Smetana: From the Homeland

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These two duets were written during Smetanas last phase of composition (1880), and were published with the poetic title "From the Homeland". At this time, the composer, who was deaf, was living a secluded life with his daughter Zofies family in a hunting lodge at Jabkenice near Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic).

The duets were written at the instigation of Prince Alexander of Thurn and Taxis, a son of the estate owner, who was himself a good violinist. They were published for the first time in 1881 by Frantisek Augustin Urbánek in Prague . The composer himself wrote that the duets are in lighter style, more for domestic use than concert performance but without ruling it out completely, in true nationalist style, however with my own melodies.