The Intimate Diary

Scenic fantasia
Leoš Janáček

String Quartet No. 2. Intimate Letters
The Diary of One Who Disappeared
A song cycle to the Ozef Kalda poem
Stage Director Ekaterina Odegova
Designer Etel Ioshpa
Choirmaster Yulia Senyukova
Piano Tatyana Sotnikova
Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes with no intermission
Premiered on 27 March 2014
Recommended for 16+
This evening is devoted to the composer’s belated love for Kamila Stösslová

Janáček was utterly passionate in everything he did. His music stuns you with feverish sincerity. Janáček’s expressionism is “a confrontation of tenderness and rudeness, outrage and peace” (Milan Kundera). Embodying reality in every moment of the vanishing time, he opens up a new world: prose becomes the poetry of life, which puts out new shoots and gives music a fresh, spring water taste.

He first met young Kamila Stösslová in 1917 and loved her dearly until his death in 1928, and this period in his career was incredibly fertile. The passionate finale of his life fathered almost all of his masterpieces: operas (Katya Kabanova, The Cunning Little Vixen, Makropulos Case, From the House of the Dead), the song cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared (1919) and the Intimate Letters quartet (1928). They are the acme of love. The original letters Janáček wrote to his beloved when he was 74 are amazing: “I can’t quench my thirst for kisses. It is like fire burning hotter and hotter inside me.” (It was written in July 1928, just a month before his death). In the quartet these words become the artist’s confession, making pages of his revelations and recitatives of love on the verge of insanity.

Janáček’s unmatched music takes your breath away with its Slavic melancholy and yearning, wonderful Moravian motives and energetic speech. Time is irrepressible and irreversible, which gives birth to a light sadness reminding of life’s autumn and horizontness. The springing play of popevkas is Janáček’s melodic phenomenon: “To me, sounds and intonations of human speech mean the deep truth. They are my windows to one’s soul.” And The Diary of the One Who Disappeared is a poem about the primeval nature of the world and feelings. Janáček’s sound flow renovates the life of one’s soul.

Mikhail Muginstein

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