtually ignored for most of his career, in his late 60s Janacek abruptly began to compose some of the greatest masterpieces of the 20th century, whilst all the time hopelessly and unrequitedly in love with a woman more than half his age, Kamila Stösslová. Yet once upon a time Janacek was best known as a composer of chamber music. This week, Donald Macleod explores the composer's life through his instrumental and small-scale compositions, revealing the little-known story of his struggle for recognition.
Janacek's breakthrough success in the late 1910s coincided with his falling head-over-heels in love with a young married woman, Kamila Stösslova. For the last decade of his life, the composer existed in a strange, woozy idyll of unrequited love and astonishing musical fertility as he composed masterpiece upon masterpiece - among them the Sinfonietta and Glagolitic Mass and the operas Katya Kabanova, The Cunning Little Vixen and The Makropoulos Case - all written around his 70th birthday. Donald Macleod explores Janacek's chaotic personal life and musical genius in his final years, with a complete performance of the composer's Second String Quartet (Intimate Letters), inspired by more than 700 letters Janacek wrote to his beloved Kamila.
March of the Blue Boys
Pavel Sumpk, tabor
Eva Podarikova, celesta
Frantisek Kantor, piccolo
Martin Oprsal, glockenspiel
Paul Crossley, piano
David Atherton, conductor
Waiting For You!
Rudolf Firkusny, piano
String Quartet No 2 (Intimate Letters) (version with viola d'amore)
Gunter Teuffel, viola d'amore
Members of the Mandelring Quartet
Vasek, the Rascal Drummer-Boy; Liitle Frantik; The Bear Sat On a Tree Trunk (Rikadla)
Collegium Vocale Gent
Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor.
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