Leoš Janáček, one of the best-known Czech composers

Leoš Janáček, photo: Moravské zemské muzeum Brno

Ninety years ago to this day, on the 12th of August, 1928, Leoš Janáček, one of the most significant Czech composers, died in a hospital in Ostrava. He was brought there from his native Hukvaldy in North Moravia, where he was spending his holidays. The native region was a major inspiration for Janáček. He was interested not only in folk songs, but he also heard musical motives in the melody of the local dialect.

Leoš Janáček,  photo: Moravské zemské muzeum Brno
Practically all of Janáčeks life was connected with Moravia. He spent most of his life in the biggest Moravian town of Brno. This is where the first performance of his most successful opera, Jenůfa, took place in 1904. Although it was met with huge applause, it was for a long time the only performance.

The plot of this dramatic and emotionally charged opera also uses folk motives. But it is no trivial piece of music, but a distinctive and innovative musical drama, as you can hear in several excerpts that will be featured in todays edition of Sunday Music Show.