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Reger: Organ Works, Vol. 10 / Martin Welzel

Reger / Welzel
Release Date: 10/26/2010 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570960   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


The first thing you're likely to notice when you listen to this Volume 10 in Naxos' traversal of the organ works of Max Reger is how agreeable is the sound of this instrument, how well designed and compatible the array of stops--and of course how masterfully organist Martin Welzel employs them in the varied selections performed in this thoughtfully programmed recital. A look at the specifications of the Johannes Klais organ at Trier Cathedral, which Welzel plays here (built in 1974), shows it to be a kind of 4-manual cousin to the 3-manual cathedral organ at Wesel (built by Wilhelm Sauer), which was the instrument on which Karl Straube famously promoted Reger's works in the latter years of the 19th
Read more century. The numerous color stops, the string-type flues, and the finely-voiced reeds, such as the Schalmey, give this instrument a character that's ideal for exploiting Reger's often highly chromatic, intricately textured works. (Johannes Klais is one of the most respected and revered organ building firms in Germany--a family operation founded in the 19th century that today builds organs all over the world.)

Yes, Reger is touted as "the greatest German composer of organ music since Bach", and that is certainly arguable, but stylistically, he also didn't progress very far from the great master, which I suppose is not such a bad thing for Bach fans looking for a formidable and trustworthy disciple. While the chorale preludes are very satisfying tributes to Bach's definitive creations, the two preludes and fugues are significant, original repertoire pieces in their own right, as is the fantasia on "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele" that closes the program. Welzel is fabulous, his commanding key- and pedal-board presence, his facile legato, and confident, clear articulation reminding us of why we are always so awed by the skills of this unique breed of instrumentalist.

And speaking of awe, for those who care about such things, the site of this recording, Trier Cathedral, is of great historical significance, as is the town of Trier. Both the cathedral, which dates back to the time of Constantine, and the town itself are the oldest in Germany, the town dating to before the time of Christ. Trier was one of the important seats of Roman church and state power and influence in the Middle Ages, playing a role in the intrigue and monumental struggles in the early Christian church during the 4th century. This is the sort of recording that encourages you to look into such things--but even at its most basic level it lifts your spirit while urging you to turn up the volume and simply revel in Reger's music.

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Preludes and Fugues (4), Op. 85: no 4 in E minor by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
2. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 39, Vater unser im Himmelteich by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
3. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 40, Vom Himmel hoch da komm ich her by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
4. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 41, Wachet auf! ruft uns die Stimme by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
5. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 42, Von Gott will ich nicht lassen by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
6. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 45, Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
7. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 44, Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
8. Prelude and Fugue for Organ in G sharp minor by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1906; Germany 
9. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 45, Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
10. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 47, Werde munter mein Gemute by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
11. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 47, Werde munter mein Gemute by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
12. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 48, Wer weiss wie nahe mir mein Ende by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
13. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 49, Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
14. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 50, Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seelen by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
15. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 51, Jesus ist kommen by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
16. Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 52, O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
17. Chorale Fantasia for Organ, Op. 30 "Freu' dich sehr, o meine Seele'" by Max Reger
Performer:  Martin Welzel (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1898; Germany 

Sound Samples

Prelude and Fugue in E minor, Op. 85, No. 4: Prelude
Prelude and Fugue in E minor, Op. 85, No. 4: Fugue
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 39. Vater unser im Himmelreich
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 40. Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 41. Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 42. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen (Mit Ernst, o Menschenkinder)
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 43. Warum sollt ich mich denn gramen
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 44. Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan
Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor: Prelude
Prelude and Fugue in G sharp minor: Fugue
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 45. Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten (ernst)
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 46. Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten (freudig)
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 47. Werde munter, mein Gemute (Der am Kreuz ist meine Liebe)
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 48. Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 49. Wie schon leuchte der Morgenstern
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 50. Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seelen
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 51. Jesus ist kommen
52 Easy Chorale Preludes, Op. 67: No. 52. O wie selig seid ihr doch ihr Frommen
Chorale Fantasia on Freu' dich sehr, o meine Seele, Op. 30

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 Excellent -- Recommended August 14, 2013 By Wil L W. (Richwood, TX) See All My Reviews "Recommended without reservations." Report Abuse
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