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Reger – Lieder

Andreas Weller - tenor / Gotz Payer - piano

Mein Traum; Flieder; Traum durch die Dammerung; Waldseligkeit; Das Dorf; Am Dorfsee; Schmied Schmerz; Zwei Ganse; Bauernregel; Waldeinsamkeit; Gluckes genug; Zwei Mauschen; Die funf Hunerchen; Des Kindes Gebet; Wiegenlied; Schlaf ein; Mausefangen; Knecht Ruprecht; Maria Wiegenlied; Viola d’amour; Aeolsharfe; Leise Lieder; Unbegehrt; Ein Drangen; Aus den Himmelsaugen; Der Himmel hat eine Trane geweint; Maria am Rosentrauch

Carus – 83.195 [2006 – 63 mins]

Reger was a composer rowing against the tide, launching his “Back to Bach” movement as a reaction against the musical direction being taken by Wagner, Richard Strauss. His uncompromising attitude won him a measure of popularity in his day but it rapidly faded, leaving behind an image of a dull man with a reputation for writing endless fugues.

His large output of duets and solo songs is now virtually unknown, making this selection welcome. Rather surprisingly they are almost all set to the words of contemporary poets, reflecting the stylistic (Art Nouveau) taste of the period. The songs are short, with little elaboration, demonstrating an incisive mind and a sharp sense of humour.

Reger wrote extensively for children. This is well represented here with, amongst others, the tale of five chickens squabbling over a worm, and of Santa Claus clip-clopping through the forest bringing peppermints to good children. In songs entitled Viola d’amore and The Aeolian Harp, the singer's voice is skilfully used to represent the sound of these instruments.

However, it is the songs in lyrical mood which I judge to be the finest, and I particularly enjoyed the traditional Waldemsamkeit (Forest Solitude) and Maria Wiegenlied (Mary’s Cradle Song), with its gently rocking piano accompaniment.

This CD is Volume 5 in what is promised to be a complete anthology of Reger’s vocal music, and whilst both singer and pianist perform with care and attention to detail, they left me with the impression that this was rather more a labour of duty than one of love.

Serena Fenwick