Bedrich Smetana

Composition Types

Biography

Born: Mar 2, 1824; Czech Republic   Died: May 12, 1884; Czech Republic   Period: Romantic
Bedrich Smetana was one of the great composers of his country's history and one of the leaders of the movement toward musical nationalism. His father was a violin teacher who gave Bedrich his first lessons and referred him to keyboard, harmony, and composition lessons when the boy requested them. His father tried to get Bedrich to apply himself in academics, but Bedrich was too focused on music to be a good student.
Bedrich Kittl,
Read more director of the Prague Conservatory, in 1844 found Smetana a job as a music teacher to the family of Count Leopold Thun while continuing music studies. He remained with the count for three and a half years, but he quit to undertake a concert tour, which turned out to be a financial failure.
Franz Liszt aided Smetana in finding a publisher for some early piano music and in 1848, Smetana founded a successful piano school.
Although he established a strong local reputation as a pianist, his piano compositions (mostly lighter works) did not earn him any special distinction as a composer.
In 1860, the Austro-Hungarian Empire granted internal political autonomy to Bohemia. A movement began to search for a genuine Czech voice in arts, including the establishment of a national theater. In 1862-1863, Smetana composed The Brandenburgers in Bohemia, his first opera, which was a success at its premiere on January 5, 1866. His next opera was Prodaná nevesta (The Bartered Bride), his most famous and enduring opera today, but a failure when it premiered on May 30, 1866.
In 1866, Smetana became conductor of the Provisional Theater, re-forming its administration and attempting to raise standards. His next opera, Dalibor (1871), was criticized for its Wagnerian elements. He had also written Libuse, but could find no producer. But in 1874, he had a large success with a light, popular opera, The Two Widows.
However, a severe whistling in the ears (graphically depicted in his autobiographical string quartet From My Life) led to deafness by the end of that year, symptoms of tertiary syphilis. He continued to compose and wrote his orchestral masterpiece Má Vlast (My Country) from 1874 to 1879. Three more operas were premiered successfully, including Libuse, but the last was The Devil's Wall (1882). By now, Smetana was seriously ill. The brain damage from syphilis led to madness, and he was confined to an asylum where he died. National mourning was proclaimed and he was given a burial at the Vyshehrad, one of the national sites depicted in Má Vlast. Read less
Dvorak, Smetana, Suk: Piano Trios / Sitkovetsky Trio
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2059   Number of Discs: 1
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Smetana & Debussy: String Quartets / Medici Quartet
Release Date: 01/07/1997   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5389   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Bartered Bride Overture

Browse 1-25 of 77 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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    On sale! $125.98
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  • 2.
    The Great Recordings / Malcolm Sargent [18-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634121 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Lewis,  John [baritone (50s)] Cameron,  James Milligan,  Duncan Robertson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Huddersfield Choral Society,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $64.49
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  • 3.
    Sir Adrian Boult - The Complete Conductor
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 1927023 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gustav Holst,  Robert Simpson,  Sir Arthur Bliss  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $35.49
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  • 4.
    Label: United Multimedia   Catalog: 67112 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Robert Graf,  Conrad Von der Goltz,  Vitalij Margulis,  Alexander Jenner
    Conductor:  Conrad Von der Goltz,  Eugen Duvier,  Anton Nanut,  Alfred Scholz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti di Zagreb
    CD: $6.99
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  • 5.
    Bruno Walter: Overtures And Waltzes (1929-1938)
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2106 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Bedrich Smetana,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
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  • 6.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001831802 Release Date: 06/04/2013   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Anton Webern,  Alban Berg,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Helga Pilarczyk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Mihaly Székely,  Olga Szönyi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Rafael Kubelik,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Frederick Fennell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 7.
    Beethoven: Symphony No 3; Smetana: Bartered Bride Overture / Argenta
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5087 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Bedrich Smetana,  Ruperto Chapi,  Jerónimo Giménez
    Conductor:  Ataulfo Argenta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spanish National Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Grand Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Leopold Stokowski - The Stereo Collection 1954-1975
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 1916852 Release Date: 08/21/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Anna Moffo,  Martina Arroyo  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra,  Norman Luboff Choir  ... 
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  • 9.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 10.
    Essential Overtures
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27866 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  George Frideric Handel,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Gianluigi Gelmetti,  Sir David Willcocks,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 11.
    50 Best Overtures & Preludes
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27368 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Gianluigi Gelmetti,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
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  • 12.
    Best Overtures 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27333 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Gianluigi Gelmetti,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 13.
    Famous Overtures
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300249 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Daniel-François Auber,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Georges Bizet,  Luigi Cherubini  ... 
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  • 14.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 51 - Overtures
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60310 Release Date: 03/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Bedrich Smetana,  Ambroise Thomas,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
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  • 15.
    100 Best Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17639 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 648513 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 17.
    The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra 70th Anniversary - Essential Recordings [12-CD Set]
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 9614 Release Date: 12/07/2010   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Schubert,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Shlomo Mintz,  Julius Katchen,  Artur Rubinstein,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki,  Josef Krips,  Sir Georg Solti,  Jean Martinon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ankor Children's Chorus,  Israel Philharmonia Singers
    On sale! $99.98
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  • 18.
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7690512 Release Date: 11/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Bedrich Smetana,  Richard Wagner,  George Enescu
    Performer:  Henry Schuman,  Harvey Shapiro,  Marilyn Wright,  Arthur Garnick  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 19.
    Best Of Classics - Bach, Beethoven, Strauss, Vivaldi, Dvorak, Chopin, Mozart
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4013 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Jiri Reinberger,  Jan Kalfus,  Miroslav Kejmar,  Zuzana Ruzicková  ... 
    Conductor:  Bohumil Kulínsky,  Jaroslav Krcek,  Milan Munclinger,  Josef Vlach  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Children's Chorus,  Musica Bohemica,  Ars Rediviva  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 20.
    Icon - Rudolf Kempe
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 29557 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Sylvia Geszty,  Teresa Zylis-Gara,  Gundula Janowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $87.98
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  • 21.
    Da Capo - Opera Highlights
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149512 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Otto Nicolai,  Richard Wagner,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Armin Ude,  Grace Bumbry,  Siegfried Lorenz,  Sona Cervana  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernhard Klee,  Otmar Suitner,  Hans Vonk,  Václav Neumann  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Senza Parole - Opera Without Words
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149532 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Egon Morbitzer
    Conductor:  Horst Forster,  Gerhard Wiesenhutter,  Rudolf Kempe,  Václav Neumann  ... 
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  • 23.
    Favorite Overtures Vol 1 / United States Air Force Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 5637567789 Release Date: 11/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Leonard Bernstein,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Conductor:  Col. Arnald Gabriel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Band
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  • 24.
    Waldbuhne Concert - A Night Of Dances & Rhapsodies
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4509 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Rudy
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $18.99
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  • 25.
    Metropolitan Opera Centennial Gala (1983)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001326309 Release Date: 09/15/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Renato Bruson,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Montserrat Caballé  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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