Saturday, July 18, 13:00
Price: 1000 CZK
The Municipality of Jabkenice near Mladá Boleslav is firmly associated with the last ten years of the life and work of the composer Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884). Smetana’s son-in-law, Josef Schwarz, worked in the Jabkenice gamekeeper’s lodge, located in close proximity to the expansive, still extant game enclosure of the Princes Thurn-Taxis dating from 1875.
Hearing loss deprived Smetana of a fixed living in 1874 and he and his family therefore lived permanently with his daughter in Jabkenice from 1875. Most of his best-known works were also created there: the operas the Kiss, the Secret and the Devil’s Wall, both string quartets, the Dreams and Czech Dances piano cycles, a number of choir pieces and finally the My Country cycle.
A memorial plaque to Smetana was unveiled on the gamekeeper’s lodge in 1888 and his study was opened as a small museum in 1928. The new permanent exhibition is mainly dedicated to the Jabkenice period of Smetana’s life. Pictorial and written documents and a number of personal and family items describe the life of Smetana’s family and that of the family of Žofie and Josef Schwarz in Jabkenice and B. Smetana’s contacts with the Mladá Boleslav area before his arrival in Jabkenice. Smetana’s work from the Jabkenice period is also documented, especially the performance and dissemination of his works on concert and opera stages and via music publishing houses in the Czech Republic and abroad.
The exhibition’s core consists of the interior of Smetana’s study and family salon which have been reconstructed according to period testimony and furnished partially using the original preserved furniture from the Smetana family and other authentic pieces. It is possible to listen to your personal selection of Smetana’s works in the hall with a small gallery of paintings of the composer’s grandson Zdeněk Schwarz.