A FEW DAYS after Smetana's body had been laid to rest in the Vysehrad Cemetery, Prague, Franz Liszt sent word to Karel Navrlitil: 'In haste I write to tell you that the death of Smetana has deeply affected me. He was indeed a genius!' Ironically, with his death Smetana was proclaimed the founder of modern Czech music, but only a few years before he had been spurned, labelled 'Wagnerian' and accused of impeding the way of musical progress. Like Verdi, Smetana was a confirmed patriot. Dramatic music was his platform and his greatest ambition was to see the Prague National Theatre become the permanent home of Czech opera. This he witnessed, but not without making countless enemies and spending years of bitterness in arduous struggle. Smetana's life was one long struggle and sadly he never lived to reap the rewards of his efforts. He developed late. Like Schumann, his early works were almost exclusively for the piano: like Dostoevsky, his first important essay appeared only in middle life. His was relatively small. Few of his. scores found their way into print and, output apart from The Bartered Bride and The Kiss, little of his music was performed with any regularity during his life. After ten busy years, during which he wrote five operas and worked as Musical Director of the Prague Provisional Theatre, he was halted by deafness. There followed a further ten years in which illness and mental disorder made composition increasingly difficult.
I. Childhood 1824-1843.- II. Years of Apprenticeship 1843-1846.- III. Years of Struggle 1846-1856.- IV. Years Abroad 1856-1859.- V. Years of Travel 1859-1862.- VI. Home for Good 1862-1866.- The Brandenburgers in Bohemia.- VII. The Bartered Bride] 1866-186.- VIII. Dalibor 1867-1868.- IX. Libuse 1869-1872.- X. The Two Widows 1872-1874.- XI. Deafness and Retirement 1874-1875.- Má Vlast.- XII. A Return to the Stage 1876.- The Kiss.- XIII. The Secret 1876-1878.- XIV. The Devil's Wall 1879-1882.- XV. Madness and Death 1883-1884.- Appendixes.- A. Genealogical Tree.- B. Catalogue of Album Leaves.- F. Extracts from the Correspondence between Eliská Krásnohorská and Bed?ich Smetana.- G. Works in order of Composition.- H. List of Works.- I. Opera Synopses.- J. Select Bibliography.
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