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Reger: Nun Freut Euch, Liebe Christen / Harald Feller

Reger,Max / Feller,Harald
Release Date: 11/16/2010 
Label:  Oehms   Catalog #: 644   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Multi 
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SuperAudio CD:  $19.99
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

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REGER Fantasy and Fugues: Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme; Wie schön leucht uns der Morgenstern. Chorale Preludes: Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland; Lobt Gott, ihr Christen alle gleich; Nun freut euch, liebe Christen; Vom Himmel hoch. Kyrie eleison. Gloria in excelsis Deo . Benedictus. Ave Read more Maria. Pastorale. Weihnachten Harald Feller (org) OEHMS 644 (77:37)


By the quantity of his output—some 147 opus numbers, some containing more than 50 individual movements—one would hardly assume that Max Reger lived for only the short span of 43 years. Considering the amount of notes per piece, it seems even less likely. To interpret his music, one must first come to master the considerable technical pitfalls of his oeuvre . Just a glance over the Fantasy and Fugue on Wachet auf is enough to make the faint of heart quiver. Often accused of mere note-spinning for much of his career—and indeed, there are moments that seem to go on without end—there are many pieces that show the composer at his creative best: the individual sets of variations and fugues on themes by Bach, Hiller, Telemann, Mozart, and Beethoven; the Ballet Suite for orchestra; and the 100th Psalm all come to mind. It was, however, the organ that was Reger’s instrument, the one for which he wrote and played—and loved—above all others.


The present recital begins with, perhaps, the most technically challenging of all of the works on the recording, the aforementioned Wachet auf Fantasy. Harald Feller, a former student of both Franz Lehrndorfer and Marie Claire Alain, certainly possesses the required technical abilities to play this music well. More importantly, he also brings with him the requisite ability to make the most of the music. He plays here on the Max-Reger-Gedächtnisorgel (Max Reger Commemorative Organ) in St. Michael’s in Weiden, Germany, the same church in which the composer himself played in the earlier part of his career. Built just recently, it is, as the organist says, “the ideal instrument for this program. It unites the color and dynamic spectrum of late German Romanticism with the technical achievements of modern organ construction.” And, indeed, Feller certainly uses these to his advantage. Per Reger’s instructions, Feller creates a dark, brooding sound—gloomy and ominous even—at the opening of the piece. He later lightens this at the entrance of the chorale tune, which at first is just faintly audible. This builds, through all types of menacing variations, to a grand chordal conclusion—one in which the chorale tune is revealed in its full glory. In his hands, this work becomes a veritable tone poem for the organ, as rich in color as any orchestral work by Richard Strauss. Feller handles the other major work on the recording—the Morgenstern Fantasy and Fugue—with equal gusto and bravura, bringing with him an intimacy, refinement of detail, and ability to delineate the many strands of music that make Reger’s music so very rich and complex. The smaller pieces are handled with particular care, from the gentle yet harmonically wandering Ave Maria to the boisterous and lively Vom Himmel hoch chorale prelude.


Though planned as a recital of Christmas organ works, this is some of the best of what Reger has to offer as a composer for the instrument, played in a way that truly brings out the compelling nature of this music. If one has not yet experienced the glory of this side of the composer, this recording makes a wonderful introduction; if one knows this music, then this will make a very fine addition to one’s collection. Regardless of which, get it and enjoy!


FANFARE: Scott Noriega
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Works on This Recording

1.
Chorale Fantasias (3) for Organ, Op. 52: no 2, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Germany 
2.
Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 29, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
3.
Pieces (12) for Organ, Op. 59 "Orgelmesse": no 7, Kyrie eleison by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Germany 
4.
Pieces (12) for Organ, Op. 59 "Orgelmesse": no 8, Gloria in excelsis Deo by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Germany 
5.
Pieces (12) for Organ, Op. 59 "Orgelmesse": no 9, Benedictus in D flat major by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Germany 
6.
Pieces (12) for Organ, Op. 63 "Monologue": no 7, Ave Maria in A major by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901-1902; Germany 
7.
Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 23, Lobt Gott, ihr Christen allegleich by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
8.
Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 28, Nun freut euch, lieben Christen by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 
9.
Pieces (12) for Organ, Op. 59 "Orgelmesse": no 2, Pastorale in F major by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1901; Germany 
10.
Little Chorale Preludes (30) for Organ, Op. 135a: no 24, Vom Himmel hoch by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1914; Germany 
11.
Pieces (7) for Organ, Op. 145: no 3, Weihnachten by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1915-1916; Germany 
12.
Easy Chorale Preludes (52) for Organ, Op. 67: no 39, Vater unser im Himmelteich by Max Reger
Performer:  Harald Feller (Organ)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1902; Germany 

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