Let’s turn our attention to the Slavic influences. As discussed in The Metropolitan Opera Guide: “In Bohemia [now the Czech Republic], the national awakening came about gradually. Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) and Bedrich Smetana (1824-1884) preached the beauties of a music regenerated through the melodies of the folk. By taking peasant idioms and grafting them onto the architecture of accepted forms, both of these composers led the way to a strong Slavic nationalism in symphony and in opera.” Smetana’s The Bartered Bride (1866) and Dvorak’s Rusalka (1901) still are performed. For its absolute brilliance, we urge all to listen to the Overture to The Bartered Bride
Also, we are including the German version of Dvorak’s “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka that expresses the sadness of the heroine, Rusalka, and is as beautiful as any of Tchaikowsky’s poignant melodies.