Art music played a vital role as a means for cultural and political legitimization of the young Czechoslovak state. Critics in Germany above all, as members of one of the 'leading musical nations', were allotted a key role - which further complicated already-difficult relations with the country's 'own' Germans. The intelligentsia wished to convey a completely distinctive image of their country as a cultural nation on a high level, as opposed to the stereotypes of rustic backwardness. A composer like Antonin Dvorak was de-emphasized in his own national cultural tradition, because he was dismissed abroad as 'naive' on the basis of the established Slavic stereotype despite his international successes. On the other hand modernism on the musical scene of the Czechoslovak Republic rose to the highest level of recognition among professionals, but achieved no broad effect and thus also could not function as a vehicle for political legitimization.
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