Vycpálek, Ladislav

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Vycpálek, Ladislav

Vycpálek, Ladislav , eminent Czech composer; b. Prague, Feb. 23,1882; d. there, Jan. 9,1969. He received training in voice, violin, and piano in his youth, studied Czech and German at the Univ. of Prague (Ph.D., 1906, with a diss. on legends in Czech literature concerning the youth of Mary and Jesus), and took composition lessons with Novak (1908-12). In 1907 he joined the staff of the Univ. of Prague library, where he later was founder-director of its music section (1922-42); Vycpálek was also active as a violinist in the amateur quartet led by Josef Pick (1909-39); in 1936 he served as artistic director of the National Theater. In 1924 he became a member of the Czech Academy; he later served as chairman of its music section (1950-51). In 1957 Vycpálek was made an Artist of Merit and in 1967 a National Artist by the Czech government. He greatly distinguished himself as a composer of vocal music, numbering among his finest scores the Kantáta o posled-ních vëcech člověka (Cantata on the Last Things of Man; 1920-22).


: ORCH: Vzuhru srdce (Lift Up Your Hearts), 2 variation fantasias on hymns from Hus’s day (1950). CHAMBER: String Quartet (1909); Sonata “Chvála housli” (Praise to the Violin) for Violin, Mezzo-soprano, and Piano (1927-28); Suite for Viola (1929); Suite for Violin (1930); Violin Sonatina (1947); solo piano pieces, including Cestou (On the Way), 5 pieces (1911-14), and Doma (Home), suite (1959). VOCAL: Kantáta o posledních věcech clověka (Cantata on the Last Things of Man) for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1920-22); Blashoslavený ten člověk (Blessed Is This Man), cantata for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1933); České requiem “Smrt a spaseni” (Czech Requiem “Death and Redemption”) for Soprano, Alto, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1940); choruses; songs; folk song arrangements.


J. Smolka, L. V.: Tvurci vyvoj (L. V: Creative Evolution; Prague, 1960); M. Svobodova and H. Krupka, Národní umëlec L. V.(Prague, 1973).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire