Magazine article The American Organist

Max Reger at Smu

Magazine article The American Organist

Max Reger at Smu

Article excerpt

MAX REGER AT SMU. Christopher Anderson, organ. Two organs at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Tex.: CB. Fisk, Opus 101, in Caruth Auditorium (HI/73, 1993); Aeolian-Skinner/Schudi/Dupont in Perkins Chapel CHI/59, 8 digital, 1951/1999). Available from the Organ Historical Society at Ohscatalog.org/maxregeratsmu. Christopher Anderson enjoys a multifaceted career that encompasses both academia and the performance world. Associate professor of sacred music at SMU's Perkins School of Theology, he also serves on the Governing Board for Research and Publications of the Organ Historical Society. An author specializing in the music of Reger, his monographs Max Reger and Karl Straube: Perspectives on an Organ Performing Tradition and Selected Writings of Max Reger will be familiar to some readers. In the present recording, Dr. Anderson persuasively demonstrates many of the ideas proffered in the former monograph. He presents two large-scale works, the Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor, Op. 135b, and Symphonic Fantasy and Fugue ("Inferno"), Op. 57, performed on the magnificent Fisk in Caruth Auditorium. While both works demonstrate Reger's (in)famous propensity toward excess, Opus 135b contains many passages of one- and two-voice writing. Opus 57, which Anderson refers to as "the great harmonic leviathan," supplies no such relief from harmonic tension. In the CD's accompanying booklet, Anderson provides an insightful, informative, fascinating essay on Reger's persona, milieu, and the interpretation of his music, in which he further describes Opus 57 as "a hypersensitive, hyperchromatic, hyperactive, hypertense, allin-all hyperbolic musical universe full of exaggerated contrasts. …

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