Exceptional talents, exceptional formation, exceptional works
The winners of the second Fanny Mendelssohn Bursary – Vera Karner and Dominik Wagner – present first-ever recordings for an exceptional format!
With their Gassenhauer – Gassenbauer 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 clarinettist 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.