Photo illustrating the event Steps to the New World <br>Smetana’s The Moldau and Šárka

Steps to the New World

Smetana’s The Moldau and Šárka

Czech Philharmonic

Music has tremendous power to create new landscapes before our eyes, to paint lovely pictures, and to tell stories. Simply put, thanks to music we can transport ourselves to a different time and space. One of the musical genres invented especially for this purpose in the middle of the nineteenth century is called the symphonic poem.

Duration of the programme 2 hod
Programme

Bedřich Smetana
The Moldau and Šárka

 

 

Performers

Czech Student Philharmonic
Petr Kadlec
guide
Marko Ivanović conductor

Photo illustrating the event Steps to the New World <br>Smetana’s The Moldau and Šárka
Rudolfinum — Dvořák Hall
18 Oct 2020  Sunday — 3.00pm
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22 Oct 2020  Thursday — 7.30pm
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From Smetana’scommentary on the symphonic poemsThe Moldau and Šárka:

The composition describes the course of the Vltava (Moldau), starting from the two small springs, the Cold and Warm Vltava, to the unification of both streams into a single current, the course of the Vltava through woods and meadows, through landscapes where a farmer's wedding is celebrated, the round dance of the mermaids in the night's moonshine: on the nearby rocks loom proud castles, palaces and ruins aloft. The Vltava swirls into the St John's Rapids; then it widens and flows toward Prague, past the Vyšehrad, and then majestically vanishes into the distance, ending at the Elbe.
This composition does not refer to the so-named natural landscape, but rather to the legend of a girl named Šárka. It begins with a portrayal of the enraged girl swearing vengeance on the whole male race for the infidelity of her lover. From afar is heard the arrival of armed men led by Ctirad who has come to punish Šárka and her rebel maidens. In the distance Ctirad hears the feigned cries of a girl (Šárka) bound to a tree. On seeing her he is overcome by her beauty and so inflamed with love that he is moved to free her. By means of a previously prepared potion, she intoxicates him and his men who finally fall asleep. As she blows her horn in a pre-arranged signal, the rebel maidens, hidden by nearby rocks, rush to the spot and commit the bloody deed. The horror of general slaughter and the passion and fury of Šárka’s revenge form the end of the composition.