Biography of Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884)

Bedrich Smetana.

Czech composer. With only six years he was known for his arrangement for piano of the overture of the opera La muette de Portici Auber. At age eight he composed his first essay composition. At the end of their secondary studies, he moved to Prague, where he was tutor in the family of count Leopoldo Thun from 1844 to 1847, at the time he studied composition with Proksch. Between 1848 and 1856 he directed his own music school, and between 1856 and 1861 conducted the concerts of the musical Association of Göteborg (Sweden), city where he also gave private lessons.

As a composer, he was influenced by Schumann, Liszt and Wagner, although it shows a personal and specific national language. After his early works (short dances and album leaves), he composed triumphal Symphony (1853-1854) and a Trio with piano in g minor (1855). Already in Gothenburg he started in works of Orchestra of larger, as the trilogy of symphonic poems Ricardo III (1858), the field of Wallenstein (1858-1859) and Hakon Jarl (completed in 1861). After returning to Prague he tried unsuccessfully to find a job and lived from lessons and concerts fertilizers. He was director of the choir of the choral Association Prague Hlahol (1863-1865) and director of a school of music with F. Heller (1863-1866). His creations over the years boast their growing patriotism and his rejected romantic models. He wrote concert fantasy on Czech folk songs (1862), first antecedent of his great patriotic opera the brandenburgers in Bohemia (1862-1863) and Dalibor (1866-1867), which accounted for his first two hits. In 1866, opened in Prague, without success, the first version of the bartered bride, which after being revised completed in 1870.

After the Austrian-German war was the conductor in a theatre company, since it retained until 1874, year which began his deafness. Then are the historical opera Libuse (1869-1872) and the comic opera the two widows (1873-1874). In his later years, which was already ill, he composed his cycle of six symphonic poems my homeland (1874-1879), the cycle for piano dreams (1875) and the operas the Kiss (1875-1876), the secret (1877-1878), the wall of the Devil (1879-1882), the Quartet my life (1876), Czech for piano (1879) dances, some choirs and lieder.

Bedrich Smetana. My homeland.

Bedrich Smetana. The Spring Festival Choir.