Sadikova at 16 years of age (!).
Smetana uses tone painting to evoke the sounds of one of Bohemia’s great rivers. In his own words: The composition describes the course of the Vltava, starting from the two small springs, the Cold and Warm Vltava, to the unification of both streams into a single current, the course of the Vltava through woods and meadows, through landscapes where a farmer’s wedding is celebrated, the round dance of the mermaids in the night’s moonshine: on the nearby rocks loom proud castles, palaces, and ruins aloft. The Vltava swirls into the St John’s Rapids; then it widens and flows toward Prague, past the VyÅ¡ehrad, and then majestically vanishes into the distance, ending at the Elbe.
0:00 The warm spring (1st flute): the source of the Vltava.
0:29 The cold spring (2nd flute): the two brooks meet and form the Vltava.
1:11 Vltava: the main theme.
3:15 Hunters’ horns: the river passes through a forest hunt.
4:10 Polka: a village wedding dance by the river.
5:49 Rusalka: beautiful water nymphs in ancient Czech legends, bathing in the river by the moonlight. Muted strings, flutes, harps and horns. Calm yet mysterious.
9:04 Return to the main theme
10:03 Our river enters the raging St. John Rapids. Stormy and turbulent.
11:19 Main theme recap. Having cleared the rapids, now in a bright and cheerful major key.
11:45 Vyšehrad theme: the Vltava salutes the great castle, seat of the Czech nation. Cymbals. Goosebumps.
12:41 The music slowly fades away as our river says farewell and flows on into the distance, as it always has since time immemorial.