Reger is one of those composers more talked about than listened to—caricatured as a prolific writer of organ music with a penchant for dense musical textures. But he certainly wasn’t averse to a good tune: the two Romances abound in lush lyricism, while the magnificent A major Violin Concerto shows him continuing in the tradition of the violin concertos of Beethoven and Brahms. An unashamedly symphonic work, it’s nearly an hour long—around the same length as the nearly-contemporary Elgar Violin Concerto. No less a figure than Adolf Busch championed it—first performing it when he was just sixteen.
The young German violinist Tanja Becker-Bender, who has already made such an impact in Schulhoff and Paganini, is joined by Lothar Zagrosek and the Berlin Konzerthausorchester for this 11th volume in the Romantic Violin Concerto series—a series that is triumphantly demonstrating how much great music there is out there just waiting to be rediscovered.