B. Smetana: Má vlast, complete symphonic cycle
It is seventy years ago this year since the series of symphonic poems entitled Má vlast (My Country) was played for the first time at the opening concert of the Prague Spring International Music Festival. In this work, the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana captured the 19th century spirit of national awakening with each of the six symphonic poems portraying the history of the Czech people, their legends and landscape. The best-known of them is undoubtedly the melody we all have in our ears, which describes the path of one of the largest Czech rivers – the Vltava. It is, however, less well known that the composer wrote it after he had become stone deaf. Thanks to the operas he wrote in the Czech language and Má vlast, which he created after returning to his homeland from Sweden, he went down in the history of music and the Czech nation as the father of Czech musical art. Má vlast will be performed by the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, under the baton of the world-famous conductor, pianist and seven-time Grammy Award winner, Daniel Barenboim, who was one of the orchestra’s founders in 1999. The idea behind its foundation is based on the power of music, which can be used to build bridges. In over 20 years of creating music, they have succeeded in establishing dialogue between different cultures in the Middle East – members include Israelis, Palestinians, Turks, Iraqis and more.
LANG LANG, piano
DANIEL BARENBOIM, conductor
WEST-EASTERN DIVAN ORCHESTRA