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HAYDN Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 64, No. 6
JANÁČEK Quartet No. 2 (“Intimate Letters”)
SCHUMANN Quartet in A Minor, Op. 41, No. 1
It wasn’t the first time an older, married man fell in love with a younger, unattainable woman—just one of the more artistically fruitful ones. In his 60s, Leoš Janáček met Kamila Stösslová, 38 years his junior, whose image he would call “translucent as mist.” Over the next decade plus, he wrote hundreds of intimate letters to her, kept a “Kamila” diary, and modeled operatic heroines after her. His Second String Quartet, “Intimate Letters,” is filled with “that sweetest longing” for Kamila. Her family joined Janáček in his native village in July, 1928; we can picture the composer pleased when Kamila’s husband departed. Then fate intervened. Kamila’s son got lost, and while looking for the little boy, Janáček literally caught his death of cold, expiring in August. The intensely talented Elias Quartet, newly recorded in a live concert at Wigmore Hall, will perform this powerful music along with quartets by Schumann and Haydn, the father of the form.
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