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Alistair Johnston
Choir & Organ, December 2012

A large modern organ and skilled player combine to give persuasive performances…with great clarity and dexterity…spacious and compelling. © 2012 Choir & Organ

David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2012

Max Reger’s composing career lasted little more than twenty years, yet among his large collection of works his compendium of scores for the organ was his lasting legacy. We have reached the twelfth volume of this complete cycle, containing his first major work for the instrument, the First Suite, dating from his twenty-second year, a work of four movements and symphonic proportions lasting around fifty minutes. Even at this early age he knew how to explore the full range of sounds possible from an instrument of significant size, the complex writing of the Introduction and Fugue a modern version of Bach. I always find the slow movement less than gripping, and by contrast the following Intermezzo is more lightweight and requires agility around the keyboard. Opening darkly, the finale becomes a huge Passacaglia with an appropriately massive conclusion, pedals adding their own mighty weight. The Second Suite dates from 1905, ten years later, and is in every way different, its seven movements adding up to a score not much greater than half the length of the earlier work. In texture it is more transparent, with an element of Frenchness and improvisation we would expect from Dupre. There are two well-worked fugues, the second concluding the work; a skittish Intermezzo, and a smooth and warmly lit Romanza that precedes a Toccata not in the mould of the devilishly difficult ones dreamed up at the turn of the century. It is played on the four manual Hubert Sandtner organ in St. Martin’s Cathedral at Rottenburg am Nacker by Kirsten Sturm, a former pupil of the series producer, Wolfgang Rübsam, and a much experienced recitalist. Her playing is marked by clarity in complex pages and a spacious view of both scores. Very good sound. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

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