A FEW DAYS after Smetana's body had been laid to rest in the Vysehrad Cemetery, Prague, Franz Liszt sent word to Karel Navrlitil: 'In haste I write to tell you that the death of Smetana has deeply affected me. He was indeed a genius!' Ironically, with his death Smetana was proclaimed the founder of modern Czech music, but only a few years before he had been spurned, labelled 'Wagnerian' and accused of impeding the way of musical progress. Like Verdi, Smetana was a confirmed patriot. Dramatic music was his platform and his greatest ambition was to see the Prague National Theatre become the permanent home of Czech opera. This he witnessed, but t without making countless enemies and spending years of bitterness in arduous struggle. Smetana's life was one long struggle and sadly he never lived to reap the rewards of his efforts. He developed late. Like Schumann, his early works were almost exclusively for the pia: like Dostoevsky, his first important essay appeared only in middle life. His was relatively small. Few of his. scores found their way into print and, output apart from The Bartered Bride and The Kiss, little of his music was performed with any regularity during his life. After ten busy years, during which he wrote five operas and worked as Musical Director of the Prague Provisional Theatre, he was halted by deafness. There followed a further ten years in which illness and mental disorder made composition increasingly difficult.