Janáček – Leaves from his Life

Leoš Janáček
Translated and edited by Vilém and Margaret Tauský
Preface by Margaret Tauský

The thirty-odd articles written by Janáček for the Brno daily paper are translated and collected in together this book by one of his students, Vilém Tauský. They illustrate how the composer was influenced by his everyday observations and includes a fascinating account of the origins of The Cunning Little Vixen.






Janáček wrote regular articles for the Brno daily paper and in these he expressed his attitude and feelings towards the everyday things in nature and human situations which had commanded his attention. The sounds he heard, especially the human voice, he annotated with musical sketches and these appear in this book in his own words and serve to illuminate the works which this great composer produced. The thirty-odd articles are grouped under Memories of Youth, The Sounds of Music, Travel, Birds, while included under Operatic Studies is a fascinating account of the origins of The Cunning Little Vixen. The book also contains some rare photographs and music examples, many in Janáček’s own hand.


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About the Author

Vilém Tauský was born in Czechoslovakia and studied at Brno Conservatoire under Janáček. After the Second World War he became Musical Director of the Carl Rosa Opera Company and a frequent guest conductor at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at Sadler’s Wells. He worked for the BBC for over thirty years and became Director of Opera at the Guildhall School of Music. He was awarded the CBE for his services to music.


Recollections of Leos Janáček
Memories of Youth
The Sounds of Music
Gypsy Children
Operatic Studies


Anyone who is the least bit interested in opera and certainly anyone who as listened to Leoš Janáček’s music will love Leaves From His Life. The writing style alone is a wonderful insight into his music. The man really did think in those terse little aphorisms. But what shines through his music and his words is his love of and devotion to the experience of ordinary folk, and the occasional bird, furry creature or insect: life, in short.