I did not like this piece on first listen – then I read about it’s background: the description of Janacek’s unrequited love and pining. And now the piece is very powerful to me.
Janacek once wrote: “I maintain that a pure musical note means nothing unless it is pinned down in life, blood and locale; otherwise, it is a worthless toy.”
And that is exactly true for this piece, the “Intimate Letters”. How many songs do we each have in our personal lives that are tied to a certain event or emotion that triggers our memory when we hear it? Or to have a piece like this framed with new information so the performance takes on a deeper perceived meaning.