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Symphonic Smetana, Representing the Czech Sound
Bedrich Smetana’s The Bartered Bride is a three-act comic opera that is regarded as a major contribution toward the representation of Czech music in the classical music sphere. It was first performed at the Provisional Theatre in Prague on May 30, 1866.
The Three Dances from The Bartered Bride are excellent examples of Czech music and dance. Polkas are a native dance of the Czech Republic, therefore it is no surprise that the first dance in The Bartered Bride is a polka. The Polka accompanies impromptu dancing of a group of villagers at the close of Act I. The Furiant, in Act II, is especially representative of Czech folk music. The Furiant has a specific beat structure found in much Czech folk music, that juxtaposes two and three beat gestures within a triple meter (ONE- two- THREE- one- TWO- three- ONE- two- three). Dance of the Comedians takes place in Act III, when a circus troupe performs a pantomime. All of the Three Dances capture the bursting energy and spirit of Czech culture.
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