On 9 October, Supraphon released the new album by Doležal Quartet
and the oboist Michaela Hrabánková featuring a world premiere recording of
Josef Mysliveček’s oboe quintets and string quartets. We talked with the
violinist Václav Dvořák about this new release.
Is your new album your first collaboration with the Supraphon
The Doležal Quartet had previously worked with Supraphon on a Jan Bartoš
album. We made with the pianist a live recording of Concerto for Piano and
Orchestra No. 12 in A major, „A Quattro“, KV 414/386a, which is included
in his Mozart project. In the second part of the CD, Jan Bartoš is accompanied
by the Czech Philharmonic conducted by Jiří Bělohlávek.
The Josef Mysliveček works on your new album are world premiere
recordings. How did you rediscover the pieces?
The album’s genesis started five years ago, when we got together with the
oboist Michaela Hrabánková to discuss the repertoire we could perform. When it
comes to Mysliveček’s quintets, everyone knew that he composed them, but
no one knew where the scores were. Consequently, we began an intensive quest,
with the result being the rediscovery of three of the six quintets. First we
found a set without the oboe part, and later on we located in private
collections a copy of the complete score.
What do you play the rediscovered works from? Have the scores been
I myself have transcribed the music. While doing so, I compared two versions,
written by different copyists. I strove for the outcome to be as authentic as
possible. Within two years, we would like to have the scores published, to make
them available to other musicians.
Your new album also contains Mysliveček’s string quartets, which
too you have recorded in world premiere. How did you select the particular
Mysliveček created over 20 string quartets. After we had played all of them,
we whittled it down, and ultimately recorded the three we deemed most
inspired – two early quartets and one dating from the composer’s late
period, published posthumously. We drew upon the edition of the American
musicologist Daniel E. Freeman, who highly valued the final version of all the
three quintets and who also wrote the text for our CD booklet.
Josef Mysliveček spent decades in Italy. Is his music evidently
influenced by the southern milieu?
I think that Italy was an excellent choice. Mysliveček had an immense sense
for melody, hence it comes as no surprise that he was so esteemed and popular in
that country. Judging by that which I have read in his monographs, he was the
type of person who would have fitted right in.
How did you approach interpretation of
I admit it was a tough nut to crack. It took us a long time to arrive at the
optimal interpretation. Following several rehearsals and discussions, Michaela
Hrabánková finally decided to play the modern oboe, yet we too had to
accommodate to a certain degree. Striving to achieve an authentic performance,
we consulted early music experts about everything. We also tried out a variety
of strings, as during Mysliveček’s time these instruments experienced a
major development. In the end, when recording we held the bows in the Baroque
manner in order to attain a softer sound.
You made the recording at the Dvořák Hall of the Rudolfinum. Was it
indeed an ideal environment?
We wanted to pay tribute to Mysliveček by making the recording at the
Rudolfinum, one of the most prestigious concert venues in the Czech Republic.
His music certainly deserves it. Moreover, we were again happy to have worked
with Jabub Hadraba, a fabulous music director and sound engineer rolled
Can we look forward to concert performances of the Mysliveček pieces
featured on the new album?
Yes, one of our programmes is solely made up of Josef Mysliveček’s works. We
would like to have his music presented to as wide an audience possible. We have
also drawn up an educative programme entirely focused on Mysliveček. We are
delighted that promoters are interested in such projects, and we would like to
continue to pursue this exclusively Mysliveček path for another year
Does your ensemble have a “core” repertoire?
I wouldn’t say it concerns music from the Classicism era. We have a great
penchant for Romanticism and Impressionism, and we really love Leoš Janáček.
We also have a close affinity to contemporary music. Several composers have
turned to us, suggesting collaboration.
What concerts are you scheduled to give soon and which do you look
forward to the most?
Due to the pandemic, several concerts of ours have been cancelled, which we are
truly sorry about. We are currently planning a tour of Slovakia. We should soon
give a large concert of wonderful music in Brno. I really look forward to it,
as I was born in the city and haven’t performed there for almost two decades.
Furthermore, we have prepared several concert programmes in collaboration with
the actress Valérie Zawadská.
Have you given thought to your next album?
We are preparing a large-scale project to mark the Doležal Quartet’s 50th
anniversary, but I’d rather not disclose any details for the time being. And
maybe before that we will make a recording with the clarinettist Anna