When the Emerson String Quartet releases an album, one s expectation of excellence isn t met it s exceeded. The Emersons exploration of Czech chamber music on this new recording further burnishes a lustrous reputation. The Emersons perform at a superior level of intensity, integrity, energy, and commitment demonstrated since its formation in 1976. It now brings these qualities to the first two of Janácek s String Quartets and 3 Madrigals for violin and viola by Martinu. Intimate Letters (Quartet no. 2) is based on Janácek s letters to his muse, Kamila Stösslová. We are the fortunate beneficiaries of Janácek s unrequited passion! This passionate piece also plays a key role in the Daniel-Day Lewis film, The Unbearable Lightness of Being.