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More recent reviews, listed in the order of their publication date, with the latest review on the top of the page. For reviews by year, follow the menu in the left column.

Karla Hartl, Erik Entwistle, eds: The Kapralova Companion. Lexington Books, Lanham, MD, 228 pages (2011). ISBN 978-0-7391-6723-6
[...] The Kapralova Companion is a welcome addition to the body of texts on women composers. Vitezslava Kapralova's music is beautiful, haunting, and distinct, and deserves to be heard more frequently on concert hall stages across the U.S. One hopes that this long-awaited and superbly-written book will provide inspiration and motivation to those who are interested in learning more about Vitezslava Kapralova.
From a review by Michelle Latour for the IAWM Journal 18, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 32-33.


The Kapralova Companion. Edited by Karla Hartl and Erik Entwistle. Lexington Books, USA, 2011, 228 stran. ISBN 978-0-7391-6723-6
[...] Editory knihy jsou Karla Hartl a Erik Entwistle. Karla Hartl, absolventka prazske Univerzity Karlovy a univerzity v Torontu, se autorsky ujala uvodni zivotopisne kapitoly a vsech dokumentacne bohatych prispevku soustredenych do druheho oddilu knihy. Jsou venovany zivotopisu Kapralove, zpracovanemu tentokrat v chronologickem poradi s bohatym vysvetlujicim a komentujicim poznamkovym aparatem. Dluzno podotknout, ze je obdivuhodne, kolik detailnich poznatku ze zivota Kapralove Karla Hartl soustredila a jeste obdivuhodnejsi jsou jeji poznamky, rozestrene na plose plnych trinacti tiskovych stran, pracujici velmi casto s dosud neznamymi prameny z archivu soukromych osob. Stejne koncipuje autorka i katalog dila Vitezslavy Kapralove, k nemuz lze vyslovit stejne obdivne stanovisko. Nasleduje podobne obsazna bibliografie a seznam publikovanych del Kapralove a diskografie, vse na nalezite dokumentacni urovni a – zdurazneme – bez chyb, prestoze je text mnohdy az cesko-anglicky (vsechny citace apod. jsou uvedeny v puvodnim, tedy ceskem jazyce!).
Druhy z editoru, Erik Entwistle, je muzikolog se zamerenim na klavirni literaturu a s blizkym vztahem k ceske hudbe (jeho disertacni prace na University of California, Santa Barbara, byla venovana Bohuslavu Martinu). Jeho rozsahla kapitola v knize o Kapralove (42 stran) se zabyva podrobne a zasvecene skladatelcinou klavirni tvorbou jak z hlediska vlivu, jez na Kapralovou pusobily, tak posleze se zduraznenim jejiho skladatelskeho prinosu. Kapitola je vybavena mnozstvim notovych prikladu, na nichz Entwistle sve poznatky dokumentuje.
Dalsi studie v prvni casti knihy pochazeji rovnez od zahranicnich odborniku venujicich se mimo jine ceske hudbe. Timothy Cheek, profesor na univerzite v Michiganu, vydal nekolik knih zabyvajicich se ceskou vokalni tvorbou od Smetanovy Prodane nevesty az po libreta Janackovych oper. Vokalni tvorbou Vitezslavy Kapralove se zabyva uz delsi dobu, jak dokazuje jeho autorsky a interpretacni podil na CD se skladatelcinymi pisnemi, vydanym Supraphonem. Ve sve nejnovejsi studii publikovane v knize The Kapralova Companion tyto dlouhodobe ziskavane poznatky presvedcivym zpusobem sumarizuje.
Podobne reprezentativni jsou i dve kapitoly, jejichz autorkou je Judith Mabary z University of Missouri-Columbia. I ona se zabyva dlouhodobe problematikou bezprostredne souvisejici s ceskou hudbou. Jeji disertacni prace byla venovana melodramu a ceskym prispevkum k nemu a v knize o Kapralove Mabary nabizi zajimavy pohled na vyuziti melodramatickych prvku ve skladatelcine dile a nadto studi venovanou orchestralnim dilum Vojenska symfonietta, Partita a Suita rustica.
Jak je z predchozich radku zrejme, je kniha vysledkem badani prevazne zahranicnich odborniku, pouze studii o Vitezslave Kapralove v kontextu ceske hudby napsala profesorka JAMU Jindriska Bartova, specializujici se na ceskou hudbu 20. stoleti. Vitezslava Kapralova se tak dostala mezi ty nemnohe ceske skladatele, o nichz vysly monografie v cizim jazyce, a to nejen monografie prelozene z puvodni ceske predlohy, ale sepsane v cizine, tedy Dvoraka, Janacka a Martinu. Kniha byla velmi kladne hodnocena svetovymi recenzenty, v Cesku byla navrzena na Cenu F. X. saldy, ktera je udelovana mimo jine za mimoradne edicni pociny. Jen knihovny o ni zatim jaksi nevedi...
From a review by Monika Hola for Opus Musicum 44, no. 5 (November 2012).


Vitezslava Kapralova. Alice Rajnohova, piano; Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra; Tomas Hanus, conductor. Radioservis CR0577-2 (2011).
The 2011 compact disc recording featuring four of Vitezslava Kapralova’s piano works, one for piano with orchestra and three for solo piano, is an important addition to the growing oeuvre of CDs showcasing Kapralova’s compositions. Not only does this recording contain representative works from the span of her career, but it also marks the first recording of her Piano Concerto in D Minor. The entire CD is expertly played by pianist Alice Rajnohova and matched in passion and precision by the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Tomas Hanus.
The CD opens with Piano Concerto in D Minor, Opus 7, which has three movements and was composed in 1935 when Kapralova was a mere twenty years old. [...] Movement I, Allegro entusiastico (track one), earns its enthusiastic title by being a dramatic and bold movement with a highly virtuosic piano part, practically utilizing the entire keyboard. Ms. Rajnohova is simply wonderful in this movement, and the orchestra displays a tight ensemble full of lush and beautiful moments. Here the listener is taken on an emotional roller coaster with musical highs and lows, running the gamut from sweeping, bold gestures to haunting, melancholy utterances. Piano and orchestra swirl continuously with a seamless interweaving of textures. I especially loved how Kapralova ended the movement, beginning with bombastic, octave chordal passages, coupled with unexpected harmonic shifts in the piano, and then rushing into a trill in the piano, which in turn is answered by the orchestra. It then builds in drama and intensity to a forceful and triumphant conclusion.
The second movement, Largo (track two), completely shifts gears with a dark and menacing melody heard in the low strings. At only three minutes long and thirty-five measures in length, this solemn and pensive movement is incredibly interesting and well executed by both piano and orchestra. This movement primarily features polyphonic development, yet the overall texture remains sparse with moments of dissonance. The piano solo remains reserved yet is still highly emotional. The end of the Largo is a processional-like dance that splinters off, only to drive right into the final movement without stopping. Track three, Allegro, begins with an almost frenzied feeling, which soon melts into more subdued music. This movement is full of humor, contrasting sharply with the preceding two movements. From the late romantic yearning of movement I, to the sparse contrapuntal development of movement II, movement III showcases neoclassical elements and lush instrumentation.
[...] Track seven, Variations sur le carillon de l’eglise St-etienne du Mont, op. 16 (1938), is by far my favorite number of the entire CD, not only because Rajnohova expertly captures the myriad of exquisite moods, but also because this work captures Kapralova’s evolving and diverse compositional style at her finest. This one movement work, comprising of a theme and six variations, was written while Kapralova was furthering her studies in Paris and was inspired in general by the culturally cosmopolitan city itself, and specifically, by the church bells she could hear ringing from her apartment window. [...] Despite the brevity of the theme, the piece is full of delightful surprises, abrupt contrasts, and highly dramatic intensity. Again Rajnohova is to be commended for her ability to master this piece as Kapralova adeptly exploits the possibilities of the keyboard, predominantly through the juxtaposition of unexpected elements such as melodic and percussive sections, consonant and dissonant harmonies, introverted and extroverted moods, and bell-like sparse and densely polyphonic textures.
[...] In addition to the artful mastery of both Alice Rajnohova and the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, the liner notes are insightful and well written. They include a brief background on Vitezslava Kapralova, biographical information on Ms. Rajnohova, the orchestra and its conductor, Tomas Hanus, and analyses of each work featured on the compact disc. For admirers and enthusiasts of Vitezslava Kapralova’s music, this is a recording not to miss.
From a review by Michelle Latour for the Kapralova Society Journal 10, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 10-11.

CTK Praha 1.6.2012- Cenu F. X. Saldy za rok 2011 dostane historicka umeni Hana Rousova. Porota slozena z odborniku napric umeleckymi obory ji cenu udeluje za projekt Konec avantgardy? Stejnojmenna vystava s podtitulem Od mnichovske dohody ke komunistickemu prevratu, ktera predstavila ceske vytvarne umeni z let 1938 az 1948, se loni konala v Galerii hlavniho mesta Prahy, knihu vydalo nakladatelstvi Arbor vitae. Hana Rousova bude sestnactou laureatkou ceny, kterou udeluje Nadacni fond Spolecnosti F. X. Saldy za mimoradny kriticky ci edicni pocin v umelecke a duchovedne oblasti. Cena se bude udelovat v utery 19. cervna v prostorech v Museu Kampa, rekla CTK predsedkyne nadacniho fondu Libuse Heczkova. Na cenu odkazujici k zakladatelske osobnosti ceske moderni kritiky byli nominovani v oblasti vytvarne kritiky vedle Rousove jeste Jana a Jiri Sevcikovi za svou knihu s nazvem Texty. Rozsahla publikace vydana v nakladatelstvi tranzit.cz obsahuje vybor ze studii, eseji a z prispevku do katalogu napsanych v letech 1973 az 2010. V oblasti vytvarneho umeni a vizualni kultury mela nominaci kniha Ladislava Kesnera Obrazy mysli/Mysl v obrazech, kterou vydala Moravska galerie v Brne, jez take hostila stejnojmennou vystavu. V oblasti literarni kritiky a teorie mela nominaci kniha Hany smahelove V siti dejin literatury narodniho obrozeni (nakladatelstvi Karolinum) a v oblasti hudebni kritiky a hudebni historie byla nominovana kniha Karly Hartl a Erika Entwistle The Kapralova Companion (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group). Spolecnost F.X. Saldy obnovila svou cinnost v roce 1990. Saldovu cenu udelovala od roku 1995 do roku 1998 a po nekolika letech prodlevy ji udili znovu od roku 2002. Jejimi laureaty se stali Milan Jungmann, Vladimir Just, Jiri Cieslar, Lubomir Doruzka, Karel Kraus, Karel Thein, Jindrich Cerny ci Vera Linhartova.

The Kapralova Companion. Edited by Karla Hartl and Erik Entwistle. Lexington Books, Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, Plymouth. November 2011.
This immensely valuable work deserves a place on the shelves of every serious follower of Czech music. What adds inestimably to the value of the book is the quality of the contributors. Packed with vital information about a little known but important composer of the first half of the 20th century, this volume should stand as a signpost for future scholars to delve into a surprisingly important life.
From a review by Peter Herbert for the Dvorak Society for Czech and Slovak Music Newsletter, 100 (July 2012): 11.

Virginia Eskin Plays Kapralova. CD Koch Classics International.
Excellent. I have some of the Kapralova pieces on other CDs, under the Radioservis and Matous labels, but I find the renditions here have a particular charm. Sensitive and reflective performances by Virginia Eskin and Stephanie Chase of beautiful music for both solo piano and violin and piano, all finely recorded. I'm delighted with this CD and can recommend it wholeheartedly.
-paulk, amazon.co.uk, May 30, 2012.

Vitezslava Kapralova: Brani per pianoforte Radioservis CRO577-2 (2011). Alice Rajnohova, Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, Tomas Hanus.
[...] “Un cenno ora agli interpreti, iniziando dalla pianista Alice Rajhohova, che ha curato anche le note illustrative del cd, indiscussa protagonista di una registrazione effettuata interamente “dal vivo.” La sua bravura si puo apprezzare sia nel concerto iniziale, quando ricopre il ruolo di sloista, sia nei brani per pianoforte solo. In entrambi i casi evidenzia grande raffinatezza ed una estrema sensibilita, trasmettendo notevoli emozioni. Molto buona anche la prova della Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, diretta da Tomas Hanus, che si dimostra compagine di sicura affidabilita, contribuendo ad evidenziare il valore di una compositrice che, pur essendo vissuta appena 25 anni, ha lasciato una forte impronta nella musica del secolo scorso.”
From a review by Marco del Vaglio for Nuova e Nostre, May 20, 2012.

Jeune femme oubliee trouve compagnon ideal. Karla Hartl, Erik Entwistle (dir.), The Kapralova Companion, Lexington Books, Decembre 2011-228 pages.
[...] Jindriska Bartova signe un excellent article replaçant Kapralova dans le contexte de la musique tchèque de son epoque. Tout l’interêt du travail de la musicologue reside dans le fait qu’elle ne tient (heureusement) pas uniquement compte des « grandes figures » nationales mais qu’elle considère surtout les artistes qui ont influence – directement ou non – la jeune Vitezslava. Beaucoup ont ete elèves de Janacek (comme Vaclav Kapral, père de Kapralova, base à Brno), même si certains ont pris leurs distances par rapport à la pensee et à l’esthetique du compositeur de Jenufa. Dans son analyse des pages pianistique de « Vitulka », Erik Entwistle examine lui aussi les œuvres paternelles pour trouver les traces tangibles d’une influence naturelle. Allant bien plus loin que l’etude que Ludvik Kundera (ami de Kapralova et père de Milan Kundera) avait consacre au même sujet dans le livre de Premysl, Entwistle explore avec brio un repertoire bigarre contenant quelques chefs-d’œuvre (dont les Preludes d’avril et les Variations sur le carillon de Saint-Etienne du Mont). Judith Mabary signe quant à elle deux articles tout aussi passionnants. Le premier concerne les essais et intentions de Kapralova en matière de melodrame, genre souvent aborde par les Tchèques, de Benda au jeune Martinu en passant par Dusek – si la jeune femme ne concretisa qu’un seul de ses projets dans le genre, d’autres pièces furent transformees en melodies geniales. Dans sa seconde etude, Mabary analyse les trois pièces orchestrales importantes que sont la Vojenska Symfonieta [Sinfonietta militaire], la Partita op.20 composee sous le tutorat de Martinu et la Suita Rustica, page d’inspiration folklorique influencee par Stravinsky (non-editee à ce jour). S’il est difficile de faire le tour complet de la question en un peu moins de trente pages, la musicologue pose de solides bases pour les futures recherches analytiques autour de ces œuvres.
From a review by Nicolas Derny for forumopera.com, April 16, 2012.

Premiere Recording of Kapralova's Piano Concerto
[...] The latest of these CDs comes from the Czech Radio Service label [CRO577-2] and brings together four works for piano including the world premiere recording of Kapralova's Piano Concerto. The works are performed by the talented young Czech pianist Alice Rajnohova who has become a persuasive advocate of the composer's cause. The earliest work featured is the Sonata Appassionata, op. 6, dating from 1933, when the composer was 18 years of age. It is a remarkably accomplished piece [...and] Rajnohova considers [it] to be "one of the finest piano sonatas composed by any Czech compser in the first half of the 20th century." Her impassioned reading of the piece powefully supports that contention. [...] The [Piano Concerto] assumes a late romantic idiom, suggestive of Rachmaninov [... and ] was recorded at concert performance in Zlin in November 2010 while the recordings of the solo piano pieces date from June 2011. The piano sound is well captured in both instances. [...]
From a review by Greg Terian for the Dvorak Society Newsletter 99 (April 2012): 25.

Vitezslava Kapralova: Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra e altri brani
Il capitolo relativo alla compositrice ceca Vitezslava Kapralova, nata a Brno nel 1915 e morta a Montpellier nel 1940, si arricchisce di un ulteriore contributo, grazie al recente cd della casa discografica praghese Radioservis, pubblicato con il supporto economico della Kapralova Society, istituzione che ha sede a Toronto in Canada.
[...] L’apertura è dedicata al Concerto per pianoforte ed orchestra in re minore, op. 7, con il quale l’autrice debuttò a Brno nel 1935, riscuotendo un enorme successo sia per l’elevato valore del brano, che riusciva ad abbinare romanticismo e nuove istanze, sia per la sua abilità nel dirigere, prima donna a salire sul podio della locale orchestra sinfonica.
[...] La conclusiva Sonata Appassionata, op. 6 (1933) ci riporta a Brno, dove muoveva i primi passi una diciottenne particolarmente promettente, che non poteva immaginare il suo brevissimo futuro, ma il cui contributo alla letteratura pianistica del Novecento risulta ancora oggi notevolissimo.
Un cenno ora agli interpreti, iniziando dalla pianista Alice Rajnohova [...] La sua bravura si può apprezzare sia nel concerto iniziale, quando ricopre il ruolo di solista, sia nei brani per pianoforte solo. In entrambi i casi evidenzia un tocco di grande raffinatezza ed una estrema sensibilità, trasmettendo notevoli emozioni. Molto buona anche la prova della Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra, diretta da Tomas Hanus, che si dimostra compagine di sicura affidabilità, contribuendo ad evidenziare il valore di una compositrice che, pur essendo vissuta appena 25 anni, ha lasciato una forte impronta nella musica del secolo scorso.
From a review by Marco del Vaglio, criticlassica.com, February 28, 2012.

The Kapralova Companion. Lexington Books, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7391-6723-6 (cloth)-ISBN 978-0-7391-6724-3 (electronic)
Vitezslava Kapralova was a remarkable personality, a gifted composer-conductor who died much too young. But so did Keats, Schubert, and even Otis Redding. Once we get over how young she was, there is her music and artistic activity to consider. This volume is a splendid introduction to her life and work, by the leading specialists in the field. Hopefully it will be the first of many volumes dealing with her life and music.
Michael Beckerman, amazon.com

Posledni cedecko z Lodenic putovalo do Brna
[...] Take dalsi titul z produkce Radioservisu ze sklonku roku 2011 znamena mimoradny pocin: jde o CD Alice Rajnohove, venovane klavirni tvorbe Vitezslavy Kapralove. Stejne jako interpreti predchoziho CD i Alice Rajnohova pusobi pedagogicky na Hudebni fakulte JAMU. Jeji pozornost se upina prednostne na osobnost skladatelky Kapralove, jejimuz klavirnimu dilu venuje v soucasnosti svoji disertacni praci. CD je vysoce reprezentativnim vysledkem tohoto soustredeneho studia a soucasne dukazem toho, jak dilo Kapralove uspesne odolava casu, ci lepe - jak cas vic a vic odhaluje jeho kvality.
From a review by Jindra Bartova for Opus Musicum, 2 (2012)

Vitezslava Kapralova: Klavirni koncert d moll, op. 7*, Tri klavirni kusy, op. 9, Variations sur le carillon de l’eglise St-etienne du Mont, op. 16, Sonata Appassionata, op. 6. Alice Rajnohova – klavir, Filharmonie Bohuslava Martinu, dirigent Tomas Hanus. Produkce: neuvedeno. Text: C, A. Nahrano: Klavirni koncert (live) 11/2010, Dum umeni, Zlin, ostatni skladby 6/2011, Kongresove centrum, Zlin. Vydano: 2011. TT: 53:32. DDD. 1 CD Radioservis CRO577-2.
, Reprezentativni vyber z klavirni tvorby nejzajimavejsi ceske skladatelky prvni poloviny 20. stoleti zahajuje Klavirni koncert d moll, op. 7, jimz dvacetileta Kapralova absolvovala r. 1935 brnenskou konzervator. [...] Klavirni koncert hraje Alice Rajnohova s mimoradnym elanem a pochopenim, takze pri jeji hre nelze nepomyslet na dvacetiletou skladatelku, plnou energie a chuti do zivota. Prvni veta hyri takovou spoustou napadu – kompozicnich i interpretacnich – a deje se v ni toho tolik, az mame dojem, ze se jedna o filmovou hudbu. Volna veta prekvapi svou strucnosti a potemnelosti, ktera tvori skvely kontrast k hrave a pritom rytmicky strhujici vete finalni. Zlinska Filharmonie B. Martinu rizena Tomasem Hanusem hraje s velkym nasazenim a se stejnym mladistvym elanem jako solistka. [...] Oproti velkoryse pojatemu Klavirnimu koncertu predstavuji skladby pro solovy klavir spise intimnejsi oblast tvorby V. Kapralove. Ale i v nich nabizi autorka nepreberne mnozstvi vyrazovych a naladovych kontrastu a je skutecne pozitkem poslouchat, jak jemne a citlive je dokaze Alice Rajnohova odstinit. [...] Vydani CD sponzorovala kanadska hudebni spolecnost The Kapralova Society a jsem si jist, ze mezi projekty, ktere tato spolecnost podporila, bude zaujimat nahravka Alice Rajnohove jedno z nejcestnejsich mist.
From a review by Veroslav Nemec for Harmonie, 2 (February 2012).

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