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Ma Vlast

Episode 2 of 5

A series of six symphonic poems by Bedrich Smetana, Ma Vlast is at the core of Czech cultural identity. From September 2010.

At the core of Czech cultural identity Bedrich Smetana’s Ma Vlast.

Written in the late 19th century, it's a series of six symphonic poems. For a western audience the most popular and best loved is Vltava, a soundscape conjuring up vivid images of the river which runs through Prague.

Jan Kaplan is a Czech born film-maker who has lived in the UK since 1968. He describes the 'educational concerts' he had to attend as a young boy when - bored to tears - he would endure long performances of Smetana's music.

However, as an adult living in exile, his experience of Czech culture was tinged with a remote sense of patriotism and he grew to appreciate his national composer. When - following the 1989 Velvet revolution - he was eventually able to return home, he witnessed one of the most famous and moving performances of Ma Vlast at Smetana Hall in 1990.

Also at that concert was musicologist, Professor Jan Smaczny, who describes his memories of that evening, and explains the history and mythology portrayed in Ma Vlast.

Series exploring famous pieces of music and their emotional appeal.

Producer: Karen Gregor.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September 2010.

Available now

1 minute

Last on

Wed 17 Mar 2021 00:30


  • Tue 14 Sep 2010 13:30
  • Sat 18 Sep 2010 15:30
  • Fri 23 Sep 2016 18:30
  • Sat 24 Sep 2016 00:30
  • Tue 16 Mar 2021 18:30
  • Wed 17 Mar 2021 00:30

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