Opera singer Štefan Margita planned to record a Christmas album this year, but after a performance in tribute to Karl Gott, he decided to record an album of folk songs. The impetus for the change was a concert in Prague’s O2 arena, where Gott’s supporters sang the Slovak folk song Išel Macek do Malacek with great success. The album is called Štefan Margita – Rež, rež, rež – folk songs, and in the spring of next year the singer, who is used to large opera productions, will embark on a concert tour of the same name. The album will be presented in conjunction with symphony orchestras.
A few years ago,
I certainly wouldn’t have considered letting myself be talked into folk music. If it weren’t for the memorial concert for Karel Gott, where Ivanka (Gottová) called me to do Išel Macek do Malacek and Supraphon’s offer, I would probably record another Christmas record. But in the end, a record of folk songs, which I never recorded, came to me as a good idea, said Štefan Margita.
On the album Rež, rež, rež,
And Margit I combined not only the expected Slovak but also the Moravian and Czech folk songs in arrangements for a symphony orchestra and instrumental soloists. In addition to the song Išel Macek do Malacek, the recording includes well-known folk songs Černé oči go to sleep, Oh, son, son, If I were a bird, Ey, lásko, lásko or Mať moja.
“When I started choosing songs, the first person I listened to was Karel Gott. He filmed a lot of them. Then I discovered a program on Czech TV where he sang folk songs, and we chose from that,” said Margita.
At the first concert on March 19 next year,
Margita will accompany the B. Martinů Philharmonic at the Zlín Congress Center. The Pardubice Chamber Philharmonic and the North Bohemian Philharmonic Teplice will perform with him at other concerts. The concert lineup will also include performances at the Bennewitz Festival in Česká Třebová, the Ludwig van Beethoven Festival in Teplice, and the Leoš Janáček Festival in Hukvaldy.
Folk songs cannot be played all evening so we will combine them with well-known musical melodies. I’m looking forward to the concerts, it will be something else again,” said Margita. “There’s still plenty of time before the first concert, so I’m letting it sit a bit because I have other activities before Christmas,” he added