[135] He drew on existing European traditions, notably Slavonic and French,[135] but made only scarce use of arias, preferring to base his scores on ensembles and choruses. As a young composer and pianist he was well regarded in Prague musical circles, and had the approval of Liszt, Proksch and others, but the public's lack of acknowledgement was a principal factor behind his self-imposed exile in Sweden. In 1956, the Prague Spring International Music Festival was one of the founders of the World Federation of International Music Competitions. [85] This allowed Smetana to seek medical treatment abroad, but to no avail. [101] Tests carried out by Prof. Emanuel Vlček in the late 20th century on samples of muscular tissue from Smetana's exhumed body provided further evidence of the disease. He was to study under the well-known (then and now) Josef Jungmann. He wrote several pieces during this time, and was a popular pianist in the city. [28] The nascent uprising was quickly crushed, but Smetana avoided the imprisonment or exile received by leaders such as Havlíček. [113], In his last decade Smetana composed three substantial piano cycles. Žofie was sent to stay with her maternal grandmother, while Smetana visited his friend Liszt in Weimar. [146] Thereafter the machinations that accompanied Smetana's tenure as Provisional Theatre conductor restricted his creative output until 1874. [39] Despite the good name of the Piano Institute, Smetana's status as a concert pianist was generally considered below that of contemporaries such as Alexander Dreyschock. [8] Meanwhile, his friendship with Kateřina blossomed. Bedřich Smetana (2. března 1824 Litomyšl – 12. května 1884 Praha ) byl významný český hudební skladatel období romantismu. Like Beethoven before him, Smetana suffered the loss of his hearing. "[113], Smetana's early songs are settings of German poems for single voice. Smetana, born in Litomyšl on March 2, 1824, gave his first piano concert when he was six years old. "[34] In 1849 the Institute was relocated to the home of Kateřina's parents, and began to attract distinguished visitors; Liszt came regularly, and the former Austrian emperor Ferdinand, who had settled in Prague, attended the school's matinée concerts. In the climate of political change and upheaval that swept through Europe in that year, a pro-democracy movement in Prague led by Smetana's old friend Karel Havlíček was urging an end to Habsburg absolutist rule and for more political autonomy. [58][78] The Provisional Theatre's chairman, František Rieger, had first accused Smetana of Wagnerist tendencies after the first performance of The Brandenburgers,[65] and the issue eventually divided Prague's musical society. 9. Internationally he is best known for his opera The Bartered Bride and for the symphonic cycle Má vlast ("My Homeland"), which portrays the history, legends and landscape of the composer's native Bohemia. [109] Some of these early pieces have been dismissed by music historian Harold Schonberg as "bombastic virtuoso rhetoric derived from Liszt". [58] Although its initial reception was warm, its reviews were poor, and Smetana resigned himself to its failure. Clapham (1972), p. 34. © 1993-2020 | Custom Travel Services s.r.o. He was in luck; not only did Proksch agree to take him as a student, but Smetana found employment in teaching music to the children of Count Thun. [160][161], Since Smetana's death in 1884, he and his music have become "an ever-unfolding symbol of the nation that necessarily adapts to the needs of shifting governments and administrations. Kateřina was now near the end of her life. [35] During 1853–54 he worked on a major orchestral piece, the Triumphal Symphony, composed to commemorate the wedding of Emperor Franz Joseph. He also asked for a substantial loan. Their daughter Zdeňka was born in September of 1861. [93][100], The hospital registered the cause of death as senile dementia. [16] This included a number of romances, the most important of which was with Kateřina Kolářová, whom he had known briefly in his early childhood. [55][58] That year, Smetana's bid to become Director of the Prague Conservatory failed. [8], For the next three years, besides teaching piano to the Thun children, Smetana studied theory and composition under Proksch. His final completed work, Our Song (1883), is the last of four settings of texts by Josef Srb-Debrnov. The occasion was the Karl August Goethe-Schiller Jubilee celebrations; Smetana attended performances of Liszt's Faust Symphony and the symphonic poem Die Ideale, which invigorated and inspired him. [100] However, Smetana's family believed that his physical and mental decline was due to syphilis. To make matters worse, his marriage was foundering, due to a lack of money. [87] "I cannot live under the same roof as a person who hates and persecutes me," Smetana informed her. [135], Smetana's eight operas created the bedrock of the Czech opera repertory, but of these only The Bartered Bride is performed regularly outside the composer's homeland. (Ltd) | Travel Agency | Reisebüro | cestovní agentura | All Rights Reserved. [102], Smetana's funeral took place on 15 May, at the Týn Church in Prague's Old Town. The following year, with František's approval, he enrolled at Prague's Academic Grammar School under Josef Jungmann, a distinguished poet and linguist who was a leading figure in the movement for Czech national revival. At a concert held in Litomyšl's Philosophical Academy he played a piano arrangement of Auber's overture to La muette de Portici, to a rapturous reception. Braniboři v Čechách (1862–1863, premiéra 1866) Prodaná nevěsta (1864–1866, premiéra 1866) Dalibor (1866–1867, premiéra 1868) Libuše (1869–1872, premiéra 1881) Dvě vdovy (1873–1874, premiéra 1874) Hubička (1875–1876, premiéra 1876)