- Jiří Macek
- and Anna Šerých
(b Brno, Jan 24, 1915; d Montpellier, June 16, 1940). Czech composer. Encouraged by her father, the composer Václav Kaprál, she started to compose at the age of nine. At the Brno Conservatory (1930–35) she studied composition with Vilém Petrželka and conducting with Zdenek Chalabala; her graduation work was a piano concerto, which she conducted herself. For the next two years she participated in the masterclasses of Vítězslav Novák (composition) and Václav Talich (conducting) at the Prague Conservatory, after which a French government scholarship enabled her to move to Paris in 1937. There she studied conducting with Charles Münch and composition with Martinů. For Martinů she became more than a compatriot and talented pupil: they influenced each other when working on similar compositions (Martinů’s Madrigaly, Kaprálová’s Koleda milostná, ‘Love Carol’), and their correspondence regarding Martinů’s Tre ricercari and Kaprálová’s Partita op.20 confirms their close cooperation.
The music Kaprálová wrote in Paris reveals a mature mastery of contemporary musical language as she mingles a concise polytonality with her own melancholy melodic expression. The outstanding works of this period are the Variations on the peal of St Etienne-du-Mont for piano, the ...