Viola da gamba
Viola da gamba player, band-leader, musicologist, festival director…
Born in Prague in 1969, Petr Wagner studied cello at the Prague Conservatoire with Josef Chuchro. This was followed by studies in musicology at Charles University in Prague and at Royal Holloway College at the University of London. There he was introduced to the viola da gamba by Richard Boothby, later continuing his development as a gamba player with Jaap ter Linden at the Akademie für alte Musik Dresden. After having completed his studies in Dresden, Petr Wagner was invited to study with Wieland Kuijken at the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague where he received the prestigious Uitvoerend Musicus solo diploma.
Petr has appeared at numerous European festivals (Festival d’Ile de France, Prague Spring, Sopron Early Music Days, Mitte Europa Festival, Brežice Early Music Festival, Forum Musicum Wrocław, Glasperlenspiel, Boston Early Music Festival, Concentus Moraviae Festival), both as a soloist and continuo player, and collaborates with musicians such as Jacques Ogg, Shalev Ad-El, Mitzi Meyerson, Bruce Dickey, Miklós Spányi, Péter Szüts, Simon Standage, Ophira Zakai, Magdalena Kožená, also ensembles such as Concerto Palatino, Orfeo Orchestra, Les Inégales Köln, Concerto Armonico Budapest, Oslo Baroque Soloists.
In 1998 Petr Wagner founded the Ensemble Tourbillon with internationally acclaimed musicians. Its core activities focus on 17th & 18th century repertoire, with music by Couperin, Bach, Marais, Rebel, Purcell, Finger, Fischer, and Händel.
Petr regularly records and broadcasts for Czech Radio and TV.
Besides his performing activities, Petr is artistic director of the Early Music Festival in Český Krumlov (Czech Republic) and teaches viola da gamba in Prague and at the Academy of Music of Karol Lipinski in Wrocław.
L’Ange et le Diable: Marin Marais & Antoine Forqueray
Music by Louis XIV’s court gambists – rivals who were reported to have played like an angel (Marais) and a devil (Forqueray)
Based on contrasting styles of Marais’ and Forqueray’s music
Bachs and Viols
Music for viola da gamba and harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
Tombeau des Sentiments
Compositions in a form of tombeau (‘tombstone’) for viola da gamba and basso continuo by Marin Marais, Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe, Charles Dollé, Antoine Forqueray, and François Couperin
Marin Marais: Suitte d’un gout Etranger
Noblement et avec Sentiment
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, De Machy, Marin Marais, Antoine Forqueray, Charles Dollé, François Couperin
Viola da gamba at Sanssouci
Music for Friedrich II the Great
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Gottlieb Graun, Johann Sebastian Bach, Christoph Schaffrath
Wagner is particularly in his element in the preludes, performed with a striking freedom and imagination. He holds centre stage with elegance and reserve, interpreting the sarabandes expansively and demonstrating careful attention to detail in Dollé’s various pieces caracterisées, which substitute for most of the traditional 17th-century suite movements and venture only rarely into the flamboyant. (Robin Stowell, The Strad Magazine, 10 / 2003)
Petr Wagner’s playing is fluid, convincing, full in sound, yet aristocratic, cantabile, sensitively inflected, and he is capably partnered by Jacques Ogg. Good sound from Dorian. Warmly recommended. (Tom Moore. Goldberg Magazine, 3 / 2004)
It is a real pleasure to listen to a recording of baroque viol music unadulterated by multiple continuo instruments and an everchanging tapestry of backing colours. With a solo player as sensitive as Wagner, and a sympathetic accompanist such a Ogg, the focus is rightly placed upon the character of the music itself rather than the whimsy of the players. … Wagner and Ogg are persuasive advocates for these pieces, by turns expressively thoughtful and crisply athletic. Wagner’s viol is a warmly responsive instrument by Norman Myall that is only occasionally swamped by the decadently resonant Taskin-copy harpsichord. (John Bryan. Early Music Review, 7 / 2003)
… Wagner’s rendition is complete and musical, and the likelihood of these suites being recorded better or at all by anyone else is a bet I would not wish to take. (D Moore, American Records Guide, 9–10 / 2003)
Having had numerous opportunities to see viola da gamba concerts abroad, we have yet to see such a remarkable virtuosity as that exhibited by Wagner in Chotěšov. This “Paganini of viola da gamba” dazzled the audience with a total command of his instrument, showing refined fingering technique (including harmonics) and masterful control of the bow – especially in passages featuring string skipping. (Dr Rudolf Pečman. Opus Musicum, 5 / 2002)
… I enjoyed “Homage to Viola da Gamba” in a devoted, masterfully executed, and multidimensional performance of Petr Wagner accompanied by Jan Krejča on theorbo and Přemysl Vacek on theorbo and Baroque guitar. (Míla Smetáčková. Hudební rozhledy, 1 / 2003)
… Petr Wagner oli samuti artistlik mängija, kuid mitte nii fantaasiaküllane kui Réty. Poogendamine oli hoogne, kuid muutus mõnel kõige intensiivsemal hetkel võitluseks pilli tehniliste võimalustega, mida poleks ehk märganud, kui Réty mäng ei oleks võtdluseks võtta olnud. … olid eriti toredad palad kahele viola da gamba’le, kus kaks sarnast pilli said dialoogi pidada… (Virge Joamets, Muusika, 8−9, 2013, Estonia)
Download: Photo of Petr Wagner, jpg, CMYK, 2070 KB
|G Finger: Sonatinae, Balletti scordati, Aria et variationes
Arta – 2 HP Productions F10137
Download: Petr Wagner. Gottfried Finger, Sonata secunda in D major, fragm, 2 min 30 sec, AAC Audio
Download: Petr Wagner. Gottfried Finger, Sonatina in D minor, fragm, 1 min 50 sec, AAC Audio
|Ch Dollé: Pieces de Viole avec la Basse Continüe
Dorian Recordings DOR-93246
J S Bach: Arias
Deutsche Grammophon 457060-2
J J Hotteterre: Ordinaire de la Chambre du Roy
Carpe Diem (Harmonia Mundi)
Download: Petr Wagner & Ensemble Tourbillon. Gottfried Finger. The Virgin Prophetess Or Fate Of Troy, fragm, 6 min 19 sec, live rec, AAC Audio, 6 MB
Download: Petr Wagner & Ensemble Tourbillon. Gottfried Finger. The Virgin Prophetess Or Fate Of Troy, fragm, 1 min 38 sec, live rec, AAC Audio, 1.6 MB