Vltava is the Czech name of the river known as the "Moldau" in German. It is also the name of a tone poem composed by Bedrich Smetana. It is included in the collection known as "Má Vlast".

From Smetana's own words in 1879:

...the composition depicts the course of the river from its beginning, where two brooks, one cold the other warm, join in a stream that runs through forests and meadows; and the lovely countryside where merry feasts and gay festivals are being celebrated; by the light of the moon a dance of water nymphs; on the nearby cliffs proud castles, mansions and ruins rise up; the Vltava swirls in the St. John rapids, flows in a broad stream as far as Prague, passes Vysehrad and disappears into the distance where it unite (sic) with the Elbe...

In the score, he divides this piece into eight distinct episodes:
  1. First and second sources flowing into the Vltava itself
  2. Forest and hunting
  3. Rustic village wedding
  4. Moonlight and dance of water sprites or nymphs
  5. Vltava returns
  6. St. John rapids
  7. Vltava flows in broad stream
  8. Vltava salutes Vysehrad and flows by
In the first section, the flutes play back and forth, intertwining into one flowing melodic line, joined by various instruments as the river builds its volume.
The second section opens with the french horns as if we hear the distant call of hunters. The brass rounds out the rest of the hunting episode.
The next section is very cheery and festive, the music you might hear at a peasant wedding, with a beautiful melody and happy faces.
Episode four starts out with the reeds. A very eerie oboe, english horn, and flute chord built up from the bottom introduces us to a night scene, moonlight shining, you can feel the moment. The river itself comes back to the main focus of the music. Some themes from the first episode return, with a little variation. The last few episodes are characterized by a sense of building. First the rapids change the pace of the piece, then it flows into a wide, majestic sound, culminating in a salute to the castle atop the hill, a historic landmark where the city was first settled.

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