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Intimate Sketches
Janáček, Shostakovich & Bartók

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In November 2023, Agathe released its first studio album: Intimate Sketches, with music by 3 of the greatest Eastern European composers: Janáček, Bartók and Shostakovich.


All pieces, originally conceived as piano miniatures, are arranged and recorded for the first time by string players.

Some of this music is sketchy and intimate, straight out of a diary book. Unfinished, or intended as material for a masterpiece that was never written. Music that tells live experiences and deep emotions.


Others are lighter, drawn from local folk music traditions. There is also room for short but carefully composed pieces of music to impress the audience.

Leoš Janáček: 

Intimate Sketches

Three Moravian Folk Dances

Béla Bartók:

Three Hungarian folk songs from Csik 

Allegro Barbaro Sz. 49

Dmitri Shostakovich:

Dances of the Dolls 

24 Preludes op. 34 (selection)

The music was released alongside an illustrated and designed booklet by artist Roland Tóth. This booklet not only contains beautiful sketches and illustrations inspired by the music, but also offers fascinating background stories. Within the pages of the book, you will find the CD

and its exclusive bookmark.

The album is available for online purchase at:


Or physically at the store: Velvet - Donner (Rotterdam, NL)

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"The Agathe Ensemble performs with a commitment and pleasure in their music-making that is infectious. This is a recital to which we have been invited to share a couch and listen to it. There is nothing stiff and formal—it is a relaxed, occasionally playful, and intimate affair throughout" -

To realize this project, we launched a Crowdfunding Campaign via Voor de Kunst. This has by now been successfully completed. Many thanks to all donors, family, friends and our audience for your support!

Special thanks to: Gemeente Rotterdam, Prins Bernhard Fonds en SENA Fonds

Agathe String Quartet:

Aleksandra Kwiatkowska, Ella van der Mespel (violins), Almudena González-Regueral (viola) and Iván Nogueira (cello)

Agathe Violin & Cello Duo (Preludes op. 34):

Aleksandra Kwiatkowska (violin) and Iván Nogueira (cello)

Arrangements for string quartet and Violin & Cello Duo:

Iván Nogueira


The recordings were made by:

Tom Peters

in the Westvest church,  Schiedam, the Netherlands.


The music is presented alongside a booklet illustrated and designed by the artist:

Roland Tóth.

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