Smetana - The Kiss - Hajej, můj andílku
Type of Spiritual Experience
Although a follower of Wagner's reforms of the operatic genre, which he believed would be its salvation, Smetana rejected accusations of excessive Wagnerism, claiming that he was sufficiently occupied with "Smetanism, for that is the only honest style!"
The predominantly "national" character of the first four operas is tempered by the lyrical romanticism of those written later, particularly the last three, composed in the years of Smetana's deafness. The first of this final trio, The Kiss, written when Smetana was receiving painful medical treatment, is described by Newmarch as a work of serene beauty, in which tears and smiles alternate throughout the score.
Smetana's librettist for "The Kiss" was the young feminist Eliška Krásnohorská, who also supplied the texts for his final two operas. She dominated the ailing composer, who had no say in the subject-matter, the voice types or the balance between solos, duets and ensembles. Nevertheless, critics have noted few signs of a decline in Smetana's powers in these works, while his increasing proficiency in the Czech language meant that his settings of the language are much superior to those of his earlier operas.
A description of the experience
Hajej, můj andílku.
The great soprano, Jarmila Novotná (1907–1994) sings “Hajej, můj andílku” ("And you, my baby - Sleep now, my angel") Bedřich Smetana's Hubička (The Kiss)
"The Kiss, Act I: "And you, my baby - Sleep now, my angel"" by Jarmila Novotná