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Bedřich Smetana

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Biography

Bedřich Smetana (2 March 1824 - 12 May 1884) was a Czech composer, one of his nation’s most significant. He is best known for his symphonic poem Vltava - Die Moldau, the second in a cycle of six which he entitled Má vlast (“My Homeland”), and for his opera Prodaná nevěsta (“The Bartered Bride”).
Smetana was the son of a brewer in Litomyšl in Bohemia. He studied piano and violin from an early age, and played in an amateur string quartet with other members of his family. He attended a high school in Pilsen from 1840-1843. He studied music in Prague, despite initial resistance from his father. He then secured a post as music master to a noble family, and in 1848 received funds from Franz Liszt to establish his own music school.
September 1855 marked the death of his second child, his beloved four-year-old daughter Bedřiška. When his third child died nine months later, he committed himself to composition, producing the Piano Trio in G minor. This piece is full of sadness and despair, making use of phrases that are cut short, possibly in resemblance to his daughter’s own life.
Smetana moved in 1856 to Gothenburg, Sweden, where he taught, conducted, and gave chamber music recitals. In 1863, back in Prague, he opened a new school of music dedicated to promoting specifically Czech music.
By 1874 he had become almost totally deaf, but he continued to compose; Má vlast was written after his deafness had developed. He also suffered from tinnitus, which caused him to hear a continuous, maddening high note which he described as the “shrill whistle of a first inversion chord of A-flat in the highest register of the piccolo.”

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  • OG-Gurda

    he looks so depressed on the pictures

    24 Mar 2:50am Reply
  • camune

    Wonderful

    27 Feb 10:01pm Reply
  • Neue_regel_

    The Moldau, classic

    8 Jan 4:17pm Reply
  • Torelli

    Czechia and Czech composers groups

    27 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Sooperglitcher

    What a genius! Can't wait to see him live!

    26 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Diving-Up

    He's on tour! This is amazing, a miracle! ;)

    18 Feb 2013 Reply
  • Luky7

    Czechoslovak group http://www.last.fm/group/Československo

    7 Nov 2012 Reply
  • ArtyJSimpson

    Smetana(ru) = sour cream

    1 Jul 2012 Reply
  • HamoMagicMan

    how the hell is he on tour? =D - in heaven :D

    29 Apr 2012 Reply
  • L-M-A

    СМЕТАНА ХА ХА ХА

    24 Feb 2012 Reply
  • tolovaj

    Vltava was my favorite for many years.

    21 Feb 2012 Reply
  • Xylvanya

    If you like ambitious music, maybe it´s possilbe you like XYLVANYA: "Imperial Crowen" „Climbing“ or „Ex-Mannequin“ or „Horizont (III) or "Gewitter-Regen" or "Erinnerungen an meinen Vater" or "Trust (Piano-Version)" or "Norwegen" or "Retrospective view" and many more.....(all songs free download) . Thank you for listening, support or feedback! Peace, Xylvanya

    13 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Forteski

    Erudite music group: http://www.last.fm/group/Erudite+Music

    11 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Paulus1

    @rakkaussattuu: S tou němčinou to není tak jednoduché. V jeho době žila v Praze početná německá a židovská menšina, která německy mluvila a účastnila se veřejného života. Třeba libreto k opeře Libuše bylo původně napsáno německy. Myslím, že si svého času psal Smetana v němčině i svůj deník... Takže tu Moldau bych klidně i odpustil..

    17 Dec 2011 Reply
  • rakkaussattuu

    Miluji Mou vlast a miluji svou vlast (Moldau is Vltava - I don´t know why is it in german??? I name things in their native language ! - Is it the same if I said - System dole - but I say System of a down)

    17 Dec 2011 Reply
  • picaresquezen

    I moved to the Czech Republic four years ago, and heard Vltava for the first time in my life today - it's hard to believe that as little as 13 minutes of music could boost the pride I have in my new homeland:)

    11 Nov 2011 Reply
  • LordKaninchen

    how the hell is he on tour? =D

    29 Oct 2011 Reply
  • TenjoTenge

    lol .... Bedřich Smetana --->On Tour ... wtf

    12 Oct 2011 Reply
  • ezophagit

    Волшебная, многогранная музыка, держишь в руках алмаз, повернёшь одной гранью - торжественная музыка, другой - печальная, разно ладная, третьей - морская картина, и так до бесконечности.

    16 Sep 2011 Reply
  • Loki-Afro

    :)

    6 Sep 2011 Reply
  • All 98 shouts