½FROM BOHEMIA’S WOODS AND FIELDS½
At least two of the six symphonic poems from the cycle ½My Country½ - ½Vltava½ and ½From Bohemia’s Woods and Fields½ have become famous ali over the world.
Smetana’s fellow countryman Zeleny explained with the composer’s approval the programme behind each piece in the cycle.
The programme to ½Vltava½ reads as follows: ½Two little springs burst forth in the shades of the Bohemian woods, one warm and fresh, the other cool and earnest. Becoming a rivulet, the Vltava flows through darkpine woods,from which merry horn calls reecho with the joys of the hunt, then it runs through green meadows where a rustic wedding is beingcelebrated with song and dance.
During night-time water nixies and other spirits of the deep frolic on thewaves, which shine golden in fhe moonlight.
In the St. Johann rapids the Vltava flows at an inereased speed.
Then the river takcs on a new breadth and nobility, flowing onward majestically towards Prague.
There it isgreeted by ancient Vyšehrad, the seat from time immemorial of the princely line of the Premyslides.
Great and powerful, the river finally disappears from the poct’s sight½.
Similarly poetic is the pastoral idyll of ½In Bohemia’s Woods and Fields½.
The powerful G minor opening appears ½like the vivid impressions received when one traverses a district for the first time.½
The transition to the major is ½as when a naive country maiden leaves home.½
The song of a bright summer day is sung in a five-part fugato amid the peace of the woods; a polka tune appears.
Once more we are reminded of the loneliness of the woods, and once more we hear the music of Vyšehrad, symbol of the land’s ancient glory.
Then the mood becomes one of jubilation ½until the meadows reecho to the sounds of dance and song½.