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Zápisník zmizelého. Složil pro tenor, alt a tři ženské hlasy s průvodem piana [The Diary of One Who Disappeared. For tenor and alto soli, and three women’s voices, with piano accompaniment] …

Brno, Pazdírek, 1921.

4to, pp. 59, [1], with 6 pp. libretto, in Czech, German (tr. Max Brod), and French; inscribed by Janáček on the title; musical MS additions in pencil to pp. 58–9, and on the final blank (dated 1932); contemporary cloth, spine lettered gilt, extremities rubbed, spine worn at foot, original illustrated wrapper laid down to front cover.

£3000

Approximately:
US $3973€3512

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Zápisník zmizelého. Složil pro tenor, alt a tři ženské hlasy s průvodem piana [The Diary of One Who Disappeared. For tenor and alto soli, and three women’s voices, with piano accompaniment] …

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Rare first edition of the song cycle The Diary of One Who Disappeared, inscribed in Czech by the composer to the tenor Dr Leopold Kraus. Kraus performed the work with Břetislav Bakala on the occasion of Janáček’s seventieth birthday in 1924. Bakala had been the pianist at the first performance of The Diary of One Who Disappeared, when he would have worked on the piece with the composer. It is possible that the pencilled corrections here may be in Bakala’s hand.

The work was inspired by Kamila Stösslová, a young married woman who infatuated the 63-year-old composer after he met her on holiday in the summer of 1917. The text itself, Seamus Heaney writes, is ‘a sequence of poems which the composer had encountered the previous year in Lidové noviny (“People’s Paper”, a daily published in the town of Brno where Janáček lived and taught). The poems have recently been identified as the work of Ozef Kalda, but they first appeared “From the Pen of a Self-Taught Man” and told a story of sexual infatuation, a dark-eyed gypsy and a haunted farmer’s boy, the standard fare of folk song. When, however, Kamila entered the field of musical force, a personal intensity began to give power from below the surface’ (introduction to Diary of One Who Vanished: a song cycle by Leoš Janáček in a new version by Seamus Heaney, 1999, translated for a new production by English National Opera). The female figure on the front cover of Zápisník zmizelého is meant as a likeness of Kamila, in accordance with Janáček’s wishes.

The German translation of the poems appended to the score is by Max Brod, his second piece of translation for Janáček. The work was issued concurrently as a miniature score.

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