Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau

Songs by Max Reger

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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Best known for his prolific output of densely contrapuntal organ works, Max Reger was also an active composer of vocal music, though that body of work is under-performed today. This 2016 release on Hyperion demonstrates that he was a skillful composer of art songs that occasionally rise to the lyrical heights of Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms, and sometimes evoke the darker psychological depths of Hugo Wolf and Gustav Mahler. Soprano Sophie Bevan presents 33 of Reger's Lieder with veteran accompanist Malcolm Martineau, and the program flows smoothly from the gently atmospheric Mein Traum to the unusually convoluted Christmas song Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe!, revealing along the way the extraordinary variety of Reger's melodic gifts. Bevan's voice is warm and radiant but light in tone, which complements Reger's involved counterpoint and chromatic harmonies, and the clarity of her delivery makes a first-time hearing a pleasure. Martineau's accompaniment is restrained and delicate, and he plays with a controlled evenness that belies the complexity of Reger's rhythms, and never distracts from the singing. Hyperion's sound is clean and reasonably close-up, so the performances have credible presence and clear details without seeming over-produced.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 04:25 Amazon
2 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:22 Amazon
3 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:33 Amazon
4 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:09 Amazon
5 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:58 Amazon
6 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:27 Amazon
7 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:17 Amazon
8 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:52 Amazon
9 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:23 Amazon
10 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:52 Amazon
11 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:39 Amazon
12 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:20 Amazon
13 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:58 Amazon
14 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:33 Amazon
15 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:32 Amazon
16 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:17 Amazon
17 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 00:58 Amazon
18 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:14 Amazon
19 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:06 Amazon
20 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:09 Amazon
21 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:37 Amazon
22 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:11 Amazon
23 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:52 Amazon
24 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:03 Amazon
25 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:32 Amazon
26 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:21 Amazon
27 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 02:10 Amazon
28 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:38 Amazon
29 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:12 Amazon
30 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:51 Amazon
31 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:03 Amazon
32 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 01:42 Amazon
33 Sophie Bevan / Malcolm Martineau 05:43 Amazon
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