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: The Bartered Bride / Kempe, Wunderlich, Et Al
Release Date: 06/19/2007   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 81872   Number of Discs: 2
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Smetana: The Bartered Bride / Ancerl, Blachut, Kalas, Et Al
Release Date: 07/02/2002   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1354   Number of Discs: 2
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Wiener Staatsoper Live - Smetana: Dalibor / Rysanek, Krips
Release Date: 11/24/1998   Label: Rca Victor Red Seal  
Catalog: 57735   Number of Discs: 2
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Opera In English - Smetana: The Bartered Bride / Mackerras
Release Date: 11/22/2005   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3128   Number of Discs: 2
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Smetana: The Bartered Bride / Beecham, Tauber, Konetzni
Release Date: 11/29/2005   Label: Urania Records  
Catalog: 286   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: The Moldau

Browse 76-100 of 113 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    The Premium Collection - 75 Classical Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000988602 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Alfons Kontarsky,  Aloys Kontarsky,  Wolfgang Herzer,  Göran Söllscher  ... 
    Conductor:  Baumgartner,  Neeme Järvi,  Seiji Ozawa,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Strings
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  • 79.
    Dvorák: Symphony No 9;  Smetana: Ma Vlast / Jansons, Oslo Po
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49860 Release Date: 06/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 80.
    Dvorák: Symphony No. 9;  Smetana: Vltava, Etc / Serebrier
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51522 Release Date: 06/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brno State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 81.
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6509 Release Date: 02/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter
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  • 82.
    Ultimate Classical - Chill Out
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000766202 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Cooper,  Ilana Vered,  William Bennett,  Brigitte [Mezzo-Soprano Vocal] Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Herrmann,  Raymond Agoult,  Richard Bonynge,  Stanley Black  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra of London,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 83.
    Fantasy
    Label: Mack Duo   Catalog: 5637530831 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Yuki Mack,  Tomoko Mack
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  • 84.
    Scenes & Dances
    Label: Sophia Pallas And Julian Trail   Catalog: 5637424492 Release Date: 01/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Bedrich Smetana,  Edvard Grieg,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Sophia Pallas,  Julian Trail
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  • 85.
    Rhapsodies - Liszt, Enesco, Smetana, Et Al / Stokowski
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 67903 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  George Enescu,  Bedrich Smetana,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Ralph Froelich,  Marilyn Wright,  Arthur Garnick,  Harvey Shapiro  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Symphony of the Air
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  • 86.
    Masters Of Classical Music Vol 3 - Ponchielli, Et Al
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 247 Release Date: 05/31/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  George Frideric Handel,  Bedrich Smetana,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Vassil Kazandjiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 87.
    Green
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557840 Release Date: 05/24/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Frank Bridge,  Bedrich Smetana,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Kliegel,  Paul Gulda,  Jan Van Reeth,  Takako Nishizaki
    Conductor:  Jean-François Monnard,  James Judd,  Antoni Wit,  David Lloyd-Jones  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Sinfonietta,  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 88.
    Ancerl & Scherchen - Great Conductors In Rehearsal And Performance
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4322 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Discover - Music Of The Romantic Era
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558155-56 Release Date: 01/18/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Ewa Podles,  Idil Biret,  Dong-Suk Kang,  Pascal Devoyon  ... 
    Conductor:  Piergiorgio Morandi,  George Hurst,  Michael Halász,  Jerzy Maksymiuk  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hungarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Katowice Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 90.
    Silence Vol 2
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98449 Release Date: 08/01/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Various,  Bedrich Smetana,  Pietro Mascagni,  Franz Schubert  ... 
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  • 91.
    Dvorák: Symphony No 9;  Smetana / Szell, Kubelik, Et Al
    Label: Avid Master Series   Catalog: 602 Release Date: 06/04/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 92.
    Nationalistic Trends During The Romantic Era / Jordania
    Label: Angelok   Catalog: 7751 Release Date: 05/25/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Mikhail Glinka,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  Tamera Kerzerov
    Conductor:  Vakhtang Jordania
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Federal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Strauss: Tod Und Verklärung, Etc;  Smetana / Furtwängler
    Label: Emi Great Artists Of The Century   Catalog: 62793 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 94.
    Romance 2 Classic / Marriner, Hahn, Brown, Novak Quartet
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98439 Release Date: 08/26/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Max Bruch,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Pamela Frank
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Iona Brown,  Klaus-Peter Hahn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Novák String Quartet,  Moscow Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Die Moldau - Organ Transcriptions / Guido Harzen
    Label: Motette   Catalog: 1301 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Francesco Bendusi,  Charles Gounod,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Guido Harzen
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  • 96.
    Smetana: The Moldau; Dvorák, Brahms, Borodin, Liszt / Barenboim, Et Al
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 415851 Release Date: 12/21/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Johannes Brahms,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 97.
    New Year's Eve Concert, Berlin 1983 / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46401 Release Date: 10/16/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Josef Strauss,  Jean Sibelius,  Bedrich Smetana,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 98.
    The Moldau / Libor Pesek, Royal Liverpool
    Label: Erato   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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  • 99.
    Rimsky-korsakov: Scheherazade;  Et Al / Antal Dorati
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 462953 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Liszt,  Jean Sibelius,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Rafael Druian
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Ports Of Call / Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 80 Release Date: 09/23/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Conductor:  Eiji Oue
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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