Album detail
Catalogue number: SU 4238-2

An interview with the mezzo-soprano Markéta Cukrová, one of the soloist of Antonín Dvořák's Moravian Duets, which were released two months ago.

The artist you most closely worked with on the new Supraphon album is the singer Simona Šaturová. How did you get together?
I must confess that the recording is a dream that I have had in my head for years. Simona Šaturová and I got together at the Styriarte festival in Graz, where we jointly sang some of Dvořák’s Moravian Duets. It was the very first time we had performed chamber music together, and I think both of us were happy to realise how well our voices fitted together. From the very beginning, our collaboration went extremely smoothly.

How did you choose the pianist?
When selecting the pianist, I took into account a number of aspects. I sought a musician possessing experience with conducting, one who likes working with and has regularly accompanied singers, while being capable of thinking “vocally”. So I naturally opted for my frequent partner and colleague Vojtěch Spurný. And I think the choice was an excellent one indeed.

Another singer featured on the album is the young tenor Petr Nekoranec. Why did you choose him?
Finding a suitable tenor is always rather difficult. I first met Petr Nekoranec at the National Theatre in Brno, when it was staging Rossini’s opera Le Comte Ory. I realised that he is an extraordinary musician and a fabulous person, with a young spirit and wonderful voice. Petr was prompt, he did a perfect job and fitted well with the other artists, co-creating a friendly atmosphere.

The album is noteworthy owing to the fact that Vojtěch Spurný plays the piano part on Antonín Dvořák’s very own 1879 Bösendorfer piano, maintained at the Antonín Dvořák Museum in Prague. What makes the instrument so extraordinary?
I wanted our recording to be special, yet I admit that I did not hold out much hope that it could be made with Dvořák’s own piano. Even though, logically, the instrument is not in the best of condition, it can still be played and it has a singular, simple sound. Fortunately, Vojtěch Spurný found the idea feasible. I myself deem the employment of Dvořák’s piano the album’s added value. And since the instrument could not be moved from the Villa America, the recording was made right on the spot.

All of you are busy, your calendars are full and, what is more, you spend most of the year abroad. Can Czech audiences still hope to hear the album’s repertoire performed live?
We do intend to give concerts of the complete Moravian Duets, as the cycle has scarcely been performed in its entirety. Perhaps our album will also serve to inspire young singers, who would include the cycle in their repertoires. Dvořák’s Moravian Duets are among the best chamber vocal pieces in Czech.