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KAPRÁLOVÁ, Vítezslava (1915-1940)

COMPLETE PIANO MUSIC


  • Giorgio Koukl, piano

Despite her tragically brief life, Vítezslava Kaprálová is now considered the most important female Czech composer of the 20th century, her prolific output abundant with fresh and bold ideas, passion, tenderness and youthful energy. This in-depth exploration, representing some of the very best of her music, includes early gems such as the April Preludes, the exquisite and sophisticated Variations, the remarkable Sonata appassionata and her final Dance for piano, reconstructed by Giorgio Koukl from its only surviving sketch.

Tracklist

 
Sonata Appasionata, Op. 6 (1933) (00:18:45 )
1
I. Maestoso. Appassionato (00:07:58)
2
II. Theme and variations: Theme: Andante semplice (00:00:35)
3
II. Theme and variations: Variation 1: Più mosso (00:00:35)
4
II. Theme and variations: Variation 2: Scherzando (00:00:30)
5
II. Theme and variations: Variation 3: Con moto (00:01:07)
6
II. Theme and variations: Variation 4: Vivace (00:01:03)
7
II. Theme and variations: Variation 5: Largo (00:01:38)
8
II. Theme and variations: Variation 6: Vivo (00:05:19)
9
Praeludium, Op. 9, No. 1 (1935) (00:04:39)
10
Crab Canon, Op. 9, No. 2 (1935) (00:01:44)
11
Grotesque Passacaglia (1935) (00:02:34)
 
5 Piano Compositions (1932) (00:12:07 )
12
No. 1. Maestoso (00:01:30)
13
No. 2. Cantabile-moderato (00:01:08)
14
No. 3. Andante con moto (00:01:31)
15
No. 4. Tempo di menuetto (00:02:43)
16
No. 5. Alla marcia funebre (00:06:15)
 
Dubnová Preludia (April Preludes), Op. 13 () (00:09:00 )
17
No. 1. Allegro ma non troppo (00:02:08)
18
No. 2. Andante (00:03:08)
19
No. 3. Andante semplice (00:01:42)
20
No. 4. Vivo (00:02:08)
 
Variations sur le Carillon de l'Église St-Étienne-du-Mont, Op. 16 (1938) (00:07:59 )
21
Theme - Variation 1: Poco vivo (00:01:38)
22
Variation 2: Allegretto (00:00:36)
23
Variation 3: Lento, ma non troppo (00:01:08)
24
Variation 4: Quasi etude-vivo (00:00:45)
25
Variation 5: Choral (00:01:34)
26
Variation 6: Allegro e coda (00:02:18)
27
2 Dances for Piano, Op. 23: No. 1 (reconstructed by G. Koukl) (1940) * (00:03:11)
 
2 Kytičky (2 Bouquets of Flowers) (1935) (00:01:36 )
28
No. 1. Kytička fialek (Small Bouquet of Violets) * (00:00:41)
29
No. 2. Podzimní listí (Autumn Leaves) * (00:00:55)
30
Písnička (Little Song) (1936) (00:01:18)
31
Ostinato Fox (1937) * (00:01:06)
32
Slavnostní Fanfára (Festive Fanfare) (1940) * (00:00:24)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:05:29

The Artist(s)

Giorgio Koukl is a pianist/harpsichordist and composer. He was born in Prague in 1953, and studied there at the State Music School and Conservatory. He continued his studies at both the Conservatories of Zürich and Milan, where he took part in the masterclasses of Nikita Magaloff, Jacques Février, and Stanislaus Neuhaus, and with Rudolf Firkušný, friend and advocate of Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů.

The Composer(s)

Like her composer father, Kaprálová was drawn to piano as her natural instrument, and piano compositions are well represented in her relatively large creative output that includes about fifty compositions. Piano also played a crucial role in her music as a compositional tool with which she experimented in both smaller and larger forms. It is therefore not surprising that her most original and sophisticated works are for this instrument: from her Sonata appassionata and Piano Concerto in D Minor to April Preludes and Variations sur le carillon de l’église St.-Etienne-du-Mont (and the Martinu–influenced, neoclassical Partita in which piano also plays an important percussive role). Piano compositions arguably represent the best of Kaprálová’s music which abounds in fresh and bold ideas, humour, passion and tenderness, and is imbued with youthful energy.

Reviews

Ritmo

“[Kapralova’s] music moves between neoclassicism and modernism, characteristic of the interwar period, always with an original freshness… Giorgio Koukl presents these with pieces with his usual effectiveness.” – Ritmo

“…[this CD] is up to the permanent high standards of the Grand Piano label and the performances and interpretations are exemplary. …this maybe repertoire virtually unknown but what a treat it is and is utterly impossible not to recommend it wholeheartedly.” – Dvorák Society Newsletter

Musical Toronto

“Giorgio Koukl’s chronicle of [Kaprálová’s] life at the piano provides compelling listening.” – Musical Toronto

“a thoroughly fascinating disc and a great introduction to a composer who definitely deserves to be better known.” – The Art Music Lounge

“It is good to see pianists of the stature of Giorgio Koukl putting out to largely uncharted waters. …The results in this first account of Kaprálová’s complete piano music are stirringly impressive… ” – MusicWeb International

“…a fabulous, thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating disc of truly inspirational music.” – MusicWeb International