From Bohemia's Meadows and Forests, composed by Bedrich Smetana, arranged for flute orchestra by Shaul Ben-Meir
Scored for 6 C flutes (flute 1 doubles on piccolo), 2 alto flutes, 2 bass flutes, contrabass flute.
Smetana's My Fatherland was a product of the composer's deeply felt Czech patriotism. Between 1856-61, he lived in Sweden, but news of a new Czech theater in Prague lured him back to his homeland. In 1866, he was appointed its principal conductor. The sudden onset of deafness in summer of 1874 made conducting impossible, and Smetana spent the last decade of his life focused on composition; he wrote the six part cycle of My Fatherland between 1874-1879.
Smetana outlined a detailed program for each part of the cycle. “From Bohemia's Meadows and Forests” opens with music meant to overwhelm the individual listener with nature's grandeur. After this opening, the sounds of the outdoors gradually emerge from silence – the birdsong, flowing water, a rustic melody in the winds. After a few halting hints, a vigorous polka precedes the coda, in which Smetana recalls the work's principal themes in augmented form to bring the piece to a joyous ending.