Pohled z Janáčkovy pracovny On l3th July, 1881, Janáček married Zdeňka Schulzová, daughter of the director of the Pedagogical Institute in Brno. At first the young couple lived in Měšťanská (now Křížová) Street in the Old Town of Brno. After the birth of their daughter Olga on l5th August, 1882 they lived in Klášterní (now Mendlovo) Square, at no. 2. It was here that the first opera "Šárka", "The Beginning of a Romance", the Amarus Cantata and the choral works inspired by the poetry of Petr Bezruč took shape. Here Janáček's son Vladimír was born and died, here he put the finishing touches to "Jenufa", in 1903, as his beloved daughter Olga lay dying. When, in 1908, Janáček acquired a building on Giskrova (now Kounicova) Street for the organ school, it occurred to him that the stables which stood in the grounds might be replaced by a house for the director of the school; the rent might be used to pay off the expenses incurred in building the house. Janáček soon got permission to build, and the house was erected according to the design of Alois Horák; the Janáček's moved in on 2nd July, l9l0. The new accommodation was actually less roomy than the last, but it was cosy, and had electric lighting. Here Janáček found decent and peaceful surroundings to work in. Their housekeeper Marie Stejskalová has this to say: "There could have been no better place to live in all Brno than in the `little house' as we called it, and as it came to be called, first at the organ school, and later throughout Brno. The house was approached from Haberlerova (now Smetanova) Street, by a wide latticed gate opposite the Botanical Gardens, through the yard of the organ school, into the garden on the left. The master had the garden divided from the rest of the yard by a low iron fence, with a gate on the path, which we later surrounded with flowers, mostly irises; there was a rockery near the entrance to the house. The shade and damp around the bay were ideal for ferns; the pupils from the organ school called them "the Devil's fingers". They were waist-high - the family brought them from Hukvaldy. In between them there were lilies-of the valley. All along the fence on Haberlerova were bushes of white and red lilac. When they bloomed in spring, the whole house and school were scented, and we had great bunches of flowers in all the rooms; we gave away lilac to everyone ... There were a few fruit trees in the garden: two pears, a plum, apricots, a cherry - apple trees were not happy there. Nearest the house, by the fence of the garden of the adjacent seminary, was a hazel. It grew well there, and soon it spread its branches so high that we were unable to pick the nuts from the highest ones ... In places which caught most sun we grew the most important vegetables for the kitchen. All three of us liked to work there: the master took personal charge of the vines on the seminary wall; he got up the ladder to pick fruit, and he liked to look after the cucumbers. There was another garden stretching from Giskrova Street to the window of the master's study, but there, between the organ school and Engelmann's villa, there was too much shade; nothing would grow there. So the gardener Reiching, who also tended the grave of Olga, sowed a lawn there, and planted fourteen box bushes, according to the master's wishes ... We were more contented in the little house day by day, especially when school started. Then we could hear the organ from the house, and the yard beneath the archway, particularly the green bench by the entrance, was always lively full of laughter and raised voices, as the pupils whiled away the time before and after lessons. The teachers, especially the ladies, were always popping in and out, perhaps to exchange a few words with the mistress. That way we always knew right off what was going on in the organ school. Things were now busier, livelier, more contented. Winter passed uneventfully, and when spring emerged, only then could one see how beautiful it was there. A profusion of scents drifted over from morning till night out of the Botanical Gardens, and when our lilacs were in flower, the perfume was so overpowering that your head almost ached from it. And the singing of the blackbirds, thrushes, finches - I can't even name all the birds that sang around the little house." The accommodation in the house behind the organ school consisted of three rooms, it fronted on the garden to the north. The rooms were approached via a veranda, from which one door opened into the kitchen another into the hall, from where there was access to the parlour, and through this to Janáček's study. Between the study and the kitchen was the bedroom , which, like the kitchen, received no direct light. The builder had apparently been forced to respect the privacy of the neighbouring building, and had been unable to place windows in the south wall on the warmest side. It was for this reason that Janáček's wife decorated the bedroom and kitchen with white fabrics embroidered in folk style, which at least helped to brighten these dark rooms. The windows of the parlour looked west, and those in the bay faced northwards, to the front, where conditions were ideal for clivia plants, which were often still in flower in winter. In the window of the bay stood a carved spinning-wheel, which Mrs. Janáčková (Janáček's wife) had been given by her grandmother. Next to the hall door stood a china cabinet with the family china and glass; opposite this Janáček placed a Russian icon, between the windows, and on a small table to the right of this stood Olga's fan and Jugoslavian sandals. The door from the parlour to the study was decorated with a beautiful embroidered curtain from Moravian Slovakia. Almost the whole house was fitted out from Mrs. Janáčková's trousseau, including the furniture in the study. The window of the study, the warmest room in the house, looked to the west. Between the windows was a chest, ornamentally painted in the peasant style. Janáček had bought it from the antique dealer Rubínek on Pekařská Street for 5 Florins, and it was decorated for him later by the wife of the painter Joža Úprka Anežka. "Those flowers and apples grew of themselves beneath her touch" says Marie Stejskalová. "She painted the chest so beautifully that you couldn't take your eyes off it." Janáček kept the manuscripts of his compositions there, and his wife added those which he discarded into the wicker waste-paper basket. In 1918 he "discovered" there the score of his first opera, Šárka. Later Janáček's pupil Břetislav Bakala rummaged there and came up with compositions which Janáček had long since forgotten about, such as the Suite op. 3, Adagio for orchestra, with a motif similar to those of Šárka and the "Diary of One Who Vanished", which he prepared for performance in 1921. For this reason Bakala received the first copy of the "Diary", with this dedication from the maestro: "As a keepsake, for retrieving it from the chest. L. Janáček, Brno, 23rd November, 1921: In the corner by the parlour door stood Janáček's writing desk, on which there were photographs in metal frames of Antonín Dvořák and of Janáček's daughter Olga; there was a silver set of writing implements which Janáček received from the Stössels in 1919. In the corner between the parlour and the bedroom doors was a stove, next to which was a shelf with music sheets. Opposite the parlour door was a bookcase which the Janáček's had had made when they moved in, and to the left of this a small table and an armchair. In the middle of the room stood an Ehrbar piano, which the couple received in 1881 from Zdeňka's father, Emilian Schulz. The Hipp's chronoscope was originally situated in Janáček's office at the organ school. Janáček received it "through the kindness of Dr. Vladimír Novák"; on it he would measure speaking time when he was checking the time data on the melodies of speech, and he need it for his lectures on composition at the school. On the wall between the bookcase and the windows there were garlands and ribbons, together with the photographs of interpreters and friends; over the desk hung the portraits of Leoš and Zdeňka by the painter J. L. Sichan. Janáček's portrait now hangs in the study in Hukvaldy, Zdeňka's was taken after her death to Vienna by her brother Dr. Leo Schulz. Next to the door from the study to the bedroom hung a large photograph of Olga, and on the other side a painted plate which Janáček received from members of the Russian Circle when he moved into his new home in 1910. It bears a dedication written in Russian. In this quiet study, far from the noise of the town, Janáček composed; in the little house behind the organ school he spent the most productive years of his life; it was here that the whole essence of his life's work was created. Here he was visited by his pupils, here he worked with his copyists, here he was sought out by friends from home and abroad. And when he died in 1928, Zdeňka Janáčková decided, after consulting Professor Vladimír Helfert, to dedicate the contents of his study to what was then the Brno Moravian Museum. But since there was at first no suitable room in the Moravian Museum, the study was temporarily situated in the Municipal Museum (the building which is now the New Town Hall), and only transferred to the Moravian Museum in 1935. Zdeňka Janáčková lived on alone in the house behind the conservatoire with her housekeeper Marie Stejskalová; she died in the study, beneath the photograph of her daughter Olga, on l7th February,1938. In 1956 Janáček's study was returned to the house behind the conservatoire and restored to its former state. When, however, Janáček's house was opened to the public on 8th June,1957, only part of it was accessible, the remainder providing accommodation for the caretaker. The building which used to house the organ school is now occupied by the department of the history of music of the Moravian Museum, which has collected together a unique set of documents and background material connected with the composer. In 1978 a Leoš Janáček memorial was unveiled on the premises of his former house. The town of Brno had already honoured the maestro's memory by enshrining his name in the titles of its Academy of Performing Arts and its opera house. The building of the monument is a further endorsement of the honour paid to the composer who dedicated the best years of his life to the development of Brno's musical heritage.

Autor: Svatava Přibáňová

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