In October 2018, the globally renowned mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková
in collaboration with Jaroslav Krček and Musica Bohemica released a new
Christmas album titled Nativitas. We asked Dagmar Pecková a couple of questions
about the new release as well as about her plans for the future.
Your new album, Nativitas, is made up of Czech and Moravian carols,
Christmas songs from Czech Baroque hymnbooks and old carols of European nations.
A truly abundant source for choosing a repertoire. Mrs. Pecková, could you
tell us how you put together the final selection?
The final selection of the pieces on the album is the result of agreement
between Jaroslav Krček and me. I really wanted the disc to feature as many
European carols and possible, in different languages. Hence, the tracklist even
contains Flemish and Dutch carols, as well as a Swedish song, representing the
Nordic Protestant tradition. The music was treated and arranged by Mr. Krček.
As I perceive it, our collaboration was swift, fruitful and
How did you arrive at the decision to work with Jaroslav
Shortly before Christmas 2016, Spirituál kvintet invited me to their Advent
concert at the Municipal House in Prague. Jaroslav Krček and Musica Bohemica
appeared as their guests. I came to the concert straight from a rehearsal and
was very tired. Yet as soon as Musica Bohemica began playing, I felt
revitalised. I was so impressed by their splendid performance that afterwards
I went to see Jaroslav Krček at the dressing room and directly told him that
I wished to make a Christmas album with him.
What type of music did you use to listen to as a child and later on
as an adult during Christmas?
When I was a child, there were not many possibilities to listen to music from a
player, so my family just got together by the piano and sang carols, as a trio,
for instance. Yet I must admit that I have already been listening to the new
album, which delights me. Nevertheless, this actually is an extraordinary case,
as I have seldom been inclined to speak of my work positively and I hardly
ever have been able to listen to my own recordings. The album has always
delighted me in that it contains Baroque music that passes over to folk and
Could you present to us the other guest musicians featured on the
Besides Jaroslav Krček’s Musica Bohemica, Karel Jakubů (a member of the
ensemble), Filip Dámec, as well as Krček himself, sing along with me. In
addition, I also invited the excellent Gentleman Singers.
Music performers undoubtedly have many dreams and plans, thinking of
projects they would like to accomplish. Could you reveal to us what your next
Supraphon album might be?
As incredible as it may seem, I have plans until 2022. I would very much like
to continue to pursue the Nativitas project, for the next instalment of which we
have already recorded two carols that did not fit on the current album.
Moreover, the composer Darek Král and I have prepared a recording of music
verging on electronics, aimed at lauding Impressionist paintings in a variety of
languages (German, Italian, French and others). In another album I’ve been
giving thought to I would like to focus on Czech film songs dating from the
1930s. My list of future projects also includes a recording featuring arias of
“flighty women” from Jacques Offenbach’s works, which would in a way link
up to the “Sinful Women” album (released in 2015). Well, I know I am like
a bulldozer. I constantly feel the urge to create something. Yet I am well
aware of the fact that I don’t know when my “shelf life” will end.