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, director Read more 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: Complete Orchestral Works / Kuchar, Et Al
Release Date: 04/01/2008   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 93634   Number of Discs: 3
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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: The Bartered Bride / Krombholc, Stratas, Kollo
Release Date:    Label: Eurodisc  
Catalog: 7795   Number of Discs: 2
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Smetana: Ma Vlast / Flor, Malaysian Philharmonic
Release Date: 01/25/2011   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1805   Number of Discs: 1
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Janacek: String Quartets No 1 & 2; Smetana: String Quartet No  1 / Jerusalem Quartet
Release Date: 01/14/2014   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902178   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Bartered Bride Overture

Browse 51-75 of 79 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Expanded Edition - Dvorak: Symphony No 9, Etc / Bernstein
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 92729 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $8.99
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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Smetana, Dvorak, Janacek / Tennstedt, London Po
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4139 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák,  Leos Janácek
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 54.
    James Levine - A Celebration In Music
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000041502 Release Date: 06/10/2003   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Igor Stravinsky,  Anton Webern  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 55.
    Schubert, Mendelssohn, Weber, Smetana: Overtures / Kempe
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1276 Release Date: 01/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Franz Schubert,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Franz von Suppé  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    The Moldau - Smetana, Et Al / Libor Pesek, Royal Liverpool
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    Merit - Bruno Walter Conducts Tchaikovsky, Dvorák, Smetana
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4788 Release Date: 06/22/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Standard Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Bernstein Century - Dvorak: Symphony No 7;  Smetana
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60561 Release Date: 07/14/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 65.
    Heritage Dvorák: Symphonies No 7-9, Carnival Overture / Szell, Cleveland
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 63151 Release Date: 06/16/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 66.
    The Yellow Guide - Classical Music
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457440 Release Date: 03/17/1998   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Marita Napier,  Marilyn Mims,  Linda Kelm,  Diane Kesling  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  James Levine,  Semyon Bychkov,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  English Concert Choir,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 67.
    Opera Overtures / Schippers, Ormandy, De Almeida
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 63053 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ambroise Thomas,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Thomas Schippers,  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio de Almeida
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 68.
    Erich Kleiber Dirigiert Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90287 Release Date: 09/24/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Georges Bizet,  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 69.
    An Evening With The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68860 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Emil Waldteufel  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin,  Leonard Pennario
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin,  Carmen Dragon,  Miklós Rózsa,  Earl Bernard Murray  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 70.
    Dvorák: Violinkonzert, Symphonie No 9 / Karel Ancerl
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 395951 Release Date: 08/04/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Josef Suk
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 71.
    Art Of Classics - Beruhmte Ouverturen Und Zwischenspiele
    Label: Intercord Klassische Diskothek   Catalog: 25929 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Zanotelli,  Gunter Neidlinger,  George Randolph Warren,  Carl-August Bünte  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 72.
    Virtuoso Orchestral Music - Mozart, Rossini, Smetana, Et Al
    Label: Intercord Saphir   Catalog: 830899 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Harald Genzmer,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Wojciech Rajski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Dvorak: New World Symphony And Other Masterworks / Reiner
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 62587 Release Date: 03/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jaromir Weinberger,  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Smetana: Má Vlast, Etc;  Dvorák / Weller, Kertész, Dorati
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 443015 Release Date: 03/14/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Walter Weller,  István Kertész
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 4015 Release Date: 02/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Anton Nanut,  Alfred Scholz,  Vladimir Petroschoff
    CD: $6.99
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