In October 1923 the Czech Quartet invited Leos Janacek to “compose something for them”.

This provided the stimulus for his first string quartet. The work was inspired by Tolstoy’s “ Kreutzer Sonata” (which he had written influenced by Beethoven’s famous violin sonata).

Janacek had also read Tolstoy’s story earlier in the original Russian and already at that time it had inspired him to compose a piano trio in 1907 which was later lost.
 
Janacek’s string quartet is a masterwork by the almost 70-year-old composer. The work sparked a creative impulse which continued with the composition of the second string quartet “Intimate Letters” in the last years of the composer’s life.


- Urtext from the “Critical Complete Edition of the Works of Leos Janacek”
- All available sources have been taken into consideration
- Detailed foreword (Cz/Eng/Ger) by Milos Stedron