A second disc from new chamber choir Consortium, who were acclaimed for their disc of Brahms’s secular partsongs.
Although Reger’s music has partly recovered from its deeply unfashionable reputation, much of this prolific composer’s work still remains underperformed. This disc offers a chance to redress the balance, both by bringing to light an aspect of Reger’s output that has been relatively neglected, and by demonstrating that the important influences on him were not just musical but literary. Like his near contemporaries, Mahler, Strauss, Wolf and Zemlinsky, Reger responded deeply and imaginatively to the German Romantic poetic tradition. The works recorded here set many of the same poets (and even some of the same poems) that were popular among his colleagues, with a sensitivity and intuitive understanding that belie Reger’s reputation for stodgy academicism. Richard Stokes’s comment, that ‘Reger does not always lose out in comparison’ (when he and Strauss set the same texts as Lieder), could apply equally well to his choral music.