Hukvaldy is the village where Leos Janácek was born, and where he took the first and only holiday he ever had with Kamila Stösslová, the young woman who inspired so much of his later music. While out searching for her son who had got lost during a walk, Janácek developed pneumonia from which, on 12th August 1928, he died, aged 74.
These little pieces were finished exactly 72 years later. They represent photos which might have been found among his possessions when he died: Olga, his beloved daughter, who died before she reached 21; Zdenka, his wife, half-Austrian, ten years younger than he, loyal and a little unworldly, given to nagging; Leos himself, strong-willed and tempestuous, self-doubting and given to bouts of depression; and the striking young Kamila, happily married to a well-to-do jeweller and deeply unsettled by Janácek’s ardour. Her smile is more than a little wry.
The pieces may be performed as a group or individually.