Leos Janácek Intimate Letters

ISBN 13: 9780691036489

Intimate Letters

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9780691036489: Intimate Letters


These are the letters of a great love story. In 1917, the Czech composer Leos Janáçek met Kamila Stösslová while on holiday at Luhaçovice, a spa resort in Moravia. He was sixty-three and locked in a loveless marriage; she was twenty-six, the wife of an antique dealer frequently away from home. After the holiday, Janáçek began writing to Stösslová. Undeterred by her lack of interest in his work and her spasmodic replies, he continued to send her letters until his death eleven years later. An extraordinarily self-revealing portrait emerges of an isolated artist at the height of his creative powers and the beginning of his international fame. It is also a portrait of a lonely man who, as the years went by, came to fantasize about Stösslová as his true "wife"--the inspiration for many of the works of his old age.


Most of these letters were suppressed until changing conditions in Czechoslovakia allowed their full publication in 1990. John Tyrrell has edited and translated a comprehensive selection, concentrating on the almost daily letters of the final eighteen months. Supported by a diary of meetings between Janáçek and Stösslová, a decoding of the erotic references in the letters, and a selection of mostly unknown photographs, this remarkable book breathes life into the story one of the greatest of operatic composers and provides vital clues to the nature of his creative genius.


Originally published in 1994.


The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.


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Review:

Leos Janácek met Kamila Stösslová in 1917, when he was 63 and she was 25. She--not his wife of nearly 50 years--was the Czech composer's great love. Janácek's passion for Stösslová coincided with the astonishing artistic flowering of his last decade, and he considered her the inspiration for several works, especially Kát'a Kabanová and the String Quartet No. 2 ("Intimate Letters"). Since both were married to others and lived in different cities, they interacted largely through their correspondence, which provides an incomparable view of one of the 20th century's quirkiest and most rewarding composers.

Janácek's letters are filled with an ebullient poetry; he invented fanciful metaphors--to describe Kamila's breasts, his loneliness--and wove variations on them in letter after letter. (Selections from Stösslová's few surviving letters are interspersed; Janácek burned most, at her request.) After the relationship became more intimate in 1927, he wrote almost daily and his language grew rapturous. He refers to her as his wife or imagines that she's pregnant (though they evidently never consummated the "marriage").

While holding to the busy schedule of an increasingly famous composer, he was more and more obsessed with Stösslová. Janácek's late music jumps with restless invention from one theme to another; it's not hard to observe a similar habit of mind here, as he shifts from Wagnerian flights of ecstasy to fussy advice about Kamila's health. Janácek scholar John Tyrrell, who edited the memoirs of the composer's wife, My Life with Janácek, provides illuminating editorial guidance. --David Olivenbaum

About the Author:

John Tyrrell is Professor of Music at Cardiff University. His books include Czech Opera, Janacek's Operas and editions of the memoirs of Janacek's widow and Janacek's correspondence with Kamila Stosslova . He is co-author of the standard catalogue of Janacek's works and, with Sir Charles Mackerras, he edited Janacek's opera Jenufa. In 2002 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Masaryk University of Brno for his work on Janacek and Czech music.

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Leos Janácek
Editorial: Princeton University Press (1994)
ISBN 10: 0691036489 ISBN 13: 9780691036489
Nuevos Tapa dura Cantidad: 1
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 691036489

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Leos Janacek, Kamila Stosslova, John Tyrrell (Editor)
Editorial: Princeton University Press (1994)
ISBN 10: 0691036489 ISBN 13: 9780691036489
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. First. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0691036489

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Janácek, Leos
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110691036489

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Janácek, Leos
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Descripción Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0691036489 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.0351661

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Leos Janácek
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Descripción Princeton University Press, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0691036489

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