The year 2008 was an outstanding year for the promotion of Kapralova's music, and we marked our tenth anniversary with a number of important initiatives in various stages of development. Among those successfully completed in 2008 was a new recording dedicated to the composer, featuring a near complete edition of her piano and violin works, with seven out of eight works in a premiere recording. This remarkable project, initiated and financially supported by the Society, was made possible thanks to our partnership with Koch Records (New York) and the efforts of Koch's producer Susan DelGiorno and artists Virginia Eskin and Stephanie Chase. The release was awaited with much anticipation and received an enthusiastic welcome and well-deserved critical acclaim, as attested to by just a few quotes: "Kapralova's music displays a remarkable mastery of form and harmony, and radiates youthful spontaneity, lyrical tenderness, and passionate intensity" (Strings Magazine); "The piano and violin-and-piano music here is richly melodic, highly chromatic, and bursting with invention" (American Record Guide); "If you are looking for highly sophisticated piano music rich in texture, clarity and depth, look no further" (About.com); "This recording is an important milestone in Kaprálová's discography and testifies to the memory of a brilliant mid-twentieth century composer" (Amazon.com); "Kaprálová was one of the major female composers in history, despite her short time on earth; this Koch disc does her music considerable justice and serves as a strong introduction to Kaprálová's music" (Allmusic.com); "I have no doubt that this release will not only please Kapralova's enthusiasts but also add many others to her following" (Czech Music Quarterly); "Add this to your select discography of a composer whose early death deprived Czechoslovakia of a burgeoning talent" (MusicWeb.uk).
The Koch Records disc was not the only recording featuring Kapralova's music released last year, however. Two more releases followed in the fall and before the end of the year: Albany Records' Feminissimo, featuring violin and piano music by Kapralova and eight other women composers (the disc featured Kapralova's Elegy of 1939, brilliantly performed by Laura Kobayashi and Susan Gray); and Centaur Records' Women of Firsts, featuring art songs by "first important Twentieth Century women composers from the Czech Republic, Poland, United States, and France: Kapralova, Bacewicz, Beach and Boulanger." The latter disc featured the composer's best known song cycle Forever, op. 12, in a premiere recording with a male voice and in fine performances by Daniel Weeks and Naomi Oliphant. While the Society assisted both projects, it financially supported the latter.
Last year, we made progress on the preparation of a complete edition of Kapralova's works for violin and piano, an initiative undertaken in partnership with Timothy Cheek and Stephen Shipps, of the University of Michigan School of Music, and Amos Editio. The much anticipated edition, that was originally intended to coincide with the release of Kapralova's violin works by Koch Records, will be available from the publisher and his distributor (Harrassowitz) in spring 2009. It should be also noted that one of Kapralova's piano pieces, her Ostinato Fox, was published last year by Self-Print Music, an online sheet music publisher based in Brno, Czech Republic.
Among the most often performed and broadcast works last year were Kapralova's art songs, piano works, and chamber music. The composer's violin and piano compositions, particularly the Elegy, her string quartet, her piano works Variations sur le Carillon, April Preludes, and Five Pieces for Piano were the most popular with both the performers and the broadcasters. Kapralova's music was also featured in two radio series last year: the first was the "Woman in Music" series, written and produced by Tom Quick for CKWR, a community radio based in Waterloo, Ontario; the second was the "Into the Light" series, written and produced by Kathryn Mishell for KMFA, a radio station based in Austin, Texas. Both programmers were assisted by the Society. In total, Kapralova's music was promoted in a new record number of 26 radio broadcasts, and the participating radio stations included three national broadcasters: Czech Radio 3, Radio Vara 4 (the Netherlands), and BBC Radio 3.
In 2008, Kapralova's music also received a record number of reviews in music journals, magazines, newspapers, and online platforms. The majority of them concerned the Koch Records release and included American Record Guide (a review by Jack Sullivan), Fanfare Magazine (Paul A. Snook) Strings Magazine (Edith Eisler), The IAWM Journal (Veroslav Nemec), Czech Music Quarterly (Veroslav Nemec), Opus Musicum (Jindra Bartova), Muzyka21 (Marcin Zglinski), Nuova e Nostra (Marco del Vaglio), OPZIJ (Patricia Werner Leanse), Harmonie (Veroslav Nemec), Agire (Marco del Vaglio), The Dvorak Society Newsletter (Gregory Terian), Classical Voice of North Carolina (Ted McIrvine), Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (Anna Reguero), Classical Voice of New England (Paul Orgel), Guide di Dada (Marco del Vaglio), MusicWeb (reviews by Rob Barnett and Jonathan Woolf), All Music Guide (Dave Lewis), Sequenza21 (Jay Batzner), About.com (Aaron Green), and Amazon.com (anonymous). There were also several concert reviews, including Paul E. Robinson's review of the Salon Concerts' presentation of Kapralova's Elegy, written for The Art of the Conductor, and Cezary Owerkowicz' review of a Kuwait premiere of Kapralova's string quartet, written for The Arab Times.
In 2008 we continued to make available online our journal of women in music, The Kapralova Society Journal, and published its sixth volume. The spring issue of the journal featured an article by Dr. Katerina Mayrova (Czech Museum of Music) "Letters to Kapralova and Other Correspondence of Bohuslav Martinu," and a text by Dr. Greggory Cannady (Mt Olive College) "American Women Composers of Choral Music: An Introduction." The fall issue published part I of the two-part article "Contemporary American Women Composers and Their Choral Music" by Dr. Jennifer Kelly (Lafayette), and a text on experimental music "Intermedia: Redefining American Music at the Turn of the Third Millennium," written by an independent artist Sabrina Pena Young. Among more substantial articles on Kapralova published last year in other periodicals was Karla Hartl's article "The Voice of an Artist: The Life and Music of Vitezslava Kapralova," written for Czech Music Quarterly.
Kapralova's life and music was also a topic of a master's degree thesis and a doctoral dissertation. While Rebecca Lytle's thesis "An analysis of selected works of Vitezslava Kapralova" (University of Texas at El Paso) focuses on the composer's orchestral works, Kapralova's string quartet is analyzed in depth in Marta Blalock's dissertation entitled "Analysis and Performance Problems of Vítezslava Kaprálová's String Quartet, op. 8 (1935-1936)" (University of Georgia).
women in music
In 2008, we made available several texts on the subject of women and music in our journal that is available online for free download. They included two articles on the topic of American women composers of choral music, one by Greggory Cannady (a historical overview), the other by Jennifer Kelly (an introduction to contemporary composers). We also published an article by Sabrina Pena Young that offers a fascinating exploration of contemporary experiments in music with a focus on American women sound artists.
Our online resources on women in music continue to attract visitors to our website and receive positive feedback from music libraries, classical radio stations, weblogs, and classical music discussion groups. We also continue to host pages of selected women composers and conductors, facilitate reviews and broadcasts of their music, and occasionally support their first CD releases. Last year, we facilitated a review of Olga Jezkova's Yellow-Red Poster CD in the IAWM Journal (the CD was released the previous year with the assistance of our Society) and also facilitated its premiere broadcast during the "Into the Light" radio series which is produced by Kathryn Mishell for KMFA Austin, Texas.
We wish to thank the following performers who promoted the composer's music in Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, and the United States in 2008 (in alphabetical order): Susan Amisano, Nina Assimakopoulos, Vasile Beluska, Marit Beyer, Tatjana Blome, Marja Bon, Sibongile Boyd, Jürgen Brüns, Sara Buechner, Kevin Bylsma, Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra of South Bohemia, Stephanie Chase, Timothy Cheek, Jody Doktor, Kara Douglas, Radomil Eliska, Virginia Eskin, Brigitte Flörchinger, Joseph Fuller, Peter Geisselbrecht, Susan Keith Gray, Tena Greene, Angelika Guggenberger, Risa Renae Harman, Klaus Heiliger, Caroline Helton, Anna Jelinkova, Kammersymphonie Berlin, Kapralova Quartet, Klara Kartakova, Laura Kobayashi, Jarmila Kozderkova, Pavel Kratochvil, Penny Thompson Kruse, Ute Kussmaul, Zdenka Ledvinova, Brian Lewis, Moravian Quartet, Cornelia Mühlenhoff, Naomi Oliphant, Michaela Pidova, Vlasta Pridalova, Lydia Qiu, Jeremy Reger, Rick Rowley, Jacobien Rozemond, Karen Sams, Dror Semmel, Alan Smith, Elizabeth Stoner, Lorraine Yaros Sullivan, Martin Svajda, Helena Tamelova, Daniel Weeks, Marcel Worms, and Erika Zaefferer.
We would also like to thank our partners, friends, and all the others who assisted our efforts in 2008: About.com, Adyghe State University, Agire, Akademia Muzyczna im. Karola Szymanowskiego, Albany Records, AllMusic.com, American Records Guide, Amos Editio, Petr Bakla, Rob Barnett, Jindra Bartova, Jay Batzner, BBC Radio 3, Michael Beckerman, Binghampton University, Marta Blalock, Bowling Green State University, Brno Conservatory, Greggory Cannady, Centaur Records, Timothy Cheek, Classical Voice of New England, CKWR Waterloo, Liane Curtis, Czech Music Quarterly, Czech Radio (D-Dur), Czech Radio 3 (Vltava), Czech Radio (Studio Brno), Lidmila Dankova, Susan Napodano DelGiorno, Thea Derks, Dvorak Society of Great Britain Newsletter, Edith Eisler, Erik Entwistle, Fanfare Magazine, Fitchbury Public Library, Álvaro Gallegos, Eugene Gates, Aaron Green, Guide di Dada, Harmonie, Paul Hartl, Jan Hlavac, Peter Herbert, The IAWM Journal, Jan A. Jarnicki, Michael Karman, Jennifer Kelly, Keowee Chamber Music, KFAI Radio Saint Paul, Minneapolis, KMFA Austin TX, Koch International Classics, Kontakt, Ray Latham, Dave Lewis, Rebecca Lytle, Judith Mabary, Jiri Macek, Maverick Productions, Katerina Mayrova, Eve Meyer, Kathryn Mishell, Jarmila Mrackova, MusicWeb, Muzyka21, Veroslav Nemec, Nuova e Nostra, Opus Musicum, OPZIJ, Paul Orgel, Cezary Owerkowicz, Sabrina Pena Young, Tom Quick, Radio Mona Lisa (Amsterdam), Radio Proglas, Radio Vara 4, Anna Reguero, Ton Regtop, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Marvin Rosen, Salon Concerts, SelfPrint Music, Sequenza21, Zoja Seyckova, Stephen Shipps, Jan Simicek, Jan-Olof Sjöström, Martin Slavik, Paul A. Snook, Mojmir Sobotka, Spolecnost Bohuslava Martinu (Brno), Stony Brook University, Strings Magazine, Jack Sullivan, Greg Terian, University of Michigan School of Music, Marco del Vaglio, WDR 3 Köln, Patricia Werner Leanse, WGBH Brighton, WITF Harrisburg, WNYC, Jonathan Woolf, WPRB Princeton, Marcin Zglinski, and ZUS V. Kapralove.Prepared by Karla Hartl, Chair, The Kapralova Society. Toronto, March 2009.