I don't recall much discussion of the music of this wonderful Czech composer here . Why "Smetana's sour cream factory"?
Smetana means sour cream in Czech !
His music doesn't seem to be played much currently outside the Czech republic, which is a pity, and quite of few of his works are very little known outside there. The Moldau (Vltava river) is familiar, but performances of the whole great Ma Vlast cycle are rare .
The only one of his seven operas which is wel known outside the Czech republic is the Bartred Bride, and even that isn't done much today , also a pity. Thankfully, a Met revival with a new production will not be too long in the to be conducted by James lev ine, health permitting .
But his other operas , Dalibor, The Two Widows, The Kiss, The Brandenburgers in Bohemia, Libuse ( LI- boo-sheh) ,
and The Devil's Wall are almost totally unknown to the general public . I've heard all of them on Supraphon recordings , and have found them all highly enjoyable .
I also have the Supraphon recording with Karel Sejna and the Czech Philharmonic, of his one symphony , which unfortunately uses the melody of "Deutschland Uber Allles " as its main theme, of course long before the Nazis appropriated it for their own nefarious purposes ,and it's also very much worth hearing .
Other interesting orchestral works of Smetana are the symphonic poems "Wallenstein's Camp" and "Richard the Third ".
There is also a remarkable piano piece, laterorchestrated by someone else called "Macbeth and the Witches ", which uses strtling 20th century style dissonances .
Many eminent conductors have recorded the complete Ma Vlast , not only Czech ones : Kubelik, Neumann, Talich, Ancerl, Smetacek,
Belohlavek, Pesek, Berglund, Mehta, Macal, Sargent , etc.
Any other thpoughts here about Smetana ?