Originally Posted by SunTanScanMan
Hi perhapss, I'm very happy to stand corrected. As with everything it is important to be as accurate and detailed as possible, not least when referring to nationalities and cultural identities. So thanks for clarifying, and apologies if any offence was caused. I'm Korean, but I've lived in Europe for most of my life (Italy and the UK), and my ex-gf studied and lived in the Czech Rep. I've visited Praha and Karlovy vary a number of times, so I should know better. I think the history of the Soviet 'Eastern bloc' as you say does play an influential, if not less than accurate and simplistic labelling of the region, but I agree it should not trump a millennia of history prior to it.
The record mentioned in my previous post.
IMO there are many contradictions regarding east and west with Czech culture.
Despite their hostility toward being regarded as "Eastern Europe" there are some real "Eastern" influences.A Slavic based language for example.
At the same time, There can be hostility toward things "West". Especially regarding Germany.
Smetana himself was often critical of Dvorak`s music for it`s adherence to German forms and influence.
These contradictions are a result of centuries of criss-crossing of invaders from both sides.
These things aside, Many Czech ensembles, the Smetana Quartet among them, still retain a distinctive character that can be identified as uniquely Czech IMO.
The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra also comes to mind in this context.