Background Image
Previous Page  14 / 40 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 14 / 40 Next Page
Page Background

Leos Janáček composed his First String Quartet in 1923, a year before Schulhoff

wrote his.

Janáček was not as precocious as Schulhoff: it was not until the last decade of his

life that he achieved fame and international recognition as a composer. This was

largely due to the triumph in Prague of his opera


. Henceforth he experienced

an amazing creative upsurge that gave rise to works including

Katia Kabanova

, the

two String Quartets,

The Cunning LittleVixen

, the

Glagolitic Mass


From the House

of the Dead

– a constant flow of masterpieces that was encouraged by his long

awaited success, but also by an amorous passion for Kamila Stösslová that was to

last until the end of his days.

Two years after the first performance of

Katia Kabanova

, the Bohemian Quartet

asked Janacek to write a string quartet for them. He had not yet seriously

approached the genre, or at least, not since his years of training in Vienna, around

1880. It was his memories of Tolstoy’s famous short novel The

Kreutzer Sonata


inspired the composition; fifteen years earlier, very impressed by this work, he had

written a Piano Trio entitled ‘The Kreutzer Sonata’ (now lost).