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
Smetana: Má Vlast / Davis, London SO
Release Date: 10/11/2005   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 516   Number of Discs: 1
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Smetana: Má Vlast / Davis, London SO
Release Date: 10/11/2005   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 61   Number of Discs: 1
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Beecham Collection - Smetana, Verdi, Mozart, Et Al
Release Date: 02/27/2001   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 8   Number of Discs: 1
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Beecham Collection - Smetana: The Bartered Bride
Release Date: 10/24/2006   Label: Somm  
Catalog: 14   Number of Discs: 2
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Mozart, Smetana, Etc: String Quartets / Skampa Quartet
Release Date: 01/22/2008   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 19   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: The Moldau

Browse 26-50 of 106 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Elgar: Cello Concerto / Bailey, Urbanski
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 34030 Release Date: 01/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Bedrich Smetana
    Performer:  Zuill Bailey
    Conductor:  Krzysztof Urbanski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Aquarelles / Valerie Milot
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29986 Release Date: 10/02/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Claude Debussy,  Bedrich Smetana,  Marcel Tournier  ... 
    Performer:  Valerie Milot
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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    Kinderklassik: Classical Music For Children, Vol. 2
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300347 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Claude Debussy,  Albert Lortzing  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Hans Sotin,  Georgine Resick,  Gerhard Erber  ... 
    Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Bernhard Klee,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 30.
    Brahms: The Four Symphonies; Piano Concerto No. 2
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 190 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Bedrich Smetana
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  • 31.
    Label: Andromeda   Catalog: 5034 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    CD: $19.99
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  • 32.
    Celibidache  Vol 4 - Sacred Music & Opera / Munich Phiharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 85617 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Scharinger,  Yaron Windmuller,  Peter Schreier,  Barbara Bonney  ... 
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Choir,  Munich Bach Choir
    On sale! $79.98
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  • 33.
    50 Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 34.
    Greatest Hits In Classical Music
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 57031 Release Date: 07/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Magda Bergreich,  Dieter Goldmann,  Jela Spitkova,  Peter Schmalfuss  ... 
    Conductor:  Sidney Lark,  Vladimir Petroschoff,  Ernst Delgado,  Sven Bengston  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Caspar da Salo Quartett
    CD: $12.99
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  • 35.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 648500 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Katia Labčque,  Marielle Labčque,  Moura Lympany  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Riccardo Muti,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    In Fremden Landern (Foreign Lands)
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300087 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Güher Pekinel,  Süher Pekinel,  Cécile Ousset
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Günther Herbig,  Jörg-Peter Weigle,  Heinz Rögner  ... 
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  • 38.
    Smetana: Vltava; Dvorak: Symphony No 9 / Ancerl, Czech Philharmonic
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4016 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Anthology 2: Nbc So (1950-53)
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7047 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Engelbert Humperdinck  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
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  • 40.
    Smetana: Piano Trio, The Moldau, From My Homeland / Trio Mersson
    Label: Doron Music   Catalog: 3054 Release Date: 11/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Performer:  Kemal Agçag,  Boris Mersson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Mersson
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 41.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of Eastern Europe
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47283 Release Date: 10/02/2009   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  ... 
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  • 42.
    Smetana: Moldau, Bartered Bride Etc / Szell, Cleveland
    Label: Cbs Great Performances   Catalog: 36716 Release Date: 08/19/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 43.
    Classical Discovery - The History Of Classical Music
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184622 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Charles Gounod,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Ronn McFarlane,  Cécile Ousset,  E. Power Biggs,  Grace Bumbry  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Kurt Masur,  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Baltimore Consort,  Il Complesso Barocco  ... 
    CD: $58.99
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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    Dvorák: Symphony No 9, Scherzo Capriccioso / Ormandy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38053 Release Date: 04/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 46.
    The Art of Bernard Haitink
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001267402 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Béla Bartók,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 47.
    Romantic Orchestral Masterpieces / Rilling, Gielen, Marriner, Sanderling, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98540 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Hector Berlioz,  Edvard Grieg,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
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  • 48.
    Die Moldau / Previn, Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 416382 Release Date: 01/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Classical Evergreens
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 182802 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Pablo de Sarasate,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Claude Debussy,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Ion Voicu,  Karl Suske,  Walter Olbertz,  Jürnjakob Timm  ... 
    Conductor:  Heinz Bongartz,  Robert Hanell,  Otmar Suitner,  Heinz Rögner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Deutschland Sender Orchestra Berlin,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 50.
    Wassermusik
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 182612 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Cécile Ousset,  Jürnjakob Timm,  Karl Suske,  Peter Rösel  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Kurt Masur,  Peter Schreier,  Peter Falk  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Dresden Baroque Soloists,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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