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From the FWYO Vault: "The Moldau" by Bedřich Smetana (FWYO Finale 2022)

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Statue of Bedřich Smetana in Novotného lávka, Praha (photo by Miloslav Rejha, Wikimedia Commons.)

Continuing our From the FWYO Vault series exploring performances over the years is this performance of "The Moldau," a tone poem by Czech composer Bedřich Smetana.

This performance of our flagship Youth Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Germán Gutiérrez, is from the Finale concert of our 57th season in May 2022. This performance was the first time the FWYO performed at Arlington ISD's new Center for Visual and Performing Arts, which opened a few months earlier.

This tone poem (Vltava in Czech) is considered a patriotic work meant to evoke the Vltava/Moldau river that flows from the Bohemian forest to the city of Prague. Premiered in 1882 as part of a six-movement suite called Má vlast (My Country), the Moldau has remained the most enduring portion of the work and Smetana's most well-known composition to date.

As a tone poem, the work has many internal messages. The river source of the Moldau is two mountain springs, one cold and one warm. The music evokes these streams at the beginning through an interweaving musical motif and then takes us downstream past hunters represented by horns, a village wedding polka dance, mysterious water nymphs, through rapids, and past the castle Vyšehrad in Prague.

Enjoy this performance of The Moldau from the FWYO Youth Orchestra!

Thank you to Inspired Imaging for allowing us to share these works with you.

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