Mathilde Kralik

3 Dec 1857
8 Mar 1944
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Mathilde Aloisia Kralik von Meyrswalden (3 December 1857 in Linz – 8 March 1944) was an Austrian composer.

Mathilde Kralik was the daughter of Bohemian glass industrialist Wilhelm Kralik von Meyrswalden (1807–1877) from Eleonorenhain.

After the death of his first wife Anna Maria Pinhak (1814–1850), he married Louise Lobmeyr (1832–1905) on 28 May 1851. Mathilde was the fourth of five children from his second marriage to Louise née Lobmeyr.

Her brother was Richard Kralik von Meyrswalden, the poet philosopher, historian and arts administrator.

Kralik was born in Linz, and her first compositions were lyrical poems and hymns based on her brother’s works. The family regularly had music in the house, as her father William played the violin and her mother Louise played piano.

In this way the musically gifted children not only learned the milieu of classical chamber music, but also string orchestra furnished music of the time by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

Early on the parents recognized the musical gifts of their daughter, and the financial circumstances of her father allowed Mathilde the best music teachers of her time.

Kralik took piano lessons from her mother, and later was a pupil of Anton Bruckner, Franz Krenn and Julius Epstein. She passed the 1876 entrance examination for the Conservatory of the Society of Friends of Music, and studied at the Conservatory from 1876 to 1878.

She won the second prize for a Scherzo for piano quintet and received first prize for her thesis, Intermezzo from a suite. Kralik graduated from the conservatory with a diploma in composition and the Silver Society Medal.

Kralik’s works became popular in the concert scene of Austria. On 19 April 1894 and on 19 April 1895, her compositions were performed at the Brahms-Saal of the Musikverein place. In the 1989/99 season, the Quartet Duesberg presented her 1880 composed Piano Trio in F Major (1880).

Josef Venantius von Wöss on 12 January 1900 hosted a concert in the Great Hall of the Musikverein where Matilda book The Baptism of Christ after a poem by Pope Leo XIII was presented. Her Christmas Cantata for solo, choir and orchestra was also staged. On 20 March 1908 in the Brahms-Saal, a concert included four songs and arias from her fairy-tale opera Blume and Weissblume.

Mathilde was Honorary President of the Women’s Choir Association Vienna, and a member of the Vienna Bach community, the Austrian Composers, the Association of Writers and Artists Club of Vienna and the Viennese Musicians.

In October 1905, her mother Louise died at age 74. The death of her mother affected Kralik and her work stagnated for half a year. From 1912 onward she lived in their home alone until she took an apartment with Dr. Alice Scarlat (1882–1959) in Vienna.

The opera Blume und Weissblume was presented in 1910 in Hagen, Westphalia, and in 1912 in Bielsko, and was popular not only because of these two performances, but also because of sensationalist coverage in the press.

The former Capuchin friar Nicasius Schusser had written an opera Quo Vadis, in which he took 52 pages from Kralik’s opera note for note.

Mathilde responded in the press, but gave up legal action against Schusser. After World War I the popularity of Kralik’s work declined, and she died 8 March 1944 in Vienna.

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