Bedrich Smetana

Composition Types


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
Smetana: Ma Vlast / Hrusa, Bamberg Symphony
Release Date: 01/13/2017   Label: Tudor Records  
Catalog: 7196   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Bartered Bride Overture

Browse 26-50 of 56 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Smetana: Moldau, Overtures / Dohnányi, Cleveland Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444867 Release Date: 04/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 27.
    The Fantastic Philadelphians - A Dazzling Dance Spectacular / Ormandy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38128 Release Date: 04/16/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 28.
    The Royal Edition - Opera Overtures / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47601 Release Date: 03/11/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Otto Nicolai,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 29.
    Furiant - Smetana, Dvorak, Janacek / Neumann
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 782 Release Date: 11/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Horst Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Fritz Busch - His Complete Dresden Recordings 1923-1932
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 7032 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Busch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
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  • 31.
    Romantic Overtures
    Label: Basics   Catalog: 185772 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
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  • 32.
    Smetana: Complete Orchestral Works / Kuchar, Et Al
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 93634 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Sir Neville Marriner Conducts Famous Overtures / Asmf
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 411450 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz von Suppé,  Daniel-François Auber,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 34.
    Vaclav Neumann In Rehearsal
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101059 Release Date: 06/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  South German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Dvorák: Symphony No. 9;  Smetana: Vltava, Etc / Serebrier
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51522 Release Date: 06/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brno State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Smetana: Ma Vlast; The Bartered Bride (Highlights) / Inbal
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4699855 Release Date: 03/19/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Eliahu Inbal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6509 Release Date: 02/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
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  • 38.
    After Work Hour Vol 8 - Smetana, Verdi, Mozart
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8287 Release Date: 12/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Venceslava Hruba-Freiberger,  Harald Neukirch,  Hermann Prey,  Lisa Della Casa  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Giuseppe Patané,  Johannes Winkler,  Heinz Fricke  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
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  • 39.
    Dorati Conducts Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Gershwin, Et Al
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 000518902 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Rhapsodies - Liszt, Enesco, Smetana, Et Al / Stokowski
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 67903 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  George Enescu,  Bedrich Smetana,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ralph Froelich,  Marilyn Wright,  Arthur Garnick,  Harvey Shapiro  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Symphony of the Air
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  • 41.
    Danzas Y Ballets - A Través De Los Tiempos
    Label: Yoyo   Catalog: 59401 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Charles Gounod,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Festival Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Dvorak: New World Symphony; Smetana / Reiner, Cso
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 66376 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Jaromir Weinberger,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3689 Release Date: 06/29/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Richard Wagner,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
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  • 44.
    Carnegie Hall Project / Sir Georg Solti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444458 Release Date: 04/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Richard Strauss,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Dvorák, Janácek, Smetana: Opera Arias / Urbanová, Lenard
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 7443542 Release Date: 04/08/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Leos Janácek,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Eva Urbanová
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Meditations For All Seasons - Music For Spring, Summer, Etc
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1737 Release Date: 03/06/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Jacques Offenbach,  Michael Tippett,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Judith Hall,  Elinor Bennett,  John Anderson,  Martin Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Swierczewski,  Michael Tippett,  Simon Wright,  Jaime Laredo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gulbenkian Foundation Symphony Orchestra Lisbon,  English Northern Philharmonia,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 47.
    The Moldau / Libor Pesek, Royal Liverpool
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 59285 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Julius Fucik,  Oskar Nedbal,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Timothy Walden,  Malcolm Stewart
    Conductor:  Libor Pesek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Famous Overtures Ii / De Almeida, Moscow Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Amadis   Catalog: 7140 Release Date: 10/07/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio de Almeida
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Meditations For Spring - Copland, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7049 Release Date: 03/21/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Domenico Cimarosa,  Lennox Berkeley  ... 
    Performer:  John Anderson
    Conductor:  William Boughton,  Simon Wright,  Gerard Claret,  Monica Huggett  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  English String Orchestra,  Andorra National Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 50.
    Classical Weddings
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 1062 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johann Pachelbel,  Otto Nicolai,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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