Dagmar Pecková takes on European and Czech carols on new Xmas LP

Dagmar Pecková

The great Czech opera singer Dagmar Pecková has just released a new Christmas album with the Musica Bohemica ensemble led by Jaroslav Krček, as well as a rising star of the country’s opera scene Vincenc Ignác Novotný.

The album, entitled Exaltatio, includes European Christmas songs, Bohemian and Moravian folk Christmas carols and a previously unknown hymnal dating from 1863.

Pecková told Radio Prague that the collaboration with Jaroslav Krček began after they had performed on the same bill five years ago.

Photo: Supraphon

“After the concert I said to him, I hate Christmas and CDs of carols, but I’d like to record a Christmas CD with you. He looked at me like I was a nut, but it eventually happened. In 2018 we did the LP Nativitas – Zrození, which was a big success; we were top of the charts for 10 weeks. So we decided to record another one, Exaltatio.”

The opera star said she been exaggerating about hating Christmas and had begun really celebrating the holiday as an adult when she had children.

“I was generally alone in some hotel in Vienna or Berlin at Christmas, because I had a concert the next day. Then I started a family and began doing everything the way my own mum did it. Not everything was a success. They didn’t want to eat carp but wanted duck instead, and so on. But it all settled down in the end. The Christmas holidays were of course wonderful when the kids were small, but now they’ve all got their own ideas. Today, thanks to the pandemic, I’m free again at Christmas. The children are big now but we’ll have a Christmas together and it’s definitely be wonderful once again.”