One night in May 1939, an audience of Czechs and their Nazi masters packed Prague's National Theater. At the concert's end, Czechs and Germans began applauding. After a while the Germans stopped; the Czechs went on clapping stolidly — not cheering, just beating their hands together as if they would never stop. The Germans looked baffled and angry. Finally, Conductor Vaclav Talich held up the score, kissed it and, with an expansive gesture, presented it to the audience. It was Smetana's Má Vlast (My Country}, a cycle of symphonic poems breathing Czech...

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