Max Reger - Scherchen conducts Reger - Margarete Bence, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie [2CD] (1995)

Language: English

Category: Entertainment


Posted on 2014-03-30, by supnatural.

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Max Reger - Scherchen conducts Reger - Margarete Bence, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie [2CD] (1995)
EAC+LOG+CUE | FLAC (image) | 2 CD | Size: 649 MB | Artwork @ 600dpi | TT 2:23:44 | 5% recovery | FP/UL
Classical/ Orchestral | label: CPO | output: MONO | release date: 25-01-1995 | catalog: CPO 999 143-2

Max Reger - Scherchen conducts Reger - Margarete Bence, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie [2CD] (1995)


"I purchased this 2-CD set largely on account of the conductor. I am a longstanding admirer of Scherchen, and until I saw this listing on the Amazon website, I was unaware that he had recorded anything by Reger or anything with this ensemble.

In the event, I was bowled over by the music. These recordings really put Reger on the map for me. I had previously heard only a few of his organ works (and found them intolerably pedantic) and his "Mozart Variations" (which I found mildly enjoyable through Böhm's monaural recoridng with the BPO). That work is included here--in a striking interpretation at least as fine as Böhm's (though not as well played). But it is the other pieces included in this set that I found even more enjoyable. The "Beethoven Variations" is clearly a major work, resourcefully orchestrated (as are all the other pieces in this set), and filled with astonishingly original invention as well as the contrapuntal mastery for which Reger was renowned. Even more fetching were the works on CD 1: a fizzing "Comedy Overture" reminiscent of Rezinek's "Dona Diana"; a gorgeous Serenade sounding for all the world like a cross between Dvorak and Delius; and finally a exquisitely crafted "Romantic Suite," inspired by Eichendorff's poetry, whose motto theme bears a striking resemblance to that which dominates Sibelius's Fourth Symphony, though the work as a whole is far less brooding in atmosphere than Sibelius's death-haunted work. Though tinged with melancholy, Reger's Suite proceeds from the bucolic to the boisterous over its four substantial movements. Indeed, in scope it is really a Symphony in all but name.

Interestingly, Scherchen's performances are less idiosyncratic than one might have expected from him. Though I have no standards for comparison, except in the "Mozart Variations," Scherchen's tempos are not as eccentric as they could often be in more standard repertoire (e.g., that interminable trudge through the conluding "Amen" of Handel's Messiah), and the orchestral playing is surprisingly disciplined, given a less than world-class group and a conductor who, at least in his Westminster recordings, often tolerated slack ensemble (e.g., the hilariously out-of-sync harpsichord continuo in his recording of Handel's *Water Music*). Indeed, the playing throughout this set ranges from acceptable (in the two sets of orchestral variations) to splendid (in the works featured on CD I). The sound, too, is remarkably good for its age.

I cannot recommend this set highly enough. All admirers of Scherchen's work should own it, for it must rank among his very finest recordings of late-romantic orchestral repertoire. Listeners who, like me, have avoided Reger on the assumption that his music is hopelessly convoluted, unbearably thick-textured, and unendurably ponderous, should also consider it, for it will occasion a transvaluation of a composer who may well be unjustly maligned.
- Amazon.com customer review"



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Tracklist:

CD 1:
1. Eine Lustspiel-Ouvertüre Op. 120 7:16
2-5. Serenade G-dur, Op. 95 34:43
6-8. Eine romantische Suite, Op. 125 31:24

CD 2:
1. An die Hoffnung (for Alto and Orchestra Op. 124 12:30
2-11. Variations and Fugue on a theme by Beethoven, Op. 86 24:03
12-21. Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 132 33:48


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Personnel:
Margarete Bence, alto
Nordwestdeursche Philharmonie, orchestra
Hermann Scherchen, conductor

Info:
Production: Radio Bremen (1960)
Recording Supervisor (1960): Kurt Kraus
Digital Remastering and Sound Enhancement (1991): Andreas Heintzeler
Cover Painting (1912): Frank Kupka - "Amorpha - Fugue in two Colors"



Max Reger - Scherchen conducts Reger - Margarete Bence, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie [2CD] (1995)

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