Vítězslava Kaprálová – String Quartet
Leoš Janáček – Quartet for Two Violins, Viola and Cello “Intimate Letters”
Vítězslav Novák – String Quartet No. 2 in D Major, Op. 35
Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915–1940) was one of the true talents of interwar Czechoslovakia, not only as a composer but also as a conductor. Unfortunately, her untimely death prevented her from developing her compositional skills to the full. She studied at the Master School with Vítězslav Novák and then privately with Bohuslav Martinů. She wrote her only String Quartet between 1936 and 1937. She began her work before entering the Master School of the Prague Conservatory. She then completed the three-movement composition during her first year of study with Vítězslav Novák. Although it is the work of a twenty-one-year-old author, it is a very inventive and mature composition.
Leoš Janáček (1854–1928) wrote the Quartet for Two Violins, Viola and Cello “Intimate Letters” in the last year of his life. In the four-movement composition he encoded the experiences he had with his beloved Kamila Stösslová. The quartet still fascinates with its emotionality and creative truthfulness.
An important source of inspiration for Vítězslav Novák (1870–1949) was the beauty of folk song. This close relationship to folklore is most evident in works from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It was during this period, in 1905, that the String Quartet No. 2 originated. The material abstracted from folk music is evident, which Novák transformed into a distinctive musical whole that still captivates today not only by its formal perfection.