Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

British composers

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


AmazonUK AmazonUS

Vítěslava KAPRÁLOVÁ (1915-1940)
Chamber Music

April Preludes (4) op. 13 (1937) [8:42]
Legend for violin and piano op. 3a (1932) [6:45]
Burlesque for violin and piano op. 3b (1932) [4:10]
Five Compositions for piano op. 1 (1931-2) [8:10]
Elegy for violin and piano (1939) [3:50]
Sonata Appassionata for solo piano op. 6 (1933) [16:55]
Variations sur le Carillon de l'Eglise Saint-Etienne-du-Mont op.16 (1938) [12:35]
Little Song for solo  piano (1936) [1:18]
Virginia Eskin (piano); Stephanie Chase (violin)
rec. July 2007, Performing Arts Center, Purchase, NewYork, Theater C. DDD


Experience Classicsonline

Kaprálová came from a cultivated and musically sympathetic family in Brno. There she attended the Conservatory, studying composition with Vilem Petrzelka and conducting with Zdenek Chalabala. From those  student years come Five Compositions, Legend and Burlesque, and the Sonata Appassionata. These works are not backward-looking even so.

The Legend is honeyed and hoarse with lyricism. One might guess early-mid period Delius - especially those rhapsodic floating lyric tendrils for the violin. The Burlesque is an elegantly pointed May-Morning carefree piece; nothing of the music-hall. One can also sense Szymanowski's Arabian intoxicants in the richly allusive Elegy. The Five Compositions include a plangent and darkly dissonant Maestoso perhaps similar to later Frank Bridge or to John Ireland's Ballade. The Cantabile moderato is a liquid romance akin to the Legend. The Andante proceeds subtly while the Tempo di menuetto is again free of cares. The Tempo di marcia funebre with its ‘strummed’ downbeat is dignified and optimistic. The writing here recalls not only that of Ireland but Bax in his strenuously thunderous moments in the second and third piano sonatas. From these student years we also hear the confident and gestural Sonata Appassionata which has much florid heroic writing yet remains impressionistic. The spinning rivulets of sound and the harmonic scheme repeatedly recall John Ireland – a composer whose music it is unlikely she would have known. The second and final movement is a shining set of six variations. 

Of the mature works the four April Preludes appear first on the disc. They were championed by Rudolf Firkusny who was later to become such an advocate of the piano music of Martinů. It is not just the title but the style that again takes me to Kaprálová's English contemporaries: John Ireland and Frank Bridge. The first prelude is mercurial, touched with the dark threat explicit in Ireland's Ballade. The second Prelude recalls Bridge's 1922 Piano Sonata while the third is a most delicately drawn bloom with a melody of Warlockian innocence. The last prelude has an unaccountable Oriental accent as if Kaprálová had been influenced by Karol Szymanowski. The Carillon Variations were published after Martinů had persuaded Michel Dillard to support the work. It is another subtle, perfumed and delicate work which is fragile and fantastic yet resilient and, as in the case of the final variation, stonily defiant in the manner of Rachmaninov. 

After her studies in Brno she moved to Prague where she attended master-classes by Novak and Talich which surely stood her in good stead for writing her 1937 Military Sinfonietta dedicated to President Eduard Benes.  At the premiere conducted the Czech Philharmonic. Staying in Paris she was drawn in particular to the music of Stravinsky and paid tribute to Petrushka in her large orchestral Suite Rustica (1938). Her last work was the elegy written as an in memoriam to Karel Capek. 

The notes are by Karla Hartl who keeps the Kaprálová Society responsive and active and without whose support this recording would not have happened. 

There are a handful of Kaprálová recordings: the Studio Matous Portrait, song collection on Supraphon and String Quartet. 

Shame about the lacks of dates and timing in the track listings. That said, the recording is strong and the performances sensitive and completely committed as if Eskin and Chase had known the music for many years. It's a measure of Koch's values and judgement that the gaps between tracks are unusually generous. It really pays off.

Rob Barnett




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.