Smetana - Concert Etude in G-sharp minor Op. 17
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
On the seashore—A reminiscence (Na břehu mořském—Vzpomínka) is dated 29 September 1861 and was published as Smetana’s Op 17. It is an evocation of waves lapping the shore near Gothenburg in Sweden, where Smetana was based between 1856 and 1861. These were years when he was in regular contact with Liszt, and in 1857 he visited the great man in Weimar. A performance of Liszt’s Faust Symphony was a highlight of the visit, and on his return to Sweden he composed two important tone poems: Richard III and Wallenstein’s Camp. He also composed a number of piano works that owe stylistic debts to his mentor, including this very Lisztian concert étude, On the seashore. Smetana—a very fine pianist—was invited by Ferdinand Hiller to play in Cologne in November 1861 and he included his new composition in a programme that also included Liszt’s Rigoletto Fantasy and which was well received by critics.