Author Topic: Smetana's Sour Cream Factory  (Read 516 times)

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Offline Superhorn

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Smetana's Sour Cream Factory
« on: November 08, 2012, 08:17:32 AM »
   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 ?

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Smetana's Sour Cream Factory
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 06:58:43 AM »
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Offline Sammy

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Re: Smetana's Sour Cream Factory
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 02:22:31 PM »
   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 ?

Why haven't you mentioned his chamber music?

Offline Superhorn

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Re: Smetana's Sour Cream Factory
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 07:19:58 PM »
   Oops. I forgot the autobiographical string quartet "From my life")  , which in one section depicts the compoer's growing deafness with a high pitched  note representing ringing in the ear .
George Szell made an orchestration of the quartet, and it has been recorded, by I forget which conductor or conductors.
I belive there is one with  Geoffrey Simon and the LSO.

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