Má Vlast (My Fatherland), B. Smetana

1.15 h (w/out intermission)

Program notes Jose Antonio Canton
photo ©Christian Wind

With his original treatment of folk music themes, Bedrich Smetana was the first major nationalist Bohemian composer to empower his people’s musical identity, greatly influencing later Czech composers. After highlighting his country’s mythological tradition and historical past in the operas Libuse, Dálibor and above all in The Brandenburgers in Bohemia, he decided to do the same with orchestral music. Between 1872 and 1879 he composed the six symphonic poems of his famous collection Má vlast (My Fatherland), essential to understand Czech musical nationalism, in which the composer describes his country’s past as well as the beauty of its landscape. One must appreciate the effort said undertaking entailed, bearing in mind that Smetana had become completely deaf following a grave throat infection he suffered during the composition of the first poem of the series.
The famous poem Vltava (The Moldau) offers the moving symphonic description of the course of the river from its birth to its majestic entrance in Prague, subsequently emptying in the Elbe River. Its musical unity stems from the undulating rondo form used to express the subject matter, which may have also be taken from a popular Czech song. 

(!) Use of cookiesWe use own and third party cookies to improve our services by analyzing
your browsing habits.
We need your consent to use cookies that require prior approval.
For further information please read our Cookies Policy.