For his six characteristic pieces “RÍves” (Dreams), composed in 1875, Smetana returned to his favourite instrument, the piano. It was the first time he had written for the instrument in almost ten years. His compositions reflect two forms: the character piece and the virtuoso piece, the latter being a form that occupied Smetana particularly during his time in Sweden. Importantly, Smetana was also working on the first tone poem of “MŠ vlast” while composing these six pieces.
The six pieces of “RÍves” were written for and dedicated to Smetana’s former pupils. The dedication was a means of thanking them for the benefit concert they had organised in the spring of 1875 for their teacher, who had recently lost his hearing.
This significant work by Bedrich Smetana, who was the founder of Czech Nationalism in music, has not been included in the Complete Edition of Works for Piano. This new edition by Jarmila GabrielovŠ is based on the first printed edition of 1879 by EmiliŠn Stars. It is the first critical edition ever produced of this masterpiece.