Smetana - Ma vlast
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Label: CuGate Classics
Cat No: CGC023
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 28th October 2016
ArtistsSt Petersburg Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra
Consequently it turned into the heyday of programme music, when symphonic poems came into being. Composers developed a sophisticated, most colourful orchestral sound which perfectly served the purpose of that musical poetry. The orchestra itself took over a kind of protagonists’ role by giving birth to pictures and illusions. It is symphonic onomatopoeia – music itself is telling tales by its own means and it is not for no reason that symphonic poems belong to the most popular programmes which todays concert halls still are promoting.
Smetana’s Má vlast (My Country) is a resounding proof of this type of music. And it occupies an exceptional position: designed as a cycle and consisting of six individual movements, it turns into one of the largest symphonic poem cycles ever written. The binding outside elements are the nation’s most famous sites with castles, forests, meads and even a prominent river, all of them associated with heroic legends which span from the past into an idealized vision of the future. Internally the cyclical context becomes obvious by certain themes and motifs which are cited in the course of the individual pieces. So on the whole it is a kind of national cosmos coloured by music.
Smetana dedicated Má vlast to the city of Prague, and it is meanwhile tradition that it will be performed every year on 12 May, the day of the composer’s death, to open the musical Prague Spring.
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