Janacek's first cantata Amarus for Soprano and Tenor solo, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra was written to the words of Jaroslav Vrchlicky, in whose text Janacek found traces of his own fate. Amarus reflects the composer's relatively unhappy youth. The composer completed the work in 1897 and it was first performed three years later.
In the context of Janacek's work the lyrical cantata Amarus is the work of quest, a composition, which represents the climax of the composer's first romantic period. Years later when the composer recalled this opus work, he said: Amarus? The King's Monastery in Stary Brno, its gloomy corridors, old church, extensive gardens, my poor, adolescence life spent in it, the loneliness and nostalgia, all that came so close to Amarus.
The desires of youth discovered Vrchlicky's words. Both youth and spring discovered its way here. The critical edition of the score appears as the first volume of the B cantata series of Leos Janacek's collected works. The vocal score based on this score is available for sale H7735 and performance matertial is for hire.