Gassenhauer: Gassenbauer (Street Tunes) | Berlin Classics 0300782BC

Gassenhauer: Gassenbauer (Street Tunes)


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Label: Berlin Classics

Cat No: 0300782BC

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 7th October 2016



With their Gassenhauer programme the two exceptionally gifted Viennese classical musicians – Vera Karner on clarinet and Dominik Wagner on double bass – won over the experts of the Fanny Mendelssohn Bursary jury, headed by Jürgen Kesting. There are very few works for their unusually constituted trio of clarinet, double bass and piano, which is why the two musicians, both just 20 years old, have not only arranged existing compositions such as Ludwig van Beethoven’s Gassenhauertrio originally written for cello, clarinet and piano or Max Bruch’s Eight Pieces for viola, clarinet and piano, but commissioned works for the formation themselves. Taking their cue from Beethoven, they have called their debut album “Gassenhauer”. Just as Beethoven, in the third movement of his op.11, picked up the popular theme from Joseph Weigl’s opera L’amor marinaro (“love among mariners”), all of the composers featured on the album arranged well known tunes in their works.

Take for example the Ukrainian composer Mark Chaet. In his work Zweiklang he combines typically Viennese motifs such as the theme from Mozart’s 40th Symphony, Wiener Blut or the Radetzky March with Ukrainian and Russian folk music. Chaet is simultaneously an example of the concept that Vera Karner and Dominik Wagner have integrated in their album subtitle “Gassenbauer”, which points to the fact that the works often draw on elements from different musical cultures. Such as, for example, Paul Juon, who quotes Russian composers and the Viennese waltz tradition in his Trio Miniatures.

The core team of Vera Karner and Dominik Wagner play with Romanian-born Aurelia Vișovan on piano. On Musette pour Elisabeth by the Viennese composer and double bass player Georg Breinschmid the duo is joined by the renowned clarinetist Matthias Schorn. It is thanks to Schorn that Vera Karner and Dominik Wagner are the recipients of the Fanny Mendelssohn Bursary. For the Gran Duo by the great Italian double bass virtuoso Giovanni Bottesini the two artists make music with string players from the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

Vera Karner was born in Vienna in 1994 and has given concerts as a soloist with a number of ensembles including the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Varna State Opera and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Stara Zagora State Opera (both in Bulgaria), the Polish Chamber Philharmonic of Sopot, Camerata Musica Hungarica (at the Vienna Konzerthaus) and Camerata Universidad Andres Bello of Chile. She has amassed further experience of playing with orchestras in concerts with the orchestra of the Viennese State Opera and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Vera Karner has performed in concert at Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus venues and at various festivals such as Mecklenburg Western Pomerania, Schleswig Holstein, Chelsea (New York) and the Austrian Music Festival in Bulgaria. She is involved on a private level in helping people who are sick and have mobility issues, and she supports the “Live Music Now” project founded by Lord Yehudi Menuhin, which holds concerts free of charge in social facilities.

Dominik Wagner was born in Vienna in 1997. He began musical training at the age of 5, first on the cello, and from 2007 playing the double bass. He has given concerts at such renowned venues as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Lviv Philharmonie, the Konzerthaus in Vienna and at Munich’s Gasteig.

Dominik Wagner has played with the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Brandenburg Symphony, Ensemble Kontrapunkte, the South-West German Chamber Orchestra of Pforzheim, the Polish Chamber Philharmonic, the Opera Studio Orchestra of Lviv and the Rhenish Philharmonic of Koblenz. He has also won numerous prizes at competitions including the 2015 International Instrumental Competition in Markneunkirchen, where he was also awarded the Audience Prize. He is a recipient of a grant from the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation and a member of her Virtuosi ensemble.

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