I have spent an hour today, researching a particular piece of music called “Ma Vlast: No. 2. Vltava” by the Czech composer Bedrich Smetana, known as “Die Moldau” in German (or “The Moldau”). I first came across this composition at age fifteen, with the purchase of my first home desktop, an “IMB Aptiva” back in the 90’s.
It was a song included in a library of midi files, a package belonging to a music tutor program.
I fell in love with the major tune of this piece instantly, the melody has haunted my thoughts ever since. Every now and then, I’ll hear this tune in different media, which will spark a bit of nostalgia of those long afternoons in my childhood home replaying the midi over and over again, trying to learn the piece for the piano on my own.
While suggesting to someone on the internet of the Don Hertzfeldt cartoon, Everything Will Be Okay, I became reminded of this tune once again and decided to look deeper into the story of the tune and composer. What I found, at least according to Wikipedia, is the main tune is an adaptation of many other tunes including one Czech children’s song called “Kočka leze dírou” (“The Cat Crawls Through the Hole”).
Smetana’s composition is a poem about The Vltava in Prague, starting from two springs, the cold and the warm Vltava uniting into one, its travels through the woods, meadows, flowing past various places and events, then onward towards Prague until it vanishes majestically into the distance.
It’s a very beautiful piece and I do enjoy it very much. However, it does spark a bit of philosophical thought within my mind. In my absolute honest view, I believe that music is a language within itself, and this composition is just one of many examples of this. I am not Czech nor German, I do not speak either language, yet I can understand this composition’s language very well. This music had spoken to me as a very young woman, in a profound way, in spite of the fact that I’ve never left my own country in my entire life. I can appreciate its beauty and meaning, through a universal human ability of emotion and empathy.
In this current society, we seem to be stuck in separating ourselves with race, financial class, politics, religion or non-religion, gender, sexuality, age, and whatever other nonsense we can think of. People are killing each other over arbitrary traits and not bothering to communicate with each other whatsoever.
There’s a lot of shouting, blaming, demanding, violence, but a lack of listening on every side of this situation.
If we could communicate like music seems apt to do; not requiring a certain class or group, country nor wealth, in order to meet together and understand a basic human concept, to appreciate what is communicated, to think about it deeply before rejecting it, to treasure it, and to respect it, then I believe this world would be a better place for everyone.
I could be wrong, it’s just a thought of mine. ^_^
Anyhoo, I’m enjoying an early Monday morning with Toscanini’s conduction of Smetana’s “Ma vlast” (My homeland) music poems. It’s a reminder to me, that no matter how ugly this world chooses to become sometimes, there’s still much beauty to be found within it.
Thanks for reading, as always! And be safe, my readers. I wish you all the best on your journeys! ^o^/