Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884)


01Triumph And Tragedy20111128Donald Macleod discusses a highly personal chamber work and Smetana's move to Gothenburg.

Donald Macleod explores the life and work of Bedřich Smetana.

These days, his reputation outside his homeland is usually overshadowed by those of Dvorak and Janacek, but Smetana is the composer credited with founding a national style of Czech music.

He was many things - a Czech nationalist who grew up speaking German, a prolific teacher, composer, conductor, violinist, pianist, husband and father.

Donald Macleod discovers how a family tragedy resulted in a highly personal chamber work and a move to Gothenburg.

02Wives And Others20111129Donald Macleod focuses on Smetana's romantic life.

Smetana wasn't a handsome man, but he never wanted for female attention.

Donald Macleod noses into Smetana's romantic life and finds youthful passions, two marriages and at least one mistress.

03First Nights From Hell20111130Donald Macleod on Smetana tried to create an operatic style that was recognisably Czech.

Smetana set about trying to create an operatic style which was recognisably Czech - not an easy task, even without the politics and professional jealousies which usually.

04Being Bohemian20111201Donald Macleod explores the rebirth of a Czech culture after years of suppression by the Hapsburg Empire.

Smetana himself grew up speaking German and struggled with his own Czech librettos.

His music is firmly rooted in the politics of the time, and throughout, he was determined to forge a musical identity for his nation - one which found its most popular and enduring voice in his series of tone poems: Ma Vlast.