Smetana’s “Ma Vlast” And The Idea Of “Home”
Have you seen this latest photo of our home?
I hope someone is composing some new music, expressing the feeling of that photo, the feeling that renews our sense of what “home” means.
Long before anyone had ever seen earth as a tiny ball, the composer Bedrich Smetana composed some new music to express the feeling of what he saw as “home.” It was the world of Bohemia, in and around the city of Prague. In his time—the late 1800s—he was one of many composers and artists fascinated by the music and culture of their native lands. Smetana’s fascination yielded six “tone poems.” They are orchestral pieces, each about 15 minutes long, composed separately, but comprising a suite, which he called My Homeland (Ma Vlast). Since their first performances, starting in 1875, these sonic gems have delighted audiences and inspired other artists.
Ma Vlast has even inspired work in a new artform in our time—Symphonic Photochoreography! Take a look.
Starting on Thursday, July 25, you can hear each of the six Ma Vlast tone poems individually, in the 9pm hour of my show, which airs Monday through Thursday evenings on NWPR’s Classical Music Service.
2020 marks the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, and the world is saluting him with festivals, concerts and exhibitions all year long. Vienna and his birthplace – Bonn – are at the center of the festivities, but the Northwest is also celebrating the great composer, humanist, visionary and nature lover. Here are a few concerts you can look forward to in 2020. Continue Reading Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th In The Northwest
A thoughtful musician from a distinguished family, Peter Serkin interpreted the classics and expanded the repertoire by commissioning new works. He died Saturday, Feb. 1, at his home in Red Hook, N.Y. at age 72. Continue Reading Remembering Peter Serkin, The Searching Pianist
The Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet is known for their advocacy of contemporary music and for their acclaimed performances of complete quartet cycles by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Carter, and Shostakovich. From their home at Indiana University, Bloomington, they visited Moscow, Idaho in January 2020 for a week of concerts, outreach events and master classes. Continue Reading LISTEN: The Pacifica Quartet On Performing Complete Quartet Cycles And Touring The Northwest