Bedřich Smetana

alt=signature written in ink in a flowing script Bedřich Smetana ( , ; 2 March 1824 – 12 May 1884) was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style that became closely identified with his people's aspirations to a cultural and political "revival". He has been regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his 1866 opera ''The Bartered Bride'' and for the symphonic cycle ''Má vlast'' ("My Fatherland"), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer's native Bohemia. It contains the famous symphonic poem "Vltava", also popularly known by its German name "Die Moldau" (in English, "The Moldau").

Smetana was naturally gifted as a composer, and gave his first public performance at the age of six. After conventional schooling, he studied music under Josef Proksch in Prague. His first nationalistic music was written during the 1848 Prague uprising, in which he briefly participated. After failing to establish his career in Prague, he left for Sweden, where he set up as a teacher and choirmaster in Gothenburg, and began to write large-scale orchestral works.

In the early 1860s, a more liberal political climate in Bohemia encouraged Smetana to return permanently to Prague. He threw himself into the musical life of the city, primarily as a champion of the new genre of Czech opera. In 1866 his first two operas, ''The Brandenburgers in Bohemia'' and ''The Bartered Bride'', were premiered at Prague's new Provisional Theatre, the latter achieving great popularity. In that same year, Smetana became the theatre's principal conductor, but the years of his conductorship were marked by controversy. Factions within the city's musical establishment considered his identification with the progressive ideas of Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner inimical to the development of a distinctively Czech opera style. This opposition interfered with his creative work, and may have hastened a decline in health that precipitated his resignation from the theatre in 1874.

By the end of 1874, Smetana had become completely deaf but, freed from his theatre duties and the related controversies, he began a period of sustained composition that continued for almost the rest of his life. His contributions to Czech music were increasingly recognised and honoured, but a mental collapse early in 1884 led to his incarceration in an asylum and subsequent death. His reputation as the founding father of Czech music has endured in his native country, where advocates have raised his status above that of his contemporaries and successors. However, relatively few of Smetana's works are in the international repertory, and most foreign commentators tend to regard Antonín Dvořák as a more significant Czech composer. Provided by Wikipedia
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    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1980
    Musical Score
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    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1982
    Musical Score
  7. 7
    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1985
    Book
  8. 8
    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1986
    Musical Score
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    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1961
    Book
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    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1984
    Book
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    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1974
    Musical Score
  12. 12
    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1984
    Musical Score
  13. 13
    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1979
    Book
  14. 14
    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1963
    Audio
  15. 15
    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1984
    Musical Score
  16. 16
    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1968
    Book
  17. 17
    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1988
    Audio
  18. 18
    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1987
    Audio
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    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1980
    Audio
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    by Smetana, Bedřich, 1824-1884
    Published 1980
    Audio
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