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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 26-50 of 53 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    Bohemian Serenade - Smetana, Et Al / Silke Avenhaus
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1252 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Krommer,  Josef Triebensee
    Performer:  Silke Avenhaus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen Wind Soloists
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  • 28.
    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
    On sale! $31.98
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  • 29.
    Dances From Bohemia And Hungary / Ensemble Prisma
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 4045 Release Date: 11/12/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt,  Ferenc Farkas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Prisma Wien
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  • 30.
    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
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  • 31.
    Invitation To The Dance / Karajan, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474617 Release Date: 08/05/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Hector Berlioz,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 32.
    An Afternoon Of Classical Favorites
    Label: Flutations   Catalog: 5637299704 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Edvard Grieg,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  The Flutations
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  • 33.
    Karajan - The Collection - Dvorak, Smetana /Berlin Po, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000005302 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Karajan Festival
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429436 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Listen, Learn & Grow - Playtime - Imagination
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555811 Release Date: 08/20/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Zdenek Tylsar,  Bedrich Tylsar,  Dario Müller,  Idil Biret
    Conductor:  Richard Edlinger,  Michael Halász,  Michael Dittrich,  Barry Wordsworth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Zagreb Festival Orchestra,  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 36.
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637527340 Release Date: 08/20/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Melvin Jr. Lauf,  Gretchen Morse,  Nancy W. Wood,  Catherine McMichael  ... 
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  • 37.
    Eloquence - Invitation To The Dance - Ballet Music / Karajan
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469683 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Alexander Borodin,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Listen, Learn And Grow - Playtime
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8560050 Release Date: 06/19/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Bedrich Tylsar,  Zdenek Tylsar,  Balázs Szokolay,  Péter Nagy  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Edlinger,  Michael Halász,  Michael Dittrich,  Ondrej Lenárd  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Zagreb Festival Orchestra,  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 39.
    Virtuoso / Rolf Smedvig
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80550 Release Date: 01/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Manuel de Falla,  Rafael Mendez  ... 
    Performer:  Eric Ruske,  Rolf Smedvig,  Richard Jensen,  Sam Pilafian  ... 
    Conductor:  Jahja Ling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Empire Brass,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Bernstein Century - Dvorak, Goldmark, Humperdinck, Smetana
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 61836 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Bedrich Smetana,  Karl Goldmark,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 41.
    The Fantastic Philadelphians / Ormandy, Et Al
    Label: Rca Red Seal Hp   Catalog: 63313 Release Date: 05/18/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Discover The Classics Volume 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554246-47 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Malcolm Arnold,  Gioachino Rossini,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Frith,  Maria Kliegel
    Conductor:  Prionnsias O'Duinn,  Andrew Penny,  Michael Halász,  Adrian Leaper  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RTE Sinfonietta,  Queensland Symphony Orchestra,  Zagreb Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 43.
    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
    CD: $8.99
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  • 44.
    Empire Brass - Greatest Hits
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80438 Release Date: 11/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francisco de la Torre,  Traditional,  Cy Coleman,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Ken Amis,  Kurt Wortman,  Jeffrey Curnow,  Douglas Wright  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Empire Brass
    CD: $16.99
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  • 45.
    Kaleidoscope / Mackerras, London Symphony
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434352 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Mikhail Glinka,  Jacques Offenbach,  Franz von Suppé  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    Gala Concert From Prague / Neumann, Czech Philharmonic
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 180891 Release Date: 06/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bohuslav Martinu,  Karel Kovarovic,  Josef Suk  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 48.
    1992 Midwest Clinic - The United States Navy Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 7488 Release Date: 01/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrzej Panufnik,  Bedrich Smetana,  Karl King,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Conductor:  William J. Phillips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Navy Band
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  • 49.
    Slavonic Festival / Kosler, Pesek, Stankovsky, Wordsworth
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550376 Release Date: 12/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Leos Janácek,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Libor Pesek,  Zdenek Kosler,  Robert Stankovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Smetana: The Bartered Bride Overture & Dances, Etc / Simon
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8412 Release Date: 10/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Simon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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