The Moldau (4:17)

Cover of My Fatherland (Czechoslovakian State Philharmony of Prague feat. conductor: Libor…

From My Fatherland (Czechoslovakian State Philharmony of Prague feat. conductor: Libor… and 37 other releases

Vltava, also known as Die Moldau (German name), was composed between 20 November and 8 December 1874 and was premiered on 4 April 1875. It is about 12 minutes long, and is in the key of E minor.

In this piece, Smetana uses tone painting to evoke the sounds of one of Bohemia’s great rivers.

The composition follows the river Vltava (German: Moldau), from where it starts as two small springs — one cold water and one warm water spring — which then merge together. It passes through woods and meadows and sees some hunters. It goes on through different landscapes passing a farmer’s wedding in progress. Then you hear the round dance of the Mermaids in the moonshine, with many castles and ruins on the nearby hills. The Vltava then speeds up going down the St. John’s Rapids. And in the end it flows towards Prague and ends up merging with the river Labe (German: Elbe).

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