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Piano Concerto - Live Recording
Max Reger

Piano Concerto - Live Recording

Markus Becker

Label: CAvi
Format: CD
Barcode: 4260085533060
barcode
Catalog number: AVI 8553306
Releasedate: 08-03-19
- The only LIVE recording of this colossal pieces of the German composer Max Reger
- Markus Becker has worldwide a singular reputation as THE Reger specialist (recorded the entire works for piano solo and chamber music for another label over the last 10 years)
- The Piano Concerto is a fairly special pieces, from the same time as Busoni’s Concerto, very heavy, very long, very difficult, which requires a permanent and nonstop action of the soloist – very singular

A huge mass of different sounds

„I’ve been playing and studying Reger’s piano music for a long time now. In the 1990s, not long after graduation, I recorded his complete works for solo piano. Ever since then, I’ve been featuring Reger frequently in my recitals: not only solo piano pieces, but chamber music including violin, clarinet and cello sonatas, the works for two pianos, piano trios, quartets, and Lieder. Reger composed an impressive quantity of music in almost all genres.

Of course I’ve been familiar with the Piano Concerto for a long time, but I only recorded it for the first time live in January 2017. That is the source for the recording on this CD. To be honest, at first I had my doubts about this piece. So many notes, all the dense chords, and rapid changes of register –daunting leaps across the keyboard! – along with extreme dynamics (pppp and ffff ).

We already encounter that kind of superabundance elsewhere in Reger, but here he takes it to the extreme. The “full” piano is usually playing in tandem with the full orchestra. In our rehearsals, Joshua Weilerstein, the Radio Philharmonic and I were constantly working on trying to achieve the right balance between the orchestra and the piano.…….“ (Interview with Markus Becker from the Booklet)

 

MARKUS BECKER , piano

“As a musical virtuoso, Markus Becker is unbeatable – an intelligent creator of soulful musical portraits.”
Eleonore Büning, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


Born in 1963 in Osnabrück, Markus Becker has convinced audiences and critics alike as a highly
formative interpreter of piano literature from Bach to Rihm, an eminent artist on the international
scale who is noted for his original programming choices. Exceptionally among classical pianists, he
also stands out as a virtuoso jazz improviser.
Becker makes regular appearances at the Ruhr Piano Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival and
the Kissingen Summer Festival. Markus Becker has played with orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic,
RSB Berlin, the radio symphony orchestras of the NDR, WDR and SWR in Germany, and the BBC Welsh
Orchestra under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Howard Griffiths, Michael Sanderling, and Thierry
Fisher. Becker’s chamber music partners include Albrecht Mayer, Nils Mönkemeyer, Adrian Brendel,
Igor Levit, Sharon Kam and Alban Gerhardt. He studied with Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and received
additional crucial guidance for many years from Alfred Brendel. Since 1993, he has been a professor at
the Hanover Academy of Music, Theatre and Media, where he supervises a class of pianists and chamber
ensembles, oversees the Masters Degree department, and directs the Chamber Music Institute.
With his CD recordings, Becker is the three-time winner of the ECHO-Klassik award as well as the
German Critics Choice Award, along with a number of further distinctions from the international music
press (Gramophone, Fono Forum, Klassik Heute, BBC Music Magazine, American Record Guide).
Becker‘s recording of Max Reger’s complete piano works on 12 CDs (Thorofon) is already considered
legendary. Fono Forum‘s assessment of this encyclopaedic feat: “One of the rare and truly major
achievements of German piano artistry in the past 50 years.”
www.markusbecker-pianist.de

JOSHUA WEILERSTEIN, conductor


Joshua Weilerstein is the Artistic Director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and enjoys a
flourishing guest conducting career across the world. Since winning the 2009 Malko Competition,
where he was awarded both First Prize and Audience Prize, has established a number of close
relationships both in Europe and the USA, including the Oslo Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie,
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Royal Stockholm
Philharmonic Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony, Royal Liverpool
Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic among others.
Weilerstein is deeply committed to programming the music of living composers, combining contemporary
music alongside more traditional repertoire. He hosts a successful classical music podcast,
Sticky Notes, for music lovers and newcomers alike. This reflects his interest in music education
and in trying to reach as wide an audience as possible.

NDR Radiophilharmonie


Diversity and quality are the trademarks of the NDR Radiophilharmonie orchestra from Hanover. 86
highly skilled musicians represent an impressive variety in their programme: in addition to the great
classical and romantic repertory, they also cultivate early music, Crossover projects, movie soundtracks
and a wide range of different concerts for children and youth reach a large audience.
Over the last 20 years, NDR Radiophilharmonie, with its principal conductors Eiji Oue, Eivind Gullberg
Jensen, and currently Andrew Manze, has closed the gap to the leading symphony orchestras.
International top artists complement the musical work of the orchestra, among them Anne-Sophie
Mutter, Hilary Hahn, Rudolf Buchbinder, Sir András Schiff, Andris Nelsons, Gustavo Dudamel and
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, also experts for early music like Reinhard Goebel, Giuliano Carmignola and
Philippe Jaroussky.
As musical ambassador for the city of Hanover and the German state of Lower Saxony, NDR Radiophilharmonie
has an outstanding reputation internationally. In the recent past, the ensemble has
gone on tour, among others, in Asia and South America, and has repeatedly given guest performances
at the Vienna Music Association and the Großes Festspielhaus concert hall in Salzburg.
Particularly the close cooperation with principal conductor Andrew Manze, who has held this position
since the 2014/15 season, represents a decisive step on the artistically ambitious path of NDR
Radiophilharmonie.
Other signs that NDR Radiophilharmonie is innovating itself can be seen from its social commitment, i.e.
the foundation of the Joseph Joachim Akademie e.V. orchestra academy for university graduates.
Almost all concert projects of NDR Radiophilharmonie are broadcast by the NDR public radio and
television broadcaster and are available online all over the world.