Classical Sunday: Smetana’s Moldau

Surely a melody you are familiar with.


This video is barely a quarter of an hour long, so close you eyes and enjoy.  Let the music take you down the river from its origin to the river Elbe to which it is a tributary.  The description of the different movements (see below) I found in the comment section of the YouTube video, and edited only slightly.  Might make sense to read it first and then listen.

Bedřich Smetana ~ The Moldau (Vltava)

The piece describes the course of the Vltava (Moldau is the German word for Vltava) throughout Bohemia:

0:00 Springs of Vltava – The spring of water gushes from the earth.  The two flutes symbolize two streams, which comprise early part of the river.
1:07 Vltava’s theme – The two streams meet and the river starts.
3:11 Forest theme – The river snakes through the forests of Šumava.  You can hear hunters calling a hunt on a horn.
4:20 Wedding scene – Polka symbolizes a wedding in the fields that the river is a witness of.
5:34 Night scene – Night falls.  In a forest glade, fairies dance in the moonlight.  On nearby rocky hills sit old castles and ruins.
8:51 Vltava’s theme
9:50 St. John’s Rapids
11:08 Vltava’s theme
11:37 Vyšehrad castle – The river passes through Prague, already big and strong (picture in the video).  Here we can hear another part of Smetana’s piece “Vyšehrad”.
12:30 Vltava is slowing – The Vltava river ends by flowing into the Elbe river.

4 comments on “Classical Sunday: Smetana’s Moldau”

  1. I have been familiar with this lovely piece of music since our music teacher had introduced it to us in high school many years ago. I still like to listen to the musical description of the Moldau.

    Liked by 2 people

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