Reger: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Hiller; Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart; Ballet Suite, Op. 130

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Reger
LABELS: Teldec Ultima
WORKS: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Hiller; Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart; Ballet Suite, Op. 130
PERFORMER: Bamberg SO, Hamburg State PO/Joseph Keilberth
CATALOGUE NO: 3984-28175-2 Reissue (1971)
In terms of overall duration this two-disc set, featuring three of Reger’s finest and most accessible orchestral works, looks poor value in comparison with some other issues in the Ultima series. Moreover, the recordings are hardly state-of-the-art with the Hiller Variations sounding particularly bloated in some of the louder passages. Naturally this problem hardly serves Reger’s cause, making his orchestration appear unbearably congested in texture. The performances, however, are worth hearing. Keilberth evidently loved the music, investing it with great affection, humour and nobility. Tempi are invariably well-judged, and although the orchestral playing isn’t always pristine, it never sounds dull. Erik Levi

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