Harmonia Mundi HMC-902178
Janáček: String Quartet No 1, Kreutzer Sonata (19:03)
The acclaimed Jerusalem Quartet’s latest release focuses on works by two giants of Czech music. Though Smetana, the founder of the Czech national school, and Janáček, his spiritual heir, are best known as operatic composers, they also left strongly autobiographical chamber works. Composed when he was already profoundly deaf, Smetana’s String Quartet No 1 looks back over the different stages of his life. Also written late in life, Janáček’s second quartet, subtitled Intimate Letters, describes his unfulfilled passion for Kamila Stösslová, his junior by 38 years.