Tune of the Day: Vltava
Má vlast (“My Country”, or more literally “My Fatherland”) is a set of six symphonic poems composed in the 1870s by the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana. In these works Smetana combined the symphonic poem form pioneered by Franz Liszt with the ideals of nationalistic music which were current in the late 19th century. Each poem depicts some aspect of the countryside, history, or legends of Bohemia.
The second poem, “Vltava”, also known by its German name “Die Moldau” (“The Moldau” in English), was composed in 1874. The piece contains Smetana's most famous tune. It is an adaptation of the Italian renaissance song “Fuggi, fuggi, fuggi da questo cielo” by the tenor Giuseppe Cenci, a folk song of Italian renaissance origin, which is also the basis for the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah.