The Bedřich Smetana Museum is on the first floor of an ornately decorated building, which used to be the city waterworks, sitting almost on an island just south of the eastern end of the Charles Bridge. I paid the extra 30Kc (about £1) for a photo pass. The exhibition is nicely and quite extravagantly laid out, though is mainly documents and a few paintings, brilliant if you know him well or are a student, but somehow misses the folky enthusiasm of compositions such as The Bartered Bride – not immediately successful, but after several revisions becoming a staple of the comic opera repertoire.

On display are one or two of the things that always interest me, such as his piano, plus an early score of the String Quartet No.1, 'From My Life', my favourite Smetana work. In the final movement of the quartet, Smetana (1824-1884) introduces an unexpected sustained high note, shortly before the end, to represent the tinnitus noise he could hear in his head following the sudden onset of deafness. I made the most of my photo licence, if only for the record.

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