Introduction My chosen composer is Bedrich Smetana the creator of Ma Vlast, Bedrich Smetana was born to Frantisek Smetana and Barbora Lynkova on 2 March 1824 in Litomysl, Bohemia.
Bedrich was born as the third child and had nine siblings, and died in may 12,1884 in Prague, Czech Republic. His father Franktisek Smetana was his violin teacher. Bedrich Smetana was one of the leader of the movement towards musical nationalism. He did Keyboard, harmony and composition lessons. When Bedrich hit his twenties he got as a music teacher to the family of count Leopold which helped him in his finical career, while continuing his music studies. Four year later he got in to a successful music school.Bedrich’s Biography Bedrich Smetana was born as the third child out of ten. Bedrich father had eighteen kids from three wives, eight kids from first two wives and ten from his third wife smetana mother.
When Bedrich Smetana was six, he had his first public performance. Later he played a piano piece at the concert held in Litomysl’s Philosophical Academy. Bedrich’s family moved to Jindrichuv Hradec, south of Bohemia in 1831 and here Bedrich attended the local elementary school and gymnasium.
He learned violin and piano and started to admire Mozart and Beethoven, then started to compose music. Bedrich family moved to southeastern region of Bohemia, they could not find a good school there so, smetana was sent to the gymnasium at Jihlava. Bedrich got extremely homesick which made him unable to focus on his school work so he went back home. He was then went to Premonstratensian school at Nimecky Brod. Bedrich got a comfortable atmosphere there and made good progress.
It was there he met Karl Havlieek, who became a famous Czech poem later, and they both had a good relationship with each other. Bedrich moved to Prague’s Academic Grammar School under Josef Jungmann, who was and important person in the movement for the Czech national revival. Smetana arrived at Prague in autumn of 1839 to join Jungmann’s school. He experienced an unfriendly atmosphere there because his classmates mocked him for his country manners.
Feeling unhappy Bedrich started to waged classes. Instead he went to concerts, visiting opera houses, and listening to military bands. He then Joined an amateur string quartet and composed simple pieces of music while he was there.
Bedrich gradually became convinced of the fact that nothing other than music can satisfy him and thus, he decided to pursue his music career. However, Bedrich’s father found out about this truancy and he moved Bedrich away from the city which made the idyll episode at Prague ended abruptly. Bedrich was sent to his uncle’s place in Nove Misto, where he entered into a romantic relationship with his cousin Louisa. He depicted their passion in his work Louisa’s Polka, his earliest complete composition that has survived. Smetana older cousin, worked at the Premonstratensian school in Plezo (Pilsen), took initiative to supervise his schooling, Smetana was sent to plzeo where he stayed their till 1843.
He started playing piano in many stories and became Popular. He had many relationships while he was at Plezo, the major one being the one he had with Kateoina Kolarova. Bedrich loved her a lot and even said, “When I’m not with her I am sitting on hot coals and have no peace.” Bedrich had created many songs for her. Bedrich finished school and his father let him continue his music career. His father Frantiesk couldn’t support him with his financial support. Bedrich returned to prague in august 1843. He lacked in formal music so he had to train will Josef Proksch, who was head of the Prague Music Institute where Katerina was studying then.
Josef used most modern teaching methods to train Bedrich. He continued his lessons on theory and composition with Josef for another three years along with offering music lessons to Count Thun’s children. During the time, he was having music lessons he composed songs, Bagatelles, dances, impromptus and G minor Piano Sonata. In 1861, Bedrich composed an opera reflecting Czech National character and hoped he might get in to the theatre’s conductorship. But they gave it to someone named Jan Nepomuk Mayr, Because the authorities thought Bedrich was a dangers man.
Bedrich directed on an opera competition started by Jan von Harrach. The prize was 600 guldens each for the best historical opera. Bedrich created his own type of style for the competition. He chose Karel Sabina to be his vocalist and they worked on story of the 13th century invasion of Bohemia by Otto of Brandenburg.They completed the opera song on April 1863 and submitted for evaluation under the title “The Brandenburger in Bohemia.” Bedrich was not good with Czech language because he was educated in Germen and Hence, so he decided to learn Czech. He finished his seconded opera composition titled “The Bartered Bride” in 1863, but failed the performance. It was staged on eve of Austro-Prussian War with Bohemia and Hence.
It was performed again at the Provisional Theatre in september 1870 and became a tremendous public success. Bedrich began to start his fifth opera piece “The Two Widows,” be rich completed his piece in 1874 and performed it at the Provisional theatre on the 27 of March 1874 for the first time. Bedrich fell ill by summer that 1874. He suffered from throat infection followed by and ear blockage. Bedrich couldn’t continue his work so he asked Adolf Eech to take care if it. Bedrich Personal lifeBedrich was born a son of nine from Frantisek Smetana and Barbora Lynkova on the 2 of March 1824 in Litomysl, Bohemia.
Bdrich got married to Kateonia on the 27 of august 1849 and had four kids. He lost his second daughter Gabriela in july 1854 due to tuberculosis. A year later his eldest daughter Bedoiska died of scarlet fever. Due to a struck of grief, Bedrich made a couple of piano trios on G minor.
His wife Kateoina gave birth to his forth after the death of Bedoiska, but she too died in june 1856. His wife got tuberculosis as well. Adding to his grief, his father Frantisek died in 1857. Bedrich headed back to Gothenburg with is wife and Zofie. He visited Liszt in Weimar and became Smetana’s Princial teacher throughout his creative life.
Bedrichs wife heath was getting worst every day and died at Dresden on 19 of April 1859. After Katarina’s death, Bedrich left his daughter with his wife’s mother and spent time with Liszt in Weimar. Thats when his knew about the comic opera “Der Babier Von Bagdad” composed by Liszt’s pupil Peter Cornelius and Bedrich was impressed about the work. Bedrich then stayed with is younger brother Karel, where he met hisbrother’s sister-in-law Barbora (Bettina) Ferdinandiova, who was sixteen years younger then him. He married her on the 10 of July 1860 and returned to Sweden and had two kids.
Bedrich and Bettina had there first kid, Zdeoka, was born in september 1861. And had their second daughter Bozena in 1864.The Moldau’s Six Poems Ma Vlast meanig “My Homeland” in czech language, is a setoff six poems in one big orchestral piece. Finished them in between 1874 to 1879.
All six of the poems had their own premiers between 1875 and 1880, the premier with all of them in one (The Moldau) had their premier on the 5 of November 1882 in Zoffin Palace, Prague, under Adolf Cech, who had also conducted two of the individual premiers. Each poem is an aspect of the countryside, history, or legend of Bohemia. Since 1952 the works smetana have been performed to open the prague Spring International Music Festival on 12 May, the day Bedrich died.The First poem, Vysehard (The High Castle), composed between the end of september and 18 November 1874 and performed on the 14 March 1875, the poem describes the Vyeshrad castle in Prague which was thereat of the earliest Czech kings. The poem begins with the sound of the harps, then crosses over into the tones of the castle’s arsenal. This part of the poem introduces the main motifs, which are used in other parts of the cycle. A fourth note motif represents the castle of Vysehrad; this is heard again at the end of vltava and once more, to round the whole cycle off, at the conclusion of Blanik.
The to harps are used to lay the arpeggios. After a dominant seventh chord, the winds take up the theme, followed by the strings before the whole orchestra joins in with their part. Bedrich uses a faster tempo to recall the story of the castle which becomes a march. Aseemingly triumphant climax is cut short by a descending passage depicting the collapse of the castle, and the music goes very quiet. Then the opening harp comes back in and reminded about the beauty of the castle, now in to ruins.
The music ends quietly, depicting the River Vltava flowing below the cattle ruins. Conceived between 1872 and 1874, it’s the only piece in the cycle to be mostly completed before Bedrich began to go noticeably deaf in the summer of 1874. Most performances last approximately thirteen minutes in duration.The second Poem, Vltava, also know by it english name the Moldau, and in German Die Moldau, was premiered on 4 April 1875 under Adolf Cech. in this piece, Smetana uses tone painting to evoke the sound of one of Bohemia’s great rivers. The piece contains Bedrich’s most famous tune.
It is an adaptation of the melody La Mantovana, attributed to the itlian renaissance tenor, basis for the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah. The third poem, Sarka named after a female warrior and the piece was finished on the 20 February 1875. Sarka the warrior was a central figure in the ancient Czech legend of Maidens War. Sarka ties herself to a tree as bait and waits to be saved by princely Knight Ctirad, deceiving him into believing that she is an unwilling captive of the rebelling women. Once released by Ctirad, who has quickly fallen in love with her, Sarka serves him and his comrades with drugged mead and once they have falling upon and murdering the sleeping men. It was first performed under the baton of Adolf Cech.The fourth poem, z ceskych luhu a haji which means “Form Bohemia’s Woods and Fields”, and Bedrich finished the piece on the 18 of october 1875 and received its first public Performenced nearly eight weeks later, the tone poem tells no real storey, but includes, after a section evoking the grader of the forest, the depiction of a village festival in full swing.The fifth poem, Tabor was named after a city south of Bohemia founded By the Hussites and serving as their centre during the hussite war.
Bedrich competed this piece on the 13 of December 1878 and premiered on 4 January 1880. The theme for the piece is quoted from the first two lines of the Hussite.The last poem, Blanik was finished on 9 March 1879 and premiered on January 1880. It’s named for the mountain the mountain Blanik inside which a legend says that a huge army of knights led by St.
Wenceslas sleep. The knights will awake and help the country in it’s gravest hour. Blanik begins exactly as a tabor ends, “Hammering” out the motto which was left unresolved. Though the last two tone poems of the cycle from a cohesive pair, as do the first two; the High Castle’s theme returns as the Vltava’s Rivers journey Victoriously reached the same destination, and again returns at the end of Blanik. Once again, The Hussite hymn used in Tabor is quoted, though this time it is the third line which rings out in the march at the end of the piece. Instruments in The MoldauAll the instruments in the piece The Moldau are the piccolo, Two flutes, Two oboes, Two clarinets, two bassoons,french horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, triangle, cymbals, two harps, strings and a piano.
Music Elements on The MoldauThe piece call The Modlau is in E minor and It goes from Forte to piano multiple times and the duration is 6-8 and goes for 13 minutes. Its fast and slow, it is polyphonic so a lot of sound and music at the same time that all work together and make the piece amazing. The sound quality is smooth, nice and clear. The music had a lot of slurs and full of legato, I’d say it is complex. Bedrich’s Piece “The Moldau,” which was originally called “Vltava” mostly has a ternary (ABA) form.
The first theme (“A”) is played twice, followed by the second theme, or development (“B”) of the piece, we are then brought back to (“A”), which is played partly through, before being abruptly halted to switch to a developmental minor section.