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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
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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Smetana: String Quartets No 1 & 2, Etc / Moyzes Quartet
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550379   Number of Discs: 1
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Smetana: Má Vlast / Antoni Wit, Polish Nrso
Release Date: 11/29/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550931   Number of Discs: 1
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Smetana, Suk, Novak: Piano Trios / Joachim Trio
Release Date: 08/25/1998   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553415   Number of Discs: 1
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Smetana: Piano Trio; Liszt: Elegies / Trio Wanderer
Release Date: 01/11/2011   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902060   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Dance of the Comedians

Browse 1-25 of 53 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $139.99
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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    An Album Of Ballet Melodies / The World's Favorite Love Songs
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 4503 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Charles Gounod,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani
    CD: $21.99
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  • 4.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    Essential Encores
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 05149 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Bazzini,  Niccolň Paganini,  Fritz Kreisler,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Vag Papian,  Maxim Vengerov,  Michael Rabin,  Tasmin Little  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Mariss Jansons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Virtuosi,  Nash Ensemble
    CD: $12.99
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  • 7.
    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  ... 
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  • 8.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67063 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Holst,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Susan Bickley,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  André Previn,  Paavo Järvi,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $100.98
    CD: $76.99
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  • 9.
    Basics Highlights - Essential Classics
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149562 Release Date: 01/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Bedrich Smetana,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Sylvia Geszty,  Peter Arne Rohde  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Otmar Suitner,  Kurt Masur,  Václav Neumann  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 10.
    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  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of Eastern Europe
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47283 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Liszt,  Johannes Brahms,  Jaromir Weinberger  ... 
    Performer:  Earl Wild
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Andre Kostelanetz,  Leonard Bernstein,  George Szell  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 12.
    Smetana: Moldau, Bartered Bride Etc / Szell, Cleveland
    Label: Cbs Great Performances   Catalog: 36716 Release Date: 08/31/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Encore! / Leonard Slatkin, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68511 Release Date: 08/18/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Reinhold Gliere,  Anatole Liadov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  George Silfies
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 14.
    Bernstein Favorites - Opera For Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46714 Release Date: 07/06/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Alexander Borodin,  Georges Bizet,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 15.
    Smetana: Music From The Bartered Bride, Etc / Gianandrea Noseda, Bbc Po
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10518 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    The Fantastic Philadelphians - A Dazzling Dance Spectacular / Ormandy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38128 Release Date: 04/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 18.
    Best Encores 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64752 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Alexander Goedicke,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Teodor Grigoriu,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  Ole Edvard Antonsen,  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Placido Domingo,  Cheryl Studer  ... 
    Conductor:  John Barker,  Asher Fisch,  Sir Andrew Davis,  Franz Welser-Möst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 19.
    Dvorak: Carnival Oveture;  Massenet: Meditation, Etc / Eric Plutz, John Fleming
    Label: Pro Organo   Catalog: 7227 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Richard Wagner,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Eric Pluntz,  John Fleming
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 20.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    Leonard Bernstein: The Encore Collection Vol 1
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 44723 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Igor Stravinsky,  Georges Bizet,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 22.
    Smetana: Complete Orchestral Works / Kuchar, Et Al
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog:  Release Date: 02/05/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Spectacular Dances / Stanley Black, Royal Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444107 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Loveday
    Conductor:  Stanley Black
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 24.
    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
    CD: $11.99
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  • 25.
    Thomas Jensen Conducts The Aarhus Civic Orchestra
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 497 Release Date: 02/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  C. C. Moller,  Svend Erik Tarp,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Jensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aarhus Civic Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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