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people and his own time, so he cannot escape from all peoples and all times. The greater the artist, the more he expresses the life of all man-
kind, the more he becomes the universal artist; and strangely enough, the more he becomes the pride of his nation. The world speaks of his work as the representative art of his nation, and discovers in it something that we call "nation-
ality." In this sense Smetana is the founder of a style which is called "Czech national music."

Bedřich Smetana (1824–1884) was endowed by nature with a rare gift of musical initiative. While a wee child of five he was already play-
ing the violin and composing; as a poor stu-
dent he returned one evening from a concert of chamber music and wrote down a string quar-
tet he had heard, because he could not buy a copy of it. Like Beethoven, he lost his hearing in the time of his most intensive period of cre-
ation. When deaf and persecuted by the ma-
lignity of his enemies, when fate knocked on his door with its iron hand and robbed him of his wife and child, his genius created the great-