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Reger - Violin Concerto

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£6.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Play in Library Buy: £0.79
Play in Library Buy: £0.79

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa25a349c) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa24de9cc) out of 5 stars Overall nice, somewhat marred by dull start before picking up 2 Feb. 2013
By Ignis - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Many people don't like Reger, thinking him too long-winded and meandering (during his life, wags claimed his publisher paid him by the measure). But I like him and I like this particular piece.

I'm a little ambivalent about this recording, though. I like Blomstedt, the violinist is certainly decent and the sound is quite good. The problem is that the1st movement starts inauspiciously, very dull and lifeless. It starts to pick up about 10 minutes in and begins to generate some excitement, finally hitting its stride at about 20 minutes (with 5 minutes left to go at that point).

The slow movement and finale are both quite well done, so no complaints there. Overall I'd certainly recommend this recording, especially as I chose it over the other two based on the sound quality, judging by the sample snippets; it's possible the other recordings are better performances, really hard to tell a lot about a 50 minute work from 30 second snips.

It's too bad Amazon doesn't have violinist Susan Lautenbacker's recording available; even though it contains some minor cuts, it's a lovely performance.
HASH(0xa2279444) out of 5 stars A complex concerto!! 8 Feb. 2015
By F. Rupert - Published on Amazon.com
Max Reger (1873-1916) was a German organist and composer who wrote a tremendous amount of music, some of it very attractive. His style is very polyphonic and usually his orchestrations are complex, to say the least. He is certainly of his time: late romantic, German outlook, big orchestras, highly chromatic writing. In his best orchestral works, specifically the Hiller and Mozart Variations, his writing is appealing. These pieces maintain a foothold in the repertoire, especially in Central Europe. The 1909 Violin Concerto In A is not a repertoire piece.

Its features are

1. Long--nearly 50 minutes. I think Reger's grasp of large-scale structure was weak (at least in this concerto) and the first movement, especially is very long and wayward.
2. Heavy, complex orchestration that threatens to swamp the soloist. Some of the writing is beautiful, especially in the orchestra, and reminds one of John Williams, Richard Strauss, Mahler and early Schoenberg. However, the chromatic texture often doesn't seem to be going anywhere harmonically. In his best works (the Hiller Variations for orchestra, for example) this sort of harmonic texture works. In this concerto, it just seems to be wandering from here to there and back again and around and around.
3. Ineffective writing for the soloist. Effective violin concertos generally have pacing, rhetoric, structure, and brilliant writing that impresses the audience without necessarily being extraordinary difficult for a qualified soloist. This concerto has a very difficult solo part, loaded with leaps, double-stopping, and chromatic writing, that doesn't seem showy at all. More often than not it immerses the soloist in the orchestral fabric. In other words, the soloist has to work very hard for not much reward.
4. Some appealing themes. The opening of the slow movement is lovely.
5. Brahmsian thematic material. In fact, imagine the Brahms concerto inflated by 50%, with some of Strauss's most complex textures, and you're getting the idea.

If you're a violin aficionado, it's worth hearing once in a while.

The soloist, Manfred Scherzer, plays well, as does the Dresden Staatskapelle, a great orchestra. The conductor, Herbert Blomstedt, does his best to get transparency in the textures and largely succeeds.

Reger apparently understood that the concerto needed revising and considered doing it but died prematurely at age 43.
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