Showing posts from March, 2016

Bedřich Smetana: Má vlast / My Country - Prague Spring 2015 Opening Concert

Má vlast (meaning "My homeland" in the Czech language) is a set of six symphonic poems composed between 1874 and 1879 by the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. While it is often presented as a single work in six movements and – with the exception of Vltava – is almost always recorded that way, the six pieces were conceived as individual works. They had their own separate premieres between 1875 and 1880; the premiere of the complete set took place on 5 November 1882 in Prague, under Adolf Čech, who had also conducted two of the individual premieres. In these works Smetana combined the symphonic poem form pioneered byFranz Lisztwith the ideals of nationalistic music which were current in the late nineteenth century. Each poem depicts some aspect of the countryside, history, or legends ofBohemia.

To hear the symphony, just click the link:

"The Water-Goblin" by Karel Jaromir Erben

I have read that these are some of the most famous lines in Czech poetry. Every Czech school child at the age of about ten will learn these lines by heart: On a poplar by the pool
The Goblin sat at twilight cool:
'Glow, moon, glow,
That my thread may sew. For myself new boots I'm sewing
, On dry land and water going:
Glow, moon, glow,
That my thread may sew. 'Thursday now—tomorrow's Friday—
sew a coat all trim and tidy:
Glow, moon, glow,
That my thread may sew. Coat of green and boots of red
, For tomorrow I'll be wed:
Glow, moon, glow,
That my thread may sew.' This translation © Susan Reynolds 2002.