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MAX REGER - Maximum Reger

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MAX REGER - The Last Giant - Maximum Reger - 6-DVD Box Set - 0714686850186 - Released: June 2017 - Fugue State Films FSFDVD011

After viewing and listening to this extensive 6-DVD set on the life and music of Max Reger (1873-1916) I found myself facing one major conundrum. Where do I start ... how do I encapsulate 15 hours of content including 12 hours of music into a few meaningful and consequential words. I couldn't come up with a solution so instead, let me just say this: this comprehensive and fascinating documentary/musical performance film about Max Reger's life and music has been a revelation to me. It has opened my ears and mind to this misunderstood giant of composition. Up until now whenever I would hear some of his music I would immediately dismiss it as being too dense, or too difficult to decipher, and wouldn't explore it any further with the excuse that I was too busy at that particular moment exploring the music of many other composers. But sitting down for a few hours watching this film instantly made me realize that it's precisely the unabashed and audacious complexity of this man's music that makes listening to it so rewarding in the end.

The figure of Johann Sebastian Bach looms large within this composer's music, but it's a figure shrouded in a heavy cloak of romanticism, chromaticism, and extensive developmental structure. For example, simply following the sprawling development of the basic motif to the Passacaglia from his Suite in E-minor Op. 16 for organ is fascinating and reveals the mind of a genius at work. And most of his lieder, chamber music, piano music, and orchestral works often resemble in character the music of Schubert, Brahms, Scriabin and Mahler, with a whiff of Schoenberg thrown in. So now that I know all this I will seek out his music rather than dismiss it.

Fugue State Films is a music label/film production firm recognized for the award winning production of documentary films. This highly detailed film by Will Fraser is sure to attract attention and receive multiple awards and accolades from all sides.

This exhaustive boxed-set establishes Max Reger as one of the early 20th century's greatest composers. More than 15 hours of content over 6 DVDs includes three feature-length documentaries, plus filmed performances of 12 hours of Reger's best music for orchestra, organ, voice, violin, piano and chamber ensemble. The massive programme of music charts Reger's compositional output from the age of sixteen to the time of his death and includes a third of his 146 opus numbers. {Fugue State Films}

Jean-Yves Duperron - August 2017