Independent Czechoslovak State Day is one of the most important national holidays in the Czech Republic. It is celebrated as the anniversary of the 28th October 1918, when the independent Czechoslovak State was announced in Wenceslas Square. On that day, the representatives of the Czechoslovak National Committee published the Declaration of Independence of the Czechoslovak Nation by its Provisional Government, also known as the Washington Declaration, on the establishment of Czechoslovakia and issued the state’s first law on the establishment of the independent state in the Municipal House, which is now home to the Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK.
Six symphonic poems capturing Czech national identity
It is no coincidence that every year on this occasion the Municipal House’s Smetana Hall is filled with the beautiful sounds of Smetana’s ‘Má vlast’, the masterpiece of one of the best Czech composers and one of the most famous works of Czech classical music.
This set of six symphonic poems commemorates important events in Czech history and depicts Czech national identity and landscape.
Each symphonic poem has a distinct character
Each of the six symphonic poems has a unique character. The first poem, ‘Vyšehrad’, is very sublime. Bedřich Smetana began working on it at the end of September 1874. At that time, he was already suffering partial hearing loss, and he lost his hearing completely the following month. Smetana completed ‘Vyšehrad’ on the 1st of November when he was already deaf, though you would not imagine it from his composition.
By the end of 1874, he had also composed the charming and affectionate ‘Vltava’ (‘Moldau’ in English), a symphonic description of the river which flows through Prague, followed by the wild and passionate ‘Šárka’, and the joyful ‘Z českých luhů a hájů’ (‘From Bohemia’s woods and fields’). The last two symphonic poems of the cycle, ‘Tábor’ about the Hussites and the town of Tábor, their base during the Hussite Wars, and ‘Blaník’ about St. Wenceslas’ legendary army sleeping in the Blaník mountain which will awake to help the country in its gravest hour, are characteristic pieces of music that are full of intransience, strength, and majesty.
Do not miss the FOK concert, led by the new chief conductor Tomáš Brauner. Thanks to the Czech Centers, partners of the international presentation, it will be streamed live worldwide.
The livestream will start at 6pm on the YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/sohmpfok and on