Vltava (The Moldau) is the second in Smetana's Ma Vlast set of symphonic poems written for his native Czechoslovakia, and named after the river that passes through Prague. The music is very programmatic in the Romantic sense, carefully and vividly depicting the journey of the water from the springs to the rapids. Deeply and affectionately nationalistic, the music carries the listener through a Peasant Wedding and a Forest Hunt, with touches of enchantment from the Moonlight: Dance of the Water Nymphs. Vltava is a work very much of its time, featuring so many of the characteristics that now define the Romantic era from our modern perspecyive, and is unsurprisingly one of the most popular and widely performed Symphonic Poem of the repertoire.
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