Timothy West & Pavao String Quartet
in Intimate Letters
Part of the Guildford International Music Festival
Intimate Letters is a dramatic retelling of the illicit love affair that resulted in one of the finest and most passionate string quartets of the 20th century .
It was not until 1916, when he was 61, that Janácek had anything resembling a success, with the Prague premiere of Jenufa, having been ignored throughout his life by the Prague chattering classes as a country hick, and a workman-like composer who was just a provincial organist.
Janácek's frustrations are surely one of the reasons why he behaved so badly. After several affairs with much younger women, he became infatuated with a Kamila Stösslova, a 35-year-old married woman with two children, who remained his obsession and the subject of the String Quartet Intimate Letters, until his death in 1928.
In this dramatic recreation Timothy West reads the composer’s love letters chronologically placed between the movements of the composer’s magnificent 2nd string quartet, performed by sensational Pavao String Quartet.
The Quartet Intimate Letters appeared in print as late as 1938, the dedication to Kamila being deleted largely due to the influence of Janácek’s long suffering wife who had access to the composer’s 600 love letters restricted.
With Pavao String Quartet and readings with Timothy West
Researched by cellist Justin Pearson
Sun 17 Mar