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In 1928 Leos Janácek completed ‘Intimate Letters’, his String Quartet No. 2, just a few months before he died at the age of seventy-four. This work encapsulated musically all his passionate feelings about Kamila Stösslová, the married woman nearly forty years his junior to whom Janácek had written hundreds of letters in the past decade.
John Tyrrell has compiled and translated a selection of these letters and presents them together with some mostly unknown photographs, a decoding of the erotic references in the letters and a diary of the couple’s meetings.The result is a remarkable book which illuminates the inner life of one of the greatest opera composers of the twentieth century.
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