Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden (1857-1944)
Lied der Sappho (Johann Gottfried Herder)
Ich kann nicht süsse Mutter
Der Mond ist schon hinunter
Ach die gliederlösende böse Liebe
Komm, o Cypris
Erstorben wirst du liegen
(It will be the first performance of this music)
Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden (December 3, 1857 in Linz on the Danube - March 8, 1944 in Vienna) was the daughter of the Bohemian glass industrialist Wilhelm Kralik Ritter von Meyrswalden (1807-1877) from Eleonorenhain. Her father was raised to the nobility in 1877 by Emperor Franz Joseph I for industrial and humanitarian effectiveness with the title "Knight of Meyrswalden". After the death of his first wife Anna Maria Pinhak (1814-1850), with whom he had had 13 children, he married Louise Lobmeyr (1832-1905) on May 28, 1851.
Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden is the fourth of five children from her second marriage to Louise. To her brother, Richard Kralik von Meyrswalden (the poet-philosopher, historian and cultural politician) was she a kindred spirit and confidante in his world of thought from childhood. Her first compositions were based on lyrical poems and hymns by her brother, as was the text of her three-act fairy tale opera “Flower and White-Flower”. House music was played regularly in the family, her father Wilhelm played the violin and her mother Louise the piano. In this musically influenced milieu the children not only got to know classical chamber music, but also some orchestral music of the time (preferably by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven) arranged for string quartet. The parents recognized their daughter's talent early on. Her father's financial possibilities made it possible for Mathilde to take private lessons from the best music teachers of her time and not have to worry about her livelihood.
Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden was a student of Anton Bruckner, Franz Krenn and Julius Epstein. She also took courses in music history. As a student, she achieved the annual financial statements with awards. In the first year (after completing the second year) she received the second prize for the scherzo of her piano quintet. After completing the third year, she received the first prize for her thesis, Intermezzo from a suite, which she herself conducted at the “Concours of the Training School for Composition” on July 2, 1878 when she was 20 years old. She graduated from the Conservatory in 1878, just two years after starting her studies, with a diploma in composition and the "Silver Society Medal“.
Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden and Gustav Mahler attended the composition class at the Vienna Conservatory at the same time. Gustav Mahler was one of her friends, as was his wife Alma geb. Schindler. Gustav Mahler also finished his music studies in 1878 and, like Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden, was a prizewinner.
The soirées held regularly on Sunday afternoons in her house on Weimarer Strasse (Vienna-Döbling) were appreciated by music lovers, at which Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden offered a great deal of artistic pleasure with her virtuoso piano playing. It can almost be taken for granted that the collaboration of the siblings Richard and Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden would also extend to the field of opera. Her older brother Richard Kralik von Meyrswalden was a writer and cultural philosopher. He founded the conservative Catholic magazine “The Grail”, and most of his works also had religious themes. In his honor the City of Vienna named the “Richard-Kralik-Platz” in the Döbling district. The artistic debut of the siblings was the three-act fairy tale opera “Flower and White-Flower”, the libretto of which was written by brother Richard based on the popular book “Flos and Blankflos”. Like many of her colleagues, Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden was also active in club life: Honorary President of the Vienna Ladies Choir, the Vienna Bach Community, the Austrian Composers Association, the Association of Writers and Artists of Vienna and the Club of Vienna Musicians. In the latter club she often met the composer Wilma von Webenau. Her mother Louise died on October 3, 1905 at the age of 83. The death of her mother shook the 48-year-old Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden badly, she reacted with a six-month stagnation of her work. From 1912 the until then single composer Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden lived with Dr. Alice Scarlates (1882-1959) together in the apartment Weimarer Str. 89 in Vienna. Alice Scarlates worked as a lecturer for Romance languages at the University of Vienna until her retirement, but no further information about her has come down to us in the estate. Only in the will of Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden dated July 31, 1934 is the "long-time friend ... who shared joys and sorrows" named as the main heir of her estate.
She died on March 8, 1944 in the “Herbstsonne” old people's home on Argentinierstrasse, and she was registered at Weimarer Strasse 89 until her death. She was buried in Vienna's central cemetery (Gate 2). The death certificate was signed by Mathilde Kralik from Meyrswalden's sister Louisa and her partner Dr. Alice Scarlates. After the death of her friend Mathilde Kralik von Meyrswalden, Alice Scarlates lived in the shared apartment at Weimarer Str. 89 until her own death in 1959.