2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
2008 (2)
2008 (1)
2007
2006
2005
2004 (2)
2004 (1)
2003
2001-2002
1993-2000
1949-1992
1938-1948
1933-1937

home



in chronological order (the latest review at the top)

KAPRALOVA: Military Sinfonietta, op. 11, String Quartet, op. 8, April Preludes, op. 13, Ritornell, op. 25, Partita, op. 20, Waving Farewell, op. 14, Martinu-Kapralova: Love Carol. Czech SO of Brno c. Frantisek Jilek, Janacek Quartet, Jaroslav Smykal (pno), Ivan Merka (vlc), Jitka Drobilkova (pno), Jiri Skovajsa (pno), Vilem Pribyl (ten), Lenka Skornickova (sop). Matous MK 0049-2 011.
This is essentially a compilation from performances recorded between 1974 and 1998, to varying degrees of excellence and to different acoustics. Nevertheless it furnishes ample evidence that Vitezslava Kapralova (1915-1940) was at least as good a composer as claimed in the article by Karla Hartl and Eugene Gates that appeared in July's Tempo: indeed, a remarkably gifted artist, all of whose music sounds fresh, bold and sure of its aim.
It's probably important not to see her in isolation, but as perhaps the youngest of that talented post-Janacekian generation of Czech musicians whose memory was virtually obliterated during World War II and whose achievements are only now infiltrating our awareness. Unlike Hans Krasa or Pavel Haas, Kapralova did not perish in the concentration camp but succumbed apparently to tuberculosis in Montpellier (just after marrying Alphonse Mucha's son). But she belongs partly in their creative company, and her music is no less valuable than theirs. This is already clear in the earliest work here, the String Quartet (1936-7), a passionate and confidently handled score of distinct individuality that blends something of the spirit of Janacek's Intimate Letters with a free chromaticism reminiscent of Berg's op. 3. This slightly 'Expressionistic' strain is continued in Waving Farewell (1937), a deeply-felt (and prophetic) elegy for tenor and orchestra.
Exactly contemporary with these works, the three-movement-in-one Military Sinfonietta, Kapralova's great 'hit' of the 1938 ISCM Festival in London, is more forthright and modal in its material. In a time of international crisis, it's a clear declaration of national identity ("Militant", perhaps, rather than "Military"), looking back to Janacek's Sinfonietta - and forward, one may think, to Panufnik's Sinfonia Sacra. But its concision and economy compel admiration; it makes an effective concert opener, rousing to thought as well as action. The April Preludes for piano display a more delicate, lyrical and indeed humorous side to Kapralova's muse, normally so tough in fibre.
The Partita for piano and string orchestra (1938-9), chief fruit of her Paris studies with Martinu, is perhaps the least personal utterance here; parallels with her mentor's works of the late 1930s abound, not least a 'neo-classical' impulse not otherwise much detectable in Kapralova's output. Yet, once again, the medium is consummately handled - this isn't a student work (nothing on the CD could be so described) but a minor classic worthy any crack chamber orchestra's attention. Love Carol, two brief settings of the same text by Martinu and Kapralova, is a touching memorial of their clandestine affair. But the Ritornell for cello and piano, her last work, is a powerful, concentrated expression of tragic eloquence - moving testimony to a substantial creative personality who had already hit her stride before her career was so cruelly cut short.
Review by © Calum MacDonald, Tempo, October 2000, p. 60. Reprinted with the author's permission.

Vitezslava Kapralova: Portrait of a Composer.
Vita Kapralova est décédée à vingt-cinq ans, mais comme Lili Boulanger, elle a trouvé sa voie très tôt. Sans cette mort prématurée, elle aurait sans doute été l'une des plus grandes compositrices du XXe siècle. Le disque compact Vitezslava Kapralova: Portrait of a Composer rend un hommage vraiment mérité à cette voix remarquable de la musique tchèque de l'entre-deux-guerres. Presque tous les enregistrements proviennent des archives de la radio tchèque à Brno, et malgré le fait qu'ils aient été produits pendant une période de plus de 25 ans, la qualité du son n'en demeure pas moins excellente. La qualité des performances est aussi à remarquer, comme la Symphoniette militaire exécutée par l'Orchestre Philarmonique de Brno et dirigée par M. Jilek. Cette même pièce a donnée à Kapralova une réputation internationale lorsqu'elle a ouvert le Festival ISCM à Londres en 1938. Aussi, une autre excellente exécution (String Quartet, une composition mature malgré son jeune âge) est rendue par le Quatuor à cordes Janacek. Enfin, parmi ces performances, on retrouve Ritournelle pour violoncelle et piano jouée par Ivan Merka et Jaroslav Smykal, la dernière composition de Kapralova et aussi considérée sa plus grande. Ne ratez pas l'opportunité d'écouter ce disque compact, unique et très agréable.
Review by Karla Hartl for amazon.fr

Kapralova neni zapomenuta
Vitezslava Kapralova - Portret skladatelky, 75:14, Studio Matous
Album zahrnuje Vojenskou symfoniettu, absolventskou skladbu V. Kapralove z Prahy, kterou dirigovala s Ceskou filharmonii (dilo ridila i v Londyne s BBC Orchestra), zde ji hraje Statni filharmonie Brno s Frantiskem Jilkem. Ta nahrala i Partitu pro smyccovy orchestr a klavir ci pisen Sbohem a satecek s textem V. Nezvala v podani Vilema Pribyla. Z komorni tvorby Kapralove obsahuje CD dila jako smyccovy kvartet, Ritornel pro violoncello ci Dubnova preludia pro klavir. Raritou je zarazeni zminenych Dvou koled milostnych, jedna je od B. Martinu a druha od Kapralove, v nichz se nejvice zrcadli vztah obou. Zpiva v nich Lenka Skornickova, dale na albu hraji Jitka Drobilkova, Jaroslav Smykal, Jiri Skovajsa, Ivan Merka a Janackovou kvarteto. Vsichni se postarali o to, ze skladatelcino portretni album je velmi objevnym CD a jeji dilo tak neni zapomenuto.
From a review by Vladimir Riha for Pravo, August 2, 2000.

Vitezslava Kapralova: Ritratto di una compositrice
Esecutori: Orchestra Sinfonica di Stato di Brno, diretta da Frantisek Jilek, Quartetto Janacek, Lenka Skornickova (soprano), Vilem Pribil (tenore), Ivan Merka (violoncello) Jitka Drobilkova, Jiri Skovajsa, Jaroslav Smykal (pianoforte) Studio Matous - ADD.
Nella storia della musica vi sono figure cosi rappresentative che racchiuderle in poche righe puo apparire oltremodo riduttivo. Una di queste č sicuramente la compositrice ceca Vitezslava (Vita) Kapralova che, ad onta del suo brevissimo percorso terreno, ebbe una vita di un'intensita incredibile. Figlia del compositore cecoslovacco Vaclav Kapral, nacque a Brno nel 1915 e dovette fin da piccola fare i conti con la tubercolosi per cui trascorse spesso interi mesi in sanatorio. Dimostro subito un talento precocissimo, creando a nove anni la sua prima composizione, intraprendendo successivamente una carriera artistica sfolgorante. Suoi maestri furono, a Praga, Novak e Talich, due dei massimi esponenti della musica cecoslovacca. Successivamente si reco in Francia, vincitrice di una borsa presso l'Ecole Normale de Musique di Parigi. Li frequento maestri del calibro di Munch e della Boulanger ed inoltre approfondi gli studi di composizione sotto la guida del connazionale Martinu. Il soggiorno parigino fu particolarmente fecondo perche le permise sia di dare vita ai suoi brani piů significativi che di perfezionarsi nell'ambito della direzione d'orchestra. Le due attivita spesso si sovrapposero come quando, nel 1938, la sua Sinfonietta Militare, scelta per inaugurare l'ISCM Festival di Londra, fu da lei stessa diretta alla testa dell'Orchestra Sinfonica della BBC. Nel 1939, anno dell'invasione nazista della Cecoslovacchia, la Kapralova si trovava ancora a Parigi e decise di non tornare in patria, assumendo lo stato di rifugiata. L'anno successivo sposo Jiri Mucha, figlio del noto pittore Alfonse, ma la loro unione duro molto poco in quanto, minata dalla malattia, si spense a Montpellier nel 1940. Dopo aver doverosamente inquadrato un personaggio a dir poco straordinario, parliamo del disco inciso dalla Studio Matous che offre un'ampia panoramica della produzione della compositrice. Il cd si apre con la gia citata Sinfonietta Militare, op.11 (1936-37), un brano che attinge alla tradizione popolare e ricorda talora l'inconfondibile stile del suo maestro Martinu. Ma la musica della Kapralova abbraccio un po' tutti i generi, come si evince ascoltando lo splendido Quartetto per archi, op. 8 (1937) dove elementi di modernita si fondono suggestivamente con motivi di origine folcloristica, per non parlare dell'intenso Preludi d'Aprile, op. 13 per pianoforte (1937). Love Carol (1938) e Waving Farewell, op. 14 (1937), sono invece esempi interessanti di brani vocali su testi di autori cechi. Completano il quadro il Ritornello per violoncello e pianoforte, op. 25 (1940) e la Partita per pianoforte ed orchestra d'archi, op. 20 (1938-39). Un breve cenno meritano l'Orchestra Sinfonica di Stato di Brno, diretta da Frantisek Jílek, il Quartetto Janacek, il soprano Lenka Skornickova, il tenore Vilem Pribil, il violoncellista Ivan Merka ed i pianisti Jitka Drobilkova, Jiri Skovajsa, Jaroslav Smykal che hanno contribuito alla ottima riuscita del cd grazie ad un elevato livello interpretativo. In conclusione un disco che rappresenta la consacrazione, anche se eccessivamente tardiva, di una autrice che, nonostante sia vissuta appena 25 anni, ha influenzato in modo evidente tutta la musica ceca del Novecento.
Review by © Marco del Vaglio for CIEMME - Comunicazioni di Massa, No. 15, August 1, 2000. Reprinted with the author's permission.

A Handsome Tribute to a Remarkable Woman Composer
Vitezslava Kapralova [1915-1940] died at twenty-five but like Lili Boulanger she found her own distinctive voice very early. There is no doubt that had she lived she would have become one of the most important women composers of this century. The compact Vitezslava Kapralova: Portrait of a Composer pays a long overdue tribute to this remarkable voice in inter-war Czech music. Almost all performances originate from the archives of Czech Radio (Brno) and despite the fact that they have been recorded with various artists over the span of twenty-five years their sound quality is perfectly acceptable. Their artistic quality is consistently very high; outstanding performances are given by the Brno Philharmonic under Frantisek Jilek in Kapralova's Military Sinfonietta (the work brought her world fame in 1938 when it opened the ISCM Festival in London), by Janacek Quartet in Kapralova's String Quartet, early but accomplished work, and by Ivan Merka and Jaroslav Smykal in Kapralova's last and arguably best composition - her Ritornell for Cello and Piano. Do not miss these rare and thoroughly enjoyable recordings!
From a review by Karla Hartl for Musicabona Webzine, April 2000.

DONNE IN MUSICA Vitezslava Kapralova
Figlia del compositore cecoslovacco Vaclav Kapral, Vitezslava (Vita) Kapralova nacque a Brno nel 1915. La musica era di casa e la giovane Vita dimostro un talento precossimo, creando a nove anni la sua prima composizione. Purtroppo fin da piccola dovette fare i conti con la tubercolosi, per cui ebbe sempre seri problemi di salute e trascorse spesso interi mesi in sanatorio. Cio non le impedi una carriera artistica e compositiva a dir poco sfolgorante. Dopo aver studiato al Conservatorio della sua citta natale, a venti anni si sposto a Praga, dove frequento la Scuola di Perfezionamento tenuta da Novak e Talich, due dei massimi esponenti della musica cecoslovacca. Una borsa di studio presso l'Ecole Normale de Musique le permise di frequentare l'ambiente parigino ed avere maestri del calibro di Munch e della Boulanger. Approfondi, inoltre, gli studi di composizione sotto la guida del connazionale Martinu, del quale diresse nel 1938 il Concerto per clavicembalo e orchestra. Il soggiorno a Parigi fu particolarmente fecondo ed a questo periodo si fanno risalire i suoi brani piu significativi. In particolar modo ricordiamo la Sinfonietta Militare, scelta per inaugurare l'ISCM Festival di Londra e diretta dall'autrice alla testa dell'Orchestra Sinfonica della BBC. L'invasione nazista della Cecoslovacchia nel 1939 la sorprese ancora a Parigi ed ella decise di non tornare in patria, assumendo lo stato di rifugiata. L'anno successivo sposo Jiri Mucha, figlio del noto pittore ceco Alfonse, ma la loro unione fu brevissima. Pochi giorni dopo, infatti, la Kapralova, minata dalla tubercolosi, si spense a Montpellier dove era fuggita a seguito dell'occupazione di Parigi da parte delle truppe tedesche. Nonostante sia vissuta appena 25 anni, l'influenza della Kapralova su tutta la musica ceca del Novecento e stata unanimemente riconosciuta, ma e dovuto trascorrere oltre mezzo secolo per vederle riconusciuto questo ruolo. Risale al 1997, infatti, l'instituzione della Kapralova Society, una fondazione nata per promuovere la figura e le opere della compositrice cecoslovacca. Quasi contemporaneamente una casa praghese, la Studio Matous, ha fatto partire un progetto che prevede la registrazione di buona parte del repertorio della Kapralova e che si e finora concretizzato in un cd comprendente la gia citata Sinfonietta Militare, un Quartetto per archi, Ritornello per violoncello e pianoforte e la Partita per pianoforte ed orchestra d'archi.
Review by © Marco del Vaglio for Nuova e Nostra, No. 9, April 2000, p. 11. Reprinted with the author's permission.

Kapralova
Eine Entdeckung von grosster Bedeutung feiert die hier vorgelegte Anthologie. Die Komponistin Vitezslava Kapralova (1915-1940) wurde genau wie ihre hochbegabte Kollegin Lili Boulanger nur 25 Jahre alt. Da ihre Todeskrankheit jedoch erst kurz vor Lebensende auftrat, konnte Kapralova, anders als Boulanger, ein weitgehend unbeschwertes Leben fuhren, voller Schaftenskraft und Energie. Nachdem sie sich gegen den Willen ihres Vaters mit 15 am Brunner Konservatorium eingeschrieben hatte, wurden ihre Lehrer bald auf ihr enormes Talent aufmerksam. 1935 studierte sie bei Vitezslav Novak und Vaclav Talich, ab 1937 Dirigieren und Komposition bei Nadia Boulanger und Charles Munch. Dort lernte sie auch Bohuslav Martinu kennen, der sie unterrichtete und mit dem sie eine innige Liebesgeschichte verband. 1939 floh sie nach kurzem Aufenthalt in Brunn vor den Faschisten endgultig nach Paris, heiratete nach ihrer Trennung von Martinu im April 1940 Jiri Mucha, erkrankte aber an Tuberkulose und starb an den Strapazen der Flucht durch das besetzte Frankreich am 16. Juni 1940 in Montpellier. Sie hinterliess etwa 40 vollendetet Werke, 25 davon mit Opus-Nummern versehen, sowie etliche Skizzen und Fragmente. In ihrer Heimatstadt Brunn worde sie offenbar nicht vergessen: Die hier vorgelegte Anthologie versammelt Aufnahmen, die dort seit 1974 beim Tschechischen Rundfunk eingespielt wurden. Den Anstoss zur Produktion gab eine Kapralova-Gesellschaft, die dazu etliche Sponsoren aufbringen musste. Das Ergebnis ist eine erschutternde Begegnung mit einer herausragenden tschechischen Komponisten-Personlichkeit - Musik, die dem Besten von Janacek und Martinu ohne weiteres ebenburtig ist. Am wertvollsten sind vielleicht die viertelstuhdige Militarsinfonietta, das ein wening nach spatem Janacek klingende Streich-quartett op. 8 und das innige Ritornell fur Cello und Klavier aus dem Todesjahr. Ganz wie Lili Boulanger hatte Kapralova ihre personliche Tonsprache trotz ihrer Jugend schon ausgepragt entwickelt. Die Musik offenbart ein unbandiges Temperament, das sich in vielschichtigen, ungemain beredten Gesten, in groser rhythmischer Energie und metrischer Vielfalt ausdruckt, gepaart mit einem lyrisch gepragten Melodie-empfinden, das unmittelbar anruhrt. Das Janacek Quartett hatte geradezu eine Sternstunde; auch die Brunner Philharmoniker unter ihrem feinfuhligen Chef Frantisek Jilek leisten in der Wiedergabe auserordentliches; das ubrige ist interpretatorisch zumindest auf bestem Rundfunk-Niveau - in jeder Hinsicht eine wirkliche Bereicherung! Wer mehr wissen mochte, findet Informationen im Internet unter http://www.interlog.com/~hartl/Kapralova/index.htm.
Review by Benjamin G. Cohrs first published in Klassik heute, 1999/9.

VITEZSLAVA KAPRALOVA (1915-1940)
There is always something rather intriguing about an artist whose entire lifespan encompasses about as many years as most of us spend trying to figure out, vaguely, who we are. Kapralova studied with Vitezslav Novak, and was also a pupil - and apparently rather more than that - of Martinu. The earliest works here - the quartet and Sinfonietta - are accomplished and spontaneous, if not especially individual. The works of a mere several years later - the last few years of her brief life, when the relationship with and influence of Martinu was in full effect, show far greater emotional range. The impassioned Ritornell, her last completed work, has an emotional intensity only hinted at in the earlier works, and the Partita - rather Martinu-like, and none the worse for that - is clear, direct and urgently dynamic. Yes, of course it would be fascinating to know what Kapralova would have become had she survived to full maturity - but more to the point, there can be no question that the music she actually left is more than worth getting to know.
From a review by Records International, August 1999.

Vitezslava Kapralova, portret skladatelky
Nove CD venovane skladatelskemu odkazu Vitezslavy Kapralove tvori jakysi prolog ke skladatelcinu jubilejnimu roku 2000, kdy si pripomeneme 85. vyroci narozeni a zaroven 60. vyroci nahleho umrti teto ojedinele osobnosti nasi kultury. [M]alokdo zna dilo Kapralove, ktera byla nejen jako skladatelka, ale i dirigentka za sveho zivota velmi cenena. Skladatelsky portret na CD tento dluh alespon castecne splaci [..] a jeho vydani zvlaste v dnesni dobe [je] velice zasluznym cinem.
Excerpts from a review by Jiri Zahradka printed in Opus Musicum, 1999/4.

Portret plny pochopeni
Vitezslava Kapralova: Portrait of a Composer. CD. Studio Matous.
Skladatelsky portret zahrnuje sedm del z poslednich peti let autorcina zivota. Smyccovy kvartet op. 8 tu zni ve vynikajicim ztvarneni Janackova kvarteta. Vojenska symfonietta, ktera skladatelku sveho casu privedla na prah mezinarodniho vehlasu, pusobi i dnes nadmiru sveze a sugestivne: na disku ji hraje Statni filharmonie Brno s dirigentem Frantiskem Jilkem. [...] Klavirni Dubnova preludia maji lehky debussyovsky pel, s nimz si interpret Jaroslav Smykal dovedne pohrava. [...] Pisen Sbohem a satecek byla puvodne urcena pro sopran a klavir. Na nahravku je zarazena v pozdejsi - parizske verzi, v niz je vokalni part doprovazen orchestrem. Je tu i Partita pro klavir a smyccovy orchestr a jeden ze dvou zamyslenych Ritornelu pro violoncello a klavir jako nazorny doklad solidnosti skladatelcina cerstve nalezeneho stylu a jeji cilevedome orientace. [...] Vsechny skladby Vitezslavy Kapralove [...] jsou invencne svezi, strukturalne proporcni a charakterizuje je jazyk stridave lehky i dramaticky, plny hluboke exprese i vstricneho lyrickeho patosu. Nahravka predstavuje skladatelcinu tvorbu v reprezentativni siri. [...]
Excerpts from a review by Wanda Dobrovska printed in Tyden 29, July 1999.

Vitezslava Kapralova (1915-40) seems to have been an extraordinary prodigy, to judge by the CD of seven of her works..
From an annotation by Malcolm MacDonald (as at July 1999) to Havergal Brian's
article for Musical Opinion, July 1938, p. 858.

Kapralova
Tragically short-lived and prodigiously talented, Vitezslava Kapralova is remembered today mainly for her association with Martinu. This excellent and generously filled issue does a great deal to establish her credentials as a genuinely fascinating voice in inter-war Czech music: a rich post-Romantic harmonic vocabulary shot through with hints of Debussy-like colouring. The recordings on this CD are a miscellany stretching back to 1974, but each performance is much more than a read-through. Especially impressive is a committed recording of her Military Sinfonietta by Jilek, showing a powerful structural sense and clear feeling for the occasional moments of impressionistic instrumental colour. The one disappointment is the performance of her moving song Waving Farewell with Pribyl in less than his best voice. But the music is the main focus and it is remarkable: her String Quartet, composed when she was barely 20, is enormously assured; little wonder Martinu saw the makings of a composer of genius: the Partita written under his guidance is bracing and full of ear-catching invention. Much as the rediscovery of the Terezin composers has opened up a new world, this handsome tribute to Kapralova adds greatly to our understanding of 20th-century Czech music.
Review by © Jan Smaczny for the BBC Music Magazine, June 1999. Reprinted with the permission of the author and the BBC Magazine's chief sub-editor.

Vitezslava Kapralova: Portret skladatelky
Titul obsahuje sedm skladeb z posledniho petileti zivota Kapralove - pocinaje Smyccovym kvartetem (ve vynikajicim ztvarneni Janackovym kvartetem) pres poslechove nadmiru pritazlivou Vojenskou symfoniettu, klavirni Dubnova preludia a pisen Sbohem a satecek po puvabnou trivetou Partitu pro smyccovy orchestr a klavir a posledni autorcinu dokoncenou skladbu Ritornel pro violoncello a klavir. [...] Milym dramaturgickym zpestrenim nahravky je dvoji verze Koledy milostne - skladatelcinu zpracovani je predeslana verze Bohuslava Martinu. Martinu pri srovnavani obou zhudebneni konstatoval, ze.. ale to se nakonec muzete docist v bookletu, nehlede na to, ze byste si to srovnani radeji udelali nejprve sami, ze?
Excerpts from a review by Wanda Dobrovska for Harmonie, June 1999, page 42.

The Kapralova CD
This eagerly anticipated disc entitled "Portrait of a Composer" (Matous MK 0049-2011) is just to hand. It consists of a selection of Vitezslava Kapralova's works drawn from the last five years of her short life.
Born in 1915, she began composing at the age of nine. Given that her composer father Vaclav Kapral was a pupil of Janacek and that she studied composition with Vitezslav Novak, who in turn was a pupil of Dvorak, one has a good idea of where this music is coming from.
The earliest work included here is the String Quartet of 1935. It is an assured work which holds the attention for its 20-minute span. It receives a committed performance from the Janacek Quartet.
The Military Sinfonietta which followed in 1936/37 is her best known work. Conventional in style, it is the work which brought her international fame. She conducted the Sinfonietta in London in June 1938 when her country was under threat and the clouds of war were gathering. With its military themes, the work made a considerable impact.
From 1937 we have the April Preludes for Piano, an attractive Debussyesque work dedicated to Rudolf Firkusny. After performing it he requested more piano compositions from Kapralova and one can understand why. Jaroslav Smykal's account on this disc is sensitive yet robust where necessary.
Her last work before leaving Czechoslovakia in 1937 to continue her studies in Paris was the song Waving Farewell (to Prague). The orchestral accompaniment which was added later echoes of La Mer. The tenor soloist on this recording is Vilem Pribyl. It would be interesting to hear the song as it was originally performed by a soprano with piano accompaniment.
The collaboration with Martinu which followed her arrival to Paris is illustrated in an original way with settings of a Love Carol for voice and piano by each of them and specially recorded for this disc. His is the more direct setting (48 seconds), hers the more elaborate treatment (1.20).
The next work dating from 1938/39 is the Partita for Piano and a String Orchestra which shows the extent to which she had absorbed the Martinu idiom. One is not surprised to learn that he actively assisted her with this attractive and enjoyable work.
The Ritornell for Cello and Piano completes the disc. The tragic circumstances surrounding its composition are worth noting. On 23 April 1940 Kapralova married Jiri Mucha in Paris. He was serving in the Czech Legion based near Montpellier. In May Kapralova began composing this work. She became critically ill and was able to complete only the first of two projected works for cello.
On the morning of Sunday, 19th May, Pierre Fournier and Rudolf Firkusny gave the first performance of Martinu's First Cello Sonata. Kapralova was too ill to attend. After the concert Firkusny and Martinu visited her but found her very poorly. Presumably this was their last meeting because on the following day she was evacuated to Montpellier. On 10th June the Martinus fled Paris as the German armies approached. On 16th June Kapralova died aged 25.
In recent years some notable cellists have adopted works by Martinu. The little Ritornell would make a touching companion piece. On this disc it receives a compelling performance from Ivan Merka and Jaroslav Smykal.
All the items on this CD apart from the Love Songs originate from Brno Radio broadcasts. The orchestral items come from a concert given by the Brno State Orchestra under Frantisek Jilek in 1991. There is no doubt as to the quality of those performances and the recording. The other recordings date back as far as 1974 but the sound quality in all cases is perfectly acceptable.
This recording has come about through the dedicated efforts of the Kapralova Society. It is an invaluable document providing a fascinating view of Kapralova's achievements and a pointer to what might have followed had she lived.
© Review by Greg Terian for the Dvorak Society Newsletter, No. 47, April 1999. Reprinted with the author's and society's permission.

Vitezslava Kapralova: Portret skladatelky
Studio Matous vydalo ke konci roku 1998 portret skladatelky Vitezslavy Kapralove. Na 75 minutach snimku soustredilo temer vse podstatne z jeji tvorby. [..] Vydavatel pouzil vetsinou starsi nahravky ze studia Ceskeho rozhlasu v Brne. Presto, ze nektere snimky jsou stare 26 let, jsou po hudebni strance vynikajici a nadto se je podarilo skvele vycistit. Technicka uprava snimku je dilem Karla Soukenika. [..] Jen dve skladby snimku byly nastudovany nove. Bohuslav Martinu napsal roku 1937 Koledu milostnou na lidovy text pro sopran a klavir. Na to reagovala Kapralova skladbou na tyz text a pro totez obsazeni. Z konfrontace obou skladeb na CD je jasne videt, ze Kapralova si na sve "odpovedi" dala zalezet.
Booklet obsahuje zasveceny text z pera Jindry Bartove, dve fotografie a texty obou vokalnich skladeb. Vrchni stranu zdobi znama kresba Rudolfa Kundery: Vitezslava Kapralova diriguje. Celek po vsech strankach zdarily.
From a review by Petr Pokorny for Hudebni rozhledy, 1999/10, page 43.

Vitezslava Kapralova: Portret skladatelky
Vojenska symfonieta z roku 1936-7 ma nemaly emocni naboj. Ostatne je to predjimka budoucich udalosti: to se kumstyrum stava, ze mimodek predejmou a presvedcive ztvarni to, co se pak skutecne stane...
From a review by Lubomir Fendrych for Zvuk a hudba (Sound and Music), February 9, 1999.

Jindrich Uher: Ona a Martinu. Cesky spisovatel, Praha 1995, 228s.
[...] Casove prekryvani, jeho skoky ci posuny dopredu a zpatky se mi libi, pozornost si ale zaslouzi citaty z kritik ci muzikologicke prace. Tim, ze jsou vytisteny prolozene a prerusuji vzdy v pravy cas romanove vypraveni - tedy autorovu fabulaci - pusobi na ctenare svou nespornou autenticnosti [...]. Pravda vsak je, ze nektere zavery v nich obsazene (protoze jsou bez komentare) jsou nejvice zpochybnitelne. Dopisy, ktere jsou zde rovnez uzity, jsou dilem nove - dosud nepublikovane - dilem se (byt treba uryvkem) opakuji z "Podivnych lasek" [...]. Kde je ale rozsireni informaci (predevsim pro "zasvecene"), kterych se ctenari dostalo uz u Muchy, nejpatrnejsi, je v "pikantnostech" zde obsazenych.
From a review by Pavel Blatny for Opus musicum, 28, no. 1 (1996): 2-5.

Rozpadle knize of Martinu a Kapralove schazi duse.
[..] Ona a Martinu [je] pribeh, jehoz osou ma byt osudovy vztah mladicke skladatelky Vitezslavy Kapralove k Bohuslavovi Martinu. Okamzite se tu nabizi srovnani s vynikajicim romanem-neromanem Jiriho Muchy Podivne lasky, ktery zpracovava takrka stejnou latku: zatimco vsak pro Muchu znamenala Vitezslava Kapralova kus jeho vlastni osobni historie - byla jeho manzelkou, pro Uhra mohla byt pouze historickym nametem. [...] Miseni obou rovin - fiktivni a nefiktivni - se ukazuje jako jeden ze zakladnich problemu knihy. Autor se nemuze rozhodnout, ktere ma dat prednost, a proto ani jedna z nich nemuze byt dovedena do hloubky. Brani-li se Uher pod zaminkou historicke vernosti spekulacim o tom ci onom bilem miste v skladatelcine zivote, pak jednim dechem nevaha tuto svou zasadu porusit a vymysli si drobne situace, aby shromazdeni holych historickych faktu [ale tez neoverenych spekulaci - pozn. ed.] beletristicky osvezil; je to ovsem beletrie az zoufale cervenoknihovni. [..] Uherova kniha pusobi nesourode, postrada autorskou odvahu a ve srovnani s Muchovymi Podivnymi laskami predevsim - dusi. Podoba se nejspise prozaizovanemu scenari k neprilis vydarenemu rozhlasovemu pasmu.
From a review by Jan Schneider for MF Dnes, October 11, 1995.

BEAUTY FROM THE ASHES. QUARTET'S TEREZIN PROJECTS REVIVE WORKS BY NAZIS' VICTIMS
[...] Kapralova, who died in France while fleeing the Nazis, is represented by a powerful piano suite, also played by Eskin, which radiates with a juicy blend of piquant harmony and potent rhythmic bite.
From a review by Tom Di Nardo for Philadelphia Daily News, May 2, 1994, p. 43.

Silenced Voices. Shulhoff, Kapralova, Klein. Northeastern NR 248-CD.
Kapralova left a small but impressively polished and individual body of music [...]
From a review by John Wiser for Fanfare, 17, no. 1 (1993).

For Them, Time Ran Out. The fascinating and moving new compact disc Silenced Voices offers poignant witness to what was - and what might have been.
[...] Kapralova's brief Dubnova preludia for piano is another strong work, dedicated to the pianist Rudolf Firkusny, who knew her in Paris before the war. In four brief movements this collection of miniatures displays deft command of keyboard technique, sharp ear for piquant sonority and angular, accented melodies. [...]
From a review by Michael Walsh for Time, May 24, 1993.

NAVRCHOLU.cz