Kaprálová produced more than 70 works, the majority of them written between 1935 to 1939. These include the ballad oratorio Ilena, symphonic pieces, concertos, chamber music, keyboard works, and many songs, of which Waving Farewell is perhaps the best known. The songs in particular show a distinctive musical voice at work; Kaprálová's music demonstrates an understanding of French impressionism but doesn't sound particularly French, and sometimes Kaprálová incorporates some of the toughness and grit of expressionistic writing to put over a dramatic effect.
Kaprálová initially studied at the Brno Conservatory, and later with composer Vitezslav Novák. From 1938 Kaprálová was studying at the L'École Normale de Musique de Paris and was nearly trapped in the city when it was occupied by the Nazis. Kaprálová's husband Jiri Mucha managed to smuggle her out to a hospital in Montpellier, where she died. Kaprálová and her work have always been best known in the former Czechoslovakia and its related republics, but gained international renown only since the fall of the Iron Curtain. Some refer to Kaprálová as a "holocaust victim," which is not quite true. Access to decent medical care, impossible to get during the wartime occupation of France, might have made a difference in Kaprálová's case. Nonetheless, the vast majority of music she wrote survives and is well worth getting to know.