"We cannot approach opera from the position of snobbish dismissal. We cannot write operas while at the same time lamenting the deficiencies of the genre. We must fulfil our own ideal by making use of that which the stage has to offer," so wrote Kurt Weill in 1926. At the time, he had just begun seeking a new musical genre, one that would supersede the conventional opera. The resounding success of Die Greigroschenoper proved that the path he had taken was the right one; the new genre emerged at an appropriate time, and it seemed that the audience had been waiting for opera's resurgence too. The adventurous journey Weill pursued for half a century, led from Germany to Paris and finally to New York City. The result of his efforts were considerable simplification of the musical idiom, inspiration by pop and jazz, and the assignment of the vocal parts to actors without traditional professional voice training. It was a true revolution. And that represented a challenge for the mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková, who throughout her illustrious career has appeared on the world's most prominent stages as an artist acclaimed as a refined performer of music by Mozart, Mahler, Bizet ... An artist who, however, never contents herself with academism and empty form. One of her dreams, to make an album of Kurt Weill's songs, has now come true, 25 years after she portrayed at the Stuttgart Opera the lead female role in the opera Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny. The singular poetics of Weill's songs, a fabulous orchestra and splendid arrangements blending classical music and jazz - and, of course, Dagmar Pecková, who has never been "just" a diva, but a singer who makes her dreams come true and does everything with great enthusiasm.
Kurt Weill according to Dagmar Pecková. Songs that touch the very centre of the heart.
“The prolifically recorded Czech singer Dagmar Pecková specialises not only in her native music, but in Brahms, Mahler, Schoenberg and Zemlinsky. Here she follows Brigitte Fassbaender and Anne Sophie von Otter in recording Weill, with a nod to Teresa Stratas and the composer's favourite, Lotte Lenya. Seeräuber-Jenny, Surabaya Johny and Alabama Song are all here, and her mezzo has an authentic rasping edge. Terrific accompaniments, too.”
The Sunday Times, July 2017
“Lovers of Kurt Weill’s music should find a lot to admire on this well-filled disc.”
MusicWeb International, September 2017
“Man spürt, wie die Sängerin den intendiert lasziven Gesangsstil mit gestalterischer Intelligenz und Raffinesse angeht und findet etwa am Ende von ‚Der Abschiedsbrief‘ tatsächlich zu gekonnt ordinärem Ausdruck. Gleichwohl bleibt die ‚klassische‘ Sängerin stets spürbar, was durchaus seine Reize hat. Leicht schönende Orchesterarrangements.”
FonoForum, October 2017
“Ms Pecková also approaches this repertoire more straightforwardly than many an average opera singer would do. The opening song, Surabaya Johnnyfrom Happy End, is a splendid calling-card for the whole recital with truly expressive singing and the refrain is sung meltingly beautifully.”
MusicWeb International, November 2017