Our second episode of “The Men Behind the Music” is all about the one and only Leoš Janáček and his pen pal and imaginary wife, Kamila Stösslová.
While on vacation with his real life wife, Janáček met a young woman named Kamila Stösslová and her husband, David Stössel. What followed that meeting can only be described as one of strangest one-sided epistolary relationships. EVER. Join us as we discuss this unrequited love that inspired the creation of such amazing works as The Cunning Little Vixen and Káťa Kabanová, and listen to us read selections from the OVER 700 LETTERS that Leoš and Kamila wrote to each other. If you want to read the whole correspondence, get thee to Amazon and you can buy the book “Intimate Letters: Leos Janáček to Kamila Stösslová” translated by the scholar John Tyrrell. In the meantime, a sample:
“And do you know what else makes me glad? That once again I saw your raven-black hair, all loose, your bare foot: and you are beautiful, wonderfully beautiful…and your eye has a strange depth, it’s so deep that it doesn’t shine. But it’s more attractive; as if it wanted to embrace…Kamila if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t want to live. It’s just an alliance of our souls which binds us.”
If you want to learn EVEN MORE about Kamila and Leoš, head over to youtube and watch the documentary by tenor Ian Bostridge all about Janáček’s work The Diary of One Who Disappeared. Check out part one below: