IMF Kutná Hora 2017

12th IMF KH programme – 2nd concert

Sunday, June 2 / 3 p.m. / Jesuit College – GASK

JOSEF SOMR as LEOŠ JANÁČEK

 

Josef Somr as Leoš Janáček in Intimate Letters to Kamila Stösslová

Terezie Fialová – Kamila Stösslová, piano

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Perhaps every great artist, whether a novelist, a poet, a painter or a composer, has at one point or another relied on the inspiring power of a living Muse, an ideal human being harmonizing with their highest creative aspirations. Leoš Janáček indeed was no exception: his Muse stepped into his lifepath to remain there all through the last eleven years of his life. To be sure, she was by no means ethereal, much rather on the contrary – and it proved to be exactly her physicality, robustness and vigour that the composer of Jenůfa, Káťa Kabanová, The Cunning Little Vixen, the orchestral rhapsody Taras Bulba or Sinfonietta found so utterly irresistible on Kamila Stösslová, thirty-eight years his junior. “Lively and untamed spirit, movement, change, such are my life´s delights. It´s you, your very nature to which I feel so attracted,” wrote the love-struck composer. “I know I cannot be aware of myself separately from you,” the white-haired genius dared to confide several years into their thus far formally styled correspondence.

Janáček was in constant need of inspiration, which he drew, apart from Kamila´s portrait on his desktop, chiefly from daydreaming and pure imagination. As their actual meetings were few and far between (both were married to other persons), the pair´s correspondence was the sole source of Janáček´s unremittingly intense feelings for Kamila. His letters to her are filled with passion and hope for a meeting and days spent together. “My Kamila is my lady, being in full command of me, my worshipped woman, my sweetest sun and my most tender star, my first and last wish, my sole desire – she´s mine!”

Janáček´s infatuation with Kamila became the immediate source of inspiration for several compositions. Of these, the one which projects his yearning with the utmost eloquence is his String Quartet No. 2. “I don´t belong to myself, and nor am I entirely yours! But oh, how I will soar up one day, and finally find my way! I so wish I could settle down happily and write now, but I can´t. You know, after working so hard I am not able to. I named the composition ´Intimate Letters´. I won´t let my private emotions be left at the mercy of idiots.”   

Dita Hradecká / translation: Ivan Vomáčka

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