Classic Sunday – Intimate Letters

Adulterous kitchen utensils, intimate letters and a musical orgasm.



Bohuslav Martinù: La revue de cuisine, H 161 (1930)
Erwin Schulhoff:  Hot-Sonate (1930) , "Sonata Erotica für Muttertrompete" (1919) 
Leoš Janáček: Strykekvartett nr 2 "Intimate letters" (1928)

The Czech composers of the 1920s were a ground-breaking force that at times shocked their audiences. The influence from both American jazz and surrealist visual art on the music scene was evident. This concert includes three genre-defying pieces that all flirt with loveand sex.

Do kitchen utensils lead a romantic life? In 1927 Bohuslav Martinu wrote the ballet La revue de cuisine, in which he delves into complicated matters of the heart. Not between couples on the brink of divorce, but between kitchen utensils. This is the concert’s opening suite.

Erwin Schulhoff’s Sonata Erotica is essentially one long (occasionally loud) orgasm. Hot-Sonate turns up the heat with sensuous jazz inspired rhythms. In addition to the climax in itself, both jazz and dada were powerful inspirational sources for Erwin Schulhoff, a Czech who was eventually condemned as a ‘degerate artist’ by the Nazi regime.

Love letters are characterised by big words and breaking hearts. Leos Janáček had a long, intense relationship with a married woman 38 years his junior. The string quartet Intimate Letters evokes their correspondence of more than 700 letters, and brings this concert to a climax with an impassioned declaration of forbidden love.

Catharina Chen, violin
Maciej Frajczyk, violin
Johannes Sykora, viola
Vojtech Novákog, cello
Signe Sõmer, clarinet
Jon Halvor Lund, bassoon
Andreas Karlsen, trumpet
Cesar Eduardo Canon Riveros, piano
Eir Inderhaug, soprano


Chamber music has been an important part of the history of MUNCH right from the start in 1963. We continue this tradition at Bjørvika through our collaborations with the Oslo Philharmonic and the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. Our Classic Sunday matinees present chamber music in many different formats, from the traditional classical canon to the cutting edge and experimental.