In 1928 Leos Janacek 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 Stoesslova, the married woman nearly forty years his junior to whom Janacek 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.
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.