Amarus is a setting of the poem of the same name by Jaroslav Vrchlický, which tells the story of a young monk who had been abandoned at birth and brought up in a monastery. In June 1897, Vrchlický praised Janáček's setting of his poem, commenting: 'I am convinced that you have succeeded in it entirely'.
The work's premiere was in 1900, but a poor performance meant that it was not performed publicly again until fifteen years later.
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