From the Homeland with Josef Špaček

In 1880, Bedřich Smetana composed two duos with the title From the Homeland. Smetana himself characterised the little pieces as being "in a simpler style, intended more for use in the home than for performance at a concert, although that is not ruled out, and with typical Czech-sounding melodies that are of my own invention."

Subscription series KK | Education programs | Duration of the programme 1 hour 30 minutes | From 12 years


Josef Špaček violin
Miroslav Sekera piano
Petr Kadlec guide

Photo illustrating the event From the Homeland with Josef Špaček

Rudolfinum — Suk Hall

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The programme is based on a musical part but also on a spoken word that will be given in Czech language only. The programme will not be supplied with English subtitles.

We read on the title page that Smetana dedicated the work to "His Excellency Alexander, Prince of Thurn and Taxis. That nobleman and his wife Maria were great supporters of artists who came to the prince's castle in Loučeň near Nymburk. Besides Smetana, they were visited by the composers Karel Benda and Josef Suk and the authors Rainer Maria Rilke, Eliška Krásnohorská, and Mark Twain. The prince was also a violinist, and this may have been why Smetana dedicated to him the work From the Homeland, written at his hunting lodge in Jabkenice. After the composer's death, Alexander had a museum built in Jabkenice to commemorate Smetana's life.

The work was premiered in October 1880 by the composers Václav Juda Novotný (violin) and Karel Kovařovic (piano). Kovařovic later took charge of the opera company of the National Theatre, where he was responsible for the performing of Smetana's operas. Josef Špaček and Miroslav Sekera will play the duet From the Homeland for us, and Mr Sekera will also play some of Smetana's piano pieces.