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Bedřich Smetana

Bedřich Smetana ( BED-ər-zhikh SMET-ə-nə, Czech: [ˈbɛdr̝ɪx ˈsmɛtana] (listen); 2 March 1824 – 12 May 1884) was a Czech composer who pioneered the development of a musical style that became closely identified with his people's aspirations to a cultural and political "revival". He has been regarded in his homeland as the father of Czech music. Internationally he is best known for his 1866 opera The Bartered Bride and for the symphonic cycle Má vlast ("My Fatherland"), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer's native Bohemia. It contains the famous symphonic poem "Vltava", also popularly known by its German name "Die Moldau" (in English, "The Moldau").

Smetana was naturally gifted as a composer, and gave his first public performance at the age of six. After conventional schooling, he studied music under Josef Proksch in Prague. His first nationalistic music was written during the 1848 Prague uprising, in which he briefly participated. After failing to establish his career in Prague, he left for Sweden, where he set up as a teacher and choirmaster in Gothenburg, and began to write large-scale orchestral works.

In the early 1860s, a more liberal political climate in Bohemia encouraged Smetana to return permanently to Prague. He threw himself into the musical life of the city, primarily as a champion of the new genre of Czech opera. In 1866 his first two operas, The Brandenburgers in Bohemia and The Bartered Bride, were premiered at Prague's new Provisional Theatre, the latter achieving great popularity. In that same year, Smetana became the theatre's principal conductor, but the years of his conductorship were marked by controversy. Factions within the city's musical establishment considered his identification with the progressive ideas of Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner inimical to the development of a distinctively Czech opera style. This opposition interfered with his creative work, and may have hastened a decline in health that precipitated his resignation from the theatre in 1874.

By the end of 1874, Smetana had become completely deaf but, freed from his theatre duties and the related controversies, he began a period of sustained composition that continued for almost the rest of his life. His contributions to Czech music were increasingly recognised and honoured, but a mental collapse early in 1884 led to his incarceration in an asylum and subsequent death. His reputation as the founding father of Czech music has endured in his native country, where advocates have raised his status above that of his contemporaries and successors. However, relatively few of Smetana's works are in the international repertory, and most foreign commentators tend to regard Antonín Dvořák as a more significant Czech composer.

Birth and Death Data: Born April 2, 1824 (Litomyšl), Died May 12, 1884 (Prague)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1902 - 1938

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-4634 10-in. 7/3/1907 Comedian's march Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-6950 12-in. 3/31/1909 Bartered bride : Overture Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-7025 12-in. 4/30/1909 Ich weiss euch einen liebe Schatz Johanna Gadski ; Albert Reiss Vocal duet (soprano and tenor), with piano composer  
Victor C-8942 12-in. 5/11/1910 Aus der Heimat Fritz Kreisler Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-9352 12-in. 8/17/1910 O was ich mich betrub Mischa Ferenzo Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-9419 10-in. 9/12/1910 Mařenka a Komedianty České Trio z Prahy Instrumental trio composer  
Victor B-9438 10-in. 9/13/1910 s Prodané nevěsty České Trio z Prahy Instrumental trio composer  
Victor B-10329 10-in. 5/15/1911 Prodná nevěsta : March Kryl's Bohemian Band Band composer  
Victor C-10340 12-in. 5/16/1911 Bartered bride : Sextette Kryl's Bohemian Band Band composer  
Victor C-10355 12-in. 5/18/1911 Bartered bride : Selection Kryl's Bohemian Band Band composer  
Victor C-10361 12-in. 5/19/1911 Libušse overture Kryl's Bohemian Band Band composer  
Victor B-10807 10-in. 7/19/1911 Bohemian cradle song Alma Gluck Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-11492 10-in. 1/24/1912 Vaška a Mařenky Hanna Foerster ; Bohumil Pták Vocal duet (soprano and tenor), with orchestra composer  
Victor B-11493 10-in. 1/24/1912 Věrné naše milování Hanna Foerster ; Bohumil Pták Vocal duet (soprano and tenor), with orchestra composer  
Victor B-18887 10-in. 12/28/1916 Dve ukolebavky Emilie Bosse Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-21139 10-in. 12/5/1917 Prodaná nevĕsta George Dostal Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-21821 10-in. 5/3/1918 Z svých písní trůn František A. Pangrác Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-22418 10-in. 11/13/1918 Kdo v zlate struny zahrat zna František A. Pangrác Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-22513 10-in. 1/13/1919 Nekamenujte proroky František A. Pangrác Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-23548 12-in. 12/23/1919 Allegro moderato a la polka Flonzaley Quartet String quartet composer  
Victor C-23786 12-in. 3/26/1920 Ukolébavka Ema Destinnová Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-33596 10-in. 10/21/1925 Bartered bride : March Czecho-Slovak National Band Band composer  
Victor BVE-47900 10-in. 10/1/1928 The Moldau Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-47901 10-in. 10/1/1928 The Moldau Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-47902 10-in. 10/1/1928 The Moldau Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-47903 10-in. 10/1/1928 The Moldau Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-51035 12-in. 3/18/1929 Quartet in E minor (From my life) Flonzaley Quartet String quartet composer  
Victor CVE-51036 12-in. 3/18/1929 Quartet in E minor (From my life) Flonzaley Quartet String quartet composer  
Victor CVE-51037 12-in. 3/18/1929 Quartet in E minor (From my life) Flonzaley Quartet String quartet composer  
Victor CVE-51038 12-in. 3/18/1929 Quartet in E minor (From my life) Flonzaley Quartet String quartet composer  
Victor CVE-51039 12-in. 3/18/1929 Quartet in E minor (From my life) Flonzaley Quartet String quartet composer  
Victor CVE-51040 12-in. 3/18/1929 Quartet in E minor (From my life) Flonzaley Quartet String quartet composer  
Victor BVE-57268 10-in. 12/17/1929 The bartered bride : Overture Chicago Symphony Orchestra ; Frederick Stock Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-57269 10-in. 12/17/1929 The bartered bride : Overture Chicago Symphony Orchestra ; Frederick Stock Orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-81547 12-in. 1/19/1934 The bartered bride polka Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra ; Eugene Ormandy Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-81548 10-in. 1/19/1934 Furiant Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra ; Eugene Ormandy Orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-81549 12-in. 1/19/1934 Dance of the comedians Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra ; Eugene Ormandy Orchestra composer  
Victor BS-023947 10-in. 6/29/1938 The bartered bride : Overture, part 1 Boston Pops Orchestra ; Arthur Fiedler Orchestra composer  
Victor BS-023948 10-in. 6/29/1938 The bartered bride : Overture, part 2 Boston Pops Orchestra ; Arthur Fiedler Orchestra composer  
Victor [Trial 1916-07-31-03] Not documented 7/31/1916 Dohaz aria Anton Percutka Male vocal solo composer  
Victor [Trial 1918-04-15-05] Not documented 4/15/1918 Bartered bride : Sextette Otakar Cadek Violin solo, with piano composer  
Columbia 4004 10-in. between January and May 1909 The bartered bride : Sextet Prince's Military Band Band composer  
Columbia W98475 12-in. 3/5/1928 Trio in G minor Malkin Trio Instrumental trio composer  
Columbia W98476 12-in. 3/5/1928 Trio in G minor Malkin Trio Instrumental trio composer  
Columbia W98477 12-in. 3/5/1928 Trio in G minor Malkin Trio Instrumental trio composer  
Columbia W98478 12-in. 3/5/1928 Trio in G minor Malkin Trio Instrumental trio composer  
Columbia W98479 12-in. 3/5/1928 Trio in G minor Malkin Trio Instrumental trio composer  
Columbia W98480 12-in. 3/5/1928 Trio in G minor Malkin Trio Instrumental trio composer  
Columbia W98481 12-in. 3/6/1928 Trio in G minor Malkin Trio Instrumental trio composer  
Columbia 6919 12-in. approximately 1916 Bartered bride overture Beecham Symphony Orchestra ; Thomas Beecham Orchestra composer  
Columbia 8029 10-in. between 1907 and 1910 Prodaná věvesta Prince's Military Band Band composer  
Columbia 43856 10-in. either 1915 or 1916 Ukolébavka Erma Žárská Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
OKeh [OK cat 1274-A] 10-in. approximately 1919 From my life Berkshire String Quartette String quartet composer  
Brunswick X14908-X14910 12-in. 2/11/1925 Aus der Heimat Bronislaw Huberman Violin solo, with piano composer  
Brunswick XC4878 12-in. 11/29/1929 Nunn-Bush Shoe program R, pt. 2 Orchestra (unidentified; Brunswick Records) Orchestra composer  
Brunswick 243bs 12-in. 1/14/1929 The bartered bride : Overture Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin, The ; Julius Prüwer Orchestra composer  
Brunswick 244½bs 12-in. 1/14/1929 The bartered bride : Overture Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin, The ; Julius Prüwer Orchestra composer  
Brunswick 1015½bm 12-in. 1928 The Moldau Erich Kleiber ; Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin, The Orchestra composer  
Brunswick 1563bm 12-in. Jan. 1929 The Moldau Erich Kleiber ; Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin, The Orchestra composer  
Brunswick 1564½bm 12-in. Jan. 1929 The Moldau Erich Kleiber ; Philharmonic Orchestra of Berlin, The Orchestra composer  
Edison 685 Not documented 6/22/1911 Prodana nevesta Kryl Bohumir and his Band Band, with cornet solo composer  
Edison 7796 10-in. 2/11/1921 Rozmysli si, marenko Milan Lusk ; Ludmila Vojackova Violin solo, with piano composer  
Edison 10821 10-in. 2/8/1926 Aus der Heimat Carl Flesch ; Kurt Ruhrseitz Violin solo, with piano composer  
Gramophone 80L 10-in. 1902 Arie Kekala Vaclav Kliment Male vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 93L 10-in. 1902 How could they believe Stanislaus Orzelski Tenor vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 103L 10-in. 1902 Ukolébovka Amalie Bobková Mezzo-soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone 104L 10-in. 1902 Arie Marenky Amalie Bobková Soprano vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 105L 10-in. 1902 Pisen Blazenky Amalie Bobková Soprano vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 107L 10-in. 1902 Duetto Vendelky a Martinky Amalie Bobková ; Marie Klánová-Panznerova Vocal duet (2 mezzo-sopranos) composer  
Gramophone 128k 7-in. 1902 Arie z opery dalibor Stanislaus Orzelski Male vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 273ac 12-in. 10/18/1909 Hier mein Arm ... Wär' es wahr? Ema Destinnová Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone BWR465 10-in. 11/2/1926 The bartered bride overture German Opera Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Gramophone BWR466 10-in. 11/2/1926 The bartered bride overture German Opera Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Gramophone 1912h 10-in. 1903 Arie lukáše Otakár Mařák Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Gramophone 2445h 10-in. Oct. 1904 Arie des Dalibor Erik Schmedes Tenor vocal solo, with vocal chorus and piano composer  
Gramophone 3699L 10-in. ca. 1906 Terzetto Marie Klánová-Panznerova ; Emil Pollert ; Frantisek Sir Vocal trio (mezzo-soprano and 2 basses) composer  
Gramophone 3700L 10-in. ca. 1906 Hubicka : Terzetto Marie Klánová-Panznerova ; Marie Kubátová ; Emil Pollert Vocal trio (2 mezzo-sopranos and bass) composer  
Gramophone 6923b 10-in. 1905 Zpěv Přemysla 11 Bohumil Benoni Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Gramophone 6926b 10-in. 1905 Arie Žalářníka Emil Pollert Bass vocal solo, with piano composer  
Gramophone 6929b 10-in. 1905 Arie Kaliny Bohumil Benoni Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Gramophone 6955b 10-in. 1905 Večerni piseň : Dvě vdovy Hudba c.a.k. Pešiho Pluku č. 102 Orchestra composer  
Gramophone 6972b 10-in. 1905 Dve vdovy Otakár Mařák Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Gramophone 6974b 10-in. 1905 Arie jeníka Otakár Mařák Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Gramophone Bb9367 10-in. 10/28/1926 Odka Pěvecké sdružení pražských učitelů Male vocal chorus, unaccompanied composer  
Columbia (U.K.) CA14178 10-in. between October and December 1933 The bartered bride The Bohemians ; G. Walter Instrumental ensemble composer  
Columbia (U.K.) WLX607 10-in. 11/7/1928 Cœur de mère Marcel Claudel ; Élie Cohen ; Germaine Féraldy Vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Columbia (U.K.) WLX608 10-in. 11/7/1928 Si pur amour, si doux serment Élie Cohen ; Germaine Féraldy Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia (U.K.) WLX609 10-in. 11/7/1928 Fille cruelle Marcel Claudel ; Élie Cohen ; Germaine Féraldy Vocal duet, with orchestra composer  
Columbia (U.K.) WRX18 12-in. between January 1933 and February 1934 Noch ein Weilchen, Marie Walter Beck ; Erna Berger ; Eugen Fuchs ; Walter Grossmann ; Clemens Schmalstich ; Staatskapelle Berlin ; Else Tegetthoff ; Emma Zador-Bassth Vocal sextet, with orchestra composer  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Smetana, Bedřich," accessed June 24, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102111.

Smetana, Bedřich. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102111.

"Smetana, Bedřich." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 24 June 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102111

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