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Smetana’s Má vlast (My Country), his magnificent cycle of six symphonic poems, embodies both Czech nationhood and the country’s legendary history and was written when he was at the height of his creative powers.
The cycle is lyrical, warm-hearted and dramatic with its exciting tales of heroic warriors, visions of the wide open Bohemian countryside, and the surging river Vitava that runs through it. The sweeping romantic melodies and the splendour of the triumphant brass are full of passionate patriotic feelings.
The accompanying work on this 2-CD set also celebrates the Czech countryside: Dvorák’s overture ‘In Nature’s Realm’. This picturesque evocation of the composer’s home in the spruce forests of Bohemia is part of a trilogy, its closing epilogue featuring a chorale-like motif based on a Czech hymn.
Dvorak: In Nature's Realm, Op. 63
Smetana: Má Vlast