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
Dvorak, Smetana, Suk: Piano Trios / Sitkovetsky Trio
Release Date: 04/29/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2059   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: The Moldau

Browse 51-75 of 135 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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  ... 
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  • 53.
    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  ... 
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  • 54.
    The Most Beautiful Classical Melodies Vol 2 / Hahn, Fey, Rilling, Schulz, Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Et Al
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98524 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Pachelbel,  Bedrich Smetana,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
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  • 55.
    Dvorak: Symphony No 9 / István Kertész, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: London/Decca Weekend Classics   Catalog: 417678 Release Date: 10/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  István Kertész
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 57.
    Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra - Legendary Masterworks Recordings
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184512 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  George Gershwin,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Theo Adam,  Edda Moser,  Rosemarie Lang,  Peter Schreier  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch,  Kurt Masur,  Václav Neumann,  Kurt Sanderling  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Classical Dreams / Norrington, Winschermann,  Zhukov, Hartung, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 8065 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Fernando Sor,  Josef Suk  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Antonio Meneses,  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Friedemann Wuttke  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Volker Hartung,  Roger Norrington,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  European Philharmonic Orchestra,  Camerata Salzburg  ... 
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  • 59.
    Fiedler Encores / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448952 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg,  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 60.
    Smetana: Ma Vlast / Pesek, Royal Liverpool
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 22129 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Libor Pesek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Classics In Heaven - Mozart, Bach, Etc
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184582 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Ion Voicu,  Karl Suske,  Walter Olbertz,  Jürnjakob Timm  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Hanell,  Otmar Suitner,  Gerhart Wiesenhütter,  Günther Herbig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 62.
    Smetana: Die Moldau
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 427216 Release Date: 08/19/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
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  • 63.
    Dvorak: Symphony 9; Smetana: Moldau / Fricsay
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463650 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Liszt
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Toscanini Conducts Light Classics
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6205 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johannes Brahms,  Bedrich Smetana,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    Karajan Gold - Bach, Beethoven, Bizet, Mozart, Vivaldi, Etc
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001051402 Release Date: 02/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Jacques Offenbach,  Franz von Suppé,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Frank Maus,  David Bell,  Eberhard Finke  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Bernstein Favorites- Orchestral Showpieces
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46706 Release Date: 02/06/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Paul Dukas,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Flor, Berlin Sym
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60119 Release Date: 01/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Best Romantic Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15490 Release Date: 01/15/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Lucio Quarantotto,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Byzantine,  Amy Nuttall,  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Sharon Isbin  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Kershaw,  Seiji Ozawa,  Lawrence Foster,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra,  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
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  • 72.
    Elections Classiques, 2007
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 507538 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Samuel Barber,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Patrice Fontanarosa,  Jan Talich,  Sesto Bruscantini,  Lambert Wilson  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Leonard Slatkin,  Paavo Järvi,  Vittorio Gui  ... 
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  • 73.
    Václav Talich Special Edition Vol 17- Smetana, Dvorák, Etc
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3837 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Vilém Blodek,  Karel Kovarovic,  Leos Janácek  ... 
    Performer:  Ludmila Dvoráková
    Conductor:  Vaclav Talich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Portraits In Sound / Leinsdorf, Concert Arts Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65205 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Paul Dukas,  Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Carmen Dragon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concert Arts Orchestra,  Capitol Symphony Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Dvorák: Symphonies No 5 & 7-9, Etc; Smetana
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 00878 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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