REGER Introduktion, Passacaglia und Fuge, op. 127. Choral Preludes, op. 67: selections. Chorale Preludes, op. 79b: selections. 12 Pieces, op. 80: Nos. 5 and 6. Prelude in c, WoO VIII/6. Fugue in c, WoO IV/8. 30 Chorale Preludes, op. 135a. Prelude and Fugue in d, WoO IV/10. Postludium in d, WoO IV/12
Gerhard Weinberger (organ)
CPO 777 539-2 (2 SACDs: 125:22)
This release is volume 6 in Gerhard Weinberger’s complete Reger organ works for CPO, and, given that each is two well-filled discs, presumably the penultimate installment. The recordings were made on two organs, the Steinmeyer organ of the Christuskirche Mannheim for disc one (opp. 127, 67, 79, 80) and the Bittner organ at the Pfarrkirche St. Walburga in Beilngries for disc two. The instruments date from 1911 and 1913 respectively, and the recording is billed as “played on historical instruments from Reger’s days.” Given the continuing loyalty to German traditions and tastes in more recent instrument construction, that claim is of dubious significance, and all of the updating to the organs in question, digital consoles and the like, also stands in the way of any implications of historically informed authenticity. But no matter, these are both fine organs, perhaps a little smaller in scale than many that are used to record Reger’s more gothic offerings. Both have plenty of power, but give a sense of contained might; volume, yes, but also a depth to the tone and complex, well-balanced richness, especially in the mid-register.