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CD Review

Max Reger

Orchestral Variations

  • Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart, Op. 132
  • Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J.A. Hiller, Op. 100 *
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Karl Böhm
* Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Paul van Kempen
Guild Historical GHCD2363 75m ADD Mono
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Max Reger is a composer who is perhaps slightly underrated but this CD from Guild will definitely set matters straight. Both Karl Böhm and Paul van Kempen head the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in different variations with Böhm taking Mozart and van Kempen conducting Hiller.

Böhm finds much virtuosity and subtle élan in the Mozart work which is perhaps less well known and the explosive final fugue really rocks the boat. The Hiller variations are perhaps slightly more pedantic but that is chiefly due to the theme being of a slightly dull nature although Reger does try his best to create some forceful momentum throughout the piece.

Notes are informative and very detailed so anyone who would like both works on one CD is rewarded a treat.

Copyright © 2010, Gerald Fenech.