Vítězslava Kaprálová in 1935.
24 January 1915|
Brno (now Czech Republic)
|Died||16 June 1940
Vítězslava Kaprálová was born in Brno, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Czech Republic), a daughter of composer Václav Kaprál and singer Viktorie Kaprálová. In 1930-1935 she studied composition with Vilém Petrželka and conducting with Zdeněk Chalabala at the Brno Conservatory. She continued her musical education with Vítězslav Novák (1935-37) and Václav Talich (1935-36) in Prague and with Bohuslav Martinů, Charles Munch (1937-39), and Nadia Boulanger (1940) in Paris. In 1937 she conducted the Czech Philharmonic and a year later the BBC Symphony Orchestra in her composition Military Sinfonietta, to much critical acclaim. Her husband was the Czech writer Jiří Mucha, whom she married two months before she died. Despite her untimely death, officially from miliary tuberculosis, in Montpellier, France at the age of 25, Kaprálová created an impressive body of work. There is no doubt that, had she lived, she would have become one of the most important women composers in Europe. Her music was admired by Rafael Kubelík, who premiered her orchestral song Waving Farewell and also conducted her other orchestral works. Among the many interpreters of her piano music was the esteemed Rudolf Firkušný, for whom Kaprálová composed her best known piano work April Preludes. In 1946, in appreciation of her distinctive contribution, the foremost academic institution in the country - the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Arts - awarded Kaprálová membership in memoriam. By 1948 this honour was bestowed on only 10 women, out of 648 members of the Academy.
The only English biography of the composer was published in 2011 by Lexington Books in the United States. The book also includes a complete, annotated catalog of her works.
Kaprálová's creative output includes her highly regarded art songs and music for piano solo, a string quartet, a reed trio, music for cello, music for violin and piano, an orchestral cantata, two piano concertos, two orchestral suites, a sinfonietta, and a concertino for clarinet, violin, and orchestra. Much of her music was published during her lifetime and continues to be published today (some compositions in subsequent editions) by various publishing houses, including the distinguished Bärenreiter Verlag. In addition, her music has been released on record and compact disc by a variety of labels, including Koch Records and Supraphon.
- The Kapralova Society
- The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers, pp.245-46.
- Hartog, p.322
- Sayer, p.343
- Hartog, Howard, ed. European Music in the Twentieth Century. Penguin Books, 1961.
- Sadie, Stanley and Rhian Samuel, eds. The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. New York and London: W.W.Norton and Company, 1994.
- Sayer, Derek. The Coasts of Bohemia. Princeton University Press, 1998.
- Hartl, Karla and Erik Entwistle, eds. The Kaprálová Companion. A guide to the life and music of Czech composer Vítězslava Kaprálová. 240 pp. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7391-6723-6
- Blalock, Marta. "Kapralova's String Quartet, op. 8." Kapralova Society Journal 8, No. 1 (Spring 2010): 1-10.
- Cheek, Timothy. "Navzdy (Forever) Kapralova: Reevaluating Czech composer Vitezslava Kapralova through her thirty songs." Kapralova Society Journal 2 (Fall 2005): 1-6.
- Egeling, Stephane. "Kaprálová’s Trio for oboe, clarinet and bassoon." Kapralova Society Journal 9, no. 2 (Fall 2011): 5-8.
- Entwistle, Erik. "To je Julietta. Martinu, Kapralova and Musical Symbolism." Kapralova Society Newsletter 2 (Fall 2004): 1-15.
- Jandura, Tereza. "Kaprálová’s Jablko s klína, op. 10." Kapralova Society Journal 9, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 1-11.
- Kostas, Martin. "An Analysis of Compositional Methods Applied in Kaprálová’s Cantata Ilena, op. 15." Kapralova Society Journal 10, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 1–6.
- Latour, Michelle. "Kaprálová’s song Leden." Kapralova Society Journal 9, no. 1 (2011): 1-4.
- Latour, Michelle. "Kaprálová’s Vteriny, op. 18." Kapralova Society Journal 10, no. 1 (Spring 2012): 7–10.
- Paige, Diane M. "Kapralova and the Muses: Understanding the Qualified Composer." Kapralova Society Journal 10, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 1–6.
- Vejvarova, Michaela. "Vitezslava Kapralova's Last Concertino." Czech Music 4 (2001): 6-7.
DISSERTATIONS AND THESES:
- Blalock, Marta. Analysis and performance problems of Vítězslava Kaprálová’s String quartet, op. 8 (1935-1936).. Dissertation for B.Mus. & M.M., University of Georgia, 2000, 2003.
- Jandura, Tereza. Her Own Voice: The Art Songs of Vitezslava Kapralova. DMA dissertation. University of Arizona, 2009.
- Lytle, Rebecca. An Analysis of Selected Works of Vitezslava Kapralova. Master's thesis, University of Texas at El Paso, 2008.
For complete bibliography visit kapralova.org
- Five piano compositions
- Legend, Op. 3, for violin and piano
- Two Songs, song cycle, Op. 4
- Sparks from Ashes, song cycle, Op. 5
- January, for tenor/soprano, flute, two violins, cello, and piano
- Sonata Appassionata for piano, Op. 6
- Piano Concerto in D minor, Op. 7
- String Quartet, Op. 8
- Three Piano Pieces, Op. 9
- An Apple from the Lap, song cycle, Op. 10
- Military Sinfonietta, Op. 11
- Forever, song cycle, Op. 12
- April Preludes for piano, Op. 13
- Waving Farewell, for voice and piano/orchestra, Op. 14
- Trio for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon
- Ilena, cantata for soli, mixed chorus, orchestra, and narrator, Op. 15
- Variations sur le Carillon de l'Église St-Étienne du Mont, for piano solo, Op. 16
- Elegy, for violin and piano
- Suita rustica for orchestra, Op. 19
- Partita for piano and strings, Op. 20
- Concertino for violin, clarinet and orchestra, Op. 21
- Sung into the Distance, song cycle, Op. 22
- Prélude de Noel, for chamber orchestra
- Ritournelle, for cello and piano, Op. 25
Scores in print
- Piano Solo / Piano and Violin: The Music of Vitezslava Kapralova, CD, Koch Records KIC-CD-7742
- Orchestral and Chamber Works: Vitezslava Kapralova: Portrait of the Composer, CD, Matous MK 0049-2 011
- Piano Concerto and other works for keyboard: Vitezslava Kapralova, CD, Radioservis CRO577-2
- Art Songs: Forever Kapralova: Songs, CD, Supraphon SU3752-2 231
- String Quartet Kapral-Kapralova-Martinu, CD, Radioservis CRO618-2
- KAPRALOVA SOCIETY official website of the composer, maintained by the Kapralova Society in Toronto, Canada.
- Kapralova Society Journal e-journal of the Kapralova Society, available for free download.
- Free scores by Vitezslava Kapralova at the International Music Score Library Project