Remembering Vítězslava Kaprálová

I will finish the WPA tribute to historic female composers by remembering the life and music of Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915-1940). Though she lived a tragically short life, she made a dramatic impact as a composer and conductor.

Czech by birth, Kaprálová studied at the Brno Conservatory and well as abroad with (among others) Nadia Boulanger. She conducted her own work with the Czech Philharmonic in 1937 and the BBC Orchestra in 1938. Her compositions ranged in genre and style, including art songs, chamber works, a cantata, two piano concertos, and other orchestral works. Her works continue to be published and recorded today.

Her life and works were the foundation for the Kapralova Society, which seeks to not only further educate and share the work of this one composer, but also seeks to educate about the role, works, and history of women in music.

More information about Kaprálová can also be found through Radio Praha, which provides an in-depth look at her life and music. Follow the link to the audio file of the original broadcast, as well as to the full transcription.

Here is an example of her writing for voice and orchestra:

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for promoting the life and work of Vitezslava Kapralova.

    I would like to offer the following clarification regarding the above video – it features Kapralova’s orchestral song Waving Farewell and not “Allegro energico,” as the title suggests. Unfortunately, the person who uploaded Kapralova music from her first CD, which was released in 1998 by Studio Matous, he messed up movements and compositions so that they appear on YouTube under wrong names. An amateur with good intention, undoubtedly, but not helping the cause…

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