Janáček’s 2nd String Quartet, Intimate Letters , is regarded as a highlight of the modern string quartet literature. It was written during the composer’s last year of life, between 29 January and 19 February 1928, inspired by the ageing Janáèek’s exceptional love for Kamila Stösslová. The Moravian Quartet devoted themselves to this impressive work; Janáček attended a total of three of their rehearsals in May and June 1928. This had several consequences, including his abandoning his original idea of using a viola d’amore.
After Janáček’s unexpected death (12 August 1928) the uncertain genesis of the work became the greatest problem of the Intimate Letters : the surviving copies were not definitively authorised. The editors of this new edition have reverted to Janáček’s autograph sketches as the main, most reliable source and using these as a basis, have reconstructed the work as it stood at the point of Janáček’s death. The musical text, taken from the Critical Complete Edition of the Works of Leoš Janáček (Vol. E/4) , therefore contains clear differences in comparison with older editions.