Apart from the early Baroque ricercari and didactic works like the études and capriccios of composers such as Duport, Dotzauer and Piatti, the repertoire for solo cello up to the Romantic period comprises only two works: Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Suites BWV 1007-1012 (c. 1720) and Max Reger’s Three Suites op. 131c of 1914. While numerous works for solo cello have been written since Hindemith and Kodály, they are all clearly orientated around twentieth-century tonal language.
This CD presents the first recording of two original, very different and thus far unknown Romantic works for solo cello: Julius Klengel’s Suite in D minor op. 56 and Hugo Becker’s Fantastic Suite from the life of the woodland gnome op. 14. Both of these early twentieth century works represent the two leading cellists’ discovery of composing late in life. Like Paul Tortelier’s strongly Bach-oriented Suite in D minor, they are important additions to the cello repertoire. This year we celebrate with both composers anniversaries: Hugo Becker (150. year of birth) and Paul Tortelier (100. year of birth).
Markus Wagner has won prizes at several national and international competitions, including first prize at the Felix Mottl Competition in Munich in 1989, the Arts Bursary of the city of Augsburg in 1991, a medal at the Maria Canals Concours International de Musique in Barcelona in 1991 and a diploma at the Concours International d’Exécution musicale in Viña
del Mar, Chile in 1991.
In 1991 Markus Wagner became one of the youngest lecturers in Germany to be appointed to hold a cello major class at the Leopold Mozart Conservatory in Augsburg. After his appointment as professor in 2001, he moved to the Nürnberg College of Music in 2007.