The Art-Music Forum
December 09, 2021, 04:31:23 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: A place to discover and discuss a wide range of composers and music (both familiar and forgotten), recordings, broadcasts, books and art. Register, contribute and explore!
 
  Home Help Search Gallery Staff List Login Register  

The music of Maximilian Reger


Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The music of Maximilian Reger  (Read 2610 times)
guest2
Guest
« on: April 30, 2009, 10:24:23 am »

While searching - vainly - for Reger's own book on Modulation, mentioned on another forum last week, this excellent work did turn up: Thematisches Verzeichnis der im Druck Erschienenen Werke von Max Reger. It is very thorough, put together by Fritz Stein in 1953, and contains a thematic index of every one of Reger's published works, including reproductions of parts of all his scores. Very useful and highly recommended; you can download it here.

But another search turned up this:


How very different! It is a page from Paul Rosenfield's Musical Portraits, published in 1922. It represents a view of Reger's music once widespread but now almost entirely discredited, doesn't it?
Report Spam   Logged

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

autoharp
Level 3
***

Times thanked: 15
Offline Offline

Posts: 215



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 09:09:48 am »

So what are the recommended works of Reger? Or is he a composer of the odd gem in the midst of a bunch of semi-interesting works?

One work that suggests that he's a composer worth investigating is the Latin Requiem op 145a. Intended to be a huge piece, but he only left a bit. And a big bit it is too.

Here's an old radio broadcast. The sound quality is not wonderful (apologies for that), but it's certainly worth a listen.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/t5dst5
Report Spam   Logged
guest2
Guest
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 07:49:41 pm »

Thanks so much for posting that striking rarity! The work of Reger's by which I have been most impressed hitherto is "The Nuns" ("Die Nonnen") for chorus and orchestra opus 112, which came out in 1909. These late works are by no means standard repertoire at present but may become so in the future.
Report Spam   Logged
Roehre
Guest
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 08:01:34 pm »

some observations regarding Reger, which is a favourite of mine.

Reger's harmonic thinking is essentially free-tonal, better said, one tonal centre is kept for a very short period of time, sometimes just one bar. In his clarinet quintet  (his last completed work) e.g. accidentals appear literally in every bar, and although it is called a work in A, there is hardly a bar showing a (minor or major) as tonal centre.

Analyzing this work shows that the harmonic language is quite similar to Webern's free tonal works, with some excursions to the atonal early ones like the String quartet 1905 ("Düster und Schwer"), on a motto by Jakob Boehme.

But whereas Webern really is fre- or a-tonal, Reger is most of the time over-chromatic only, still approaching the harmonic spectrum from a tonal root.

For the listener however, this difference in approach is hardly discernible.


Reger's earlier orchestral works are IMO overscored. As soon as he got experience as an orchestral conductor himself, his scoring became much lighter, although still very recognisably Reger. The sinfonietta opus 90(from 1905, and which is a symphony in disguise) is definitely overscored, I still have to make my mind up yet for the violin concerto opus 101, but orchestral works composed later are the ones with the "lighter" touch (including the Beethoven variations, composed in 1904 but orchestrated [and revised] in 1915).


Reger's music is not widely represented in the catalogue, but nearly all his works are available in one way or another.

=========

Dabringhaus und Grimm (MDG) has most of the chamber music available, a very good complete set is on DaCamera (75 euros appr.)

Chamber music's "best" entrance is the clarinet quintet (on DGG e.g.), one of Reger's last works.
The fluittrios (flute, viola, cello that is, like Beethoven's opus 25) are very nice, his string sextet opus 118 is recommendable (nice performance on Jecklin). The string quartets (on DGG), and the pianotrio opus 102 are other pieces with which to start IMO.

If you like the Bach solo suites and sonatas for violin or cello, you might be interested in Reger's specimen for solo violin or cello.

======

Orchestral works: a good complete (but for one work: the Great Fatherlandic Overture of 1914) set is on Edel/Berlin Classic on 7 CDs for some 30 euros.

Best to start with 4 Pictures by Böcklin (of which the Isle of the Death was inspired by the same Böcklin painting which inspired Rachmaninow for his symphonic poem with the same title), the romantic suite, or the two sets of variations (Hiller and Mozart).
The Lustspielouverture (Comedy-overture) is nice "light" Reger (although sometimes i think that's a contradiction in terms).
The piano concerto could be considered as a Brahms 3.
========

For choral works: Motets (especially O tod wie bitter bist du opus 110), or the Requiem fragments opus 144/145 (soloists, choir, orchestra) recommended.

========

As I am not really "in" organ music, I cannot recommend you any works of Reger's, but -again- MDG has a wide selection, and there exist at least two complete sets.

Only for the songs I'm afraid there are some still not recorded. One of the more popular is "Mariä Wiegenlied op 76 no 52". This has got nearly the same melody as one of Brahms' songs with viola opus 91.  This "Schlichte Weise" (simple melody) exists too as an orchestral song, as piece for violin and piano (by Reger) opus 103c/1, and in a version for Salonorchestra (not by Reger) published shortly after Reger's death as well.  A piano version - by Reger, with or without the vocal part- has been a gift with a newspaper or magazin at least 16 times between 1916 and 1940. No wonder it's rather well known....
Report Spam   Logged
Dear Prudence
Guest
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2009, 12:54:12 am »

It has taken me so long to get on to this website I have quite forgotten what I had to say about Reger!

I love his violincellos suites.
Report Spam   Logged
autoharp
Level 3
***

Times thanked: 15
Offline Offline

Posts: 215



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 12:42:26 pm »

Now here's an interesting discovery: I had not previously associated Reger with the happily berserk -



It's thePhantasie uber B-A-C-H op46
Report Spam   Logged
guest2
Guest
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2011, 08:58:58 am »

Further to my first message, in regard to Reger's book on Modulation, I have now acquired some more information.

In the Grove Dictionary the work is cited as Beiträge zur Modulationslehre [Contributions to the Theory of Modulation] (Leipsic,1903).

I was pleased therefore at last to discover a translation entitled "Modulation by Max Reger" in the catalogue of Dover Publications, and of course sent off for it.

What a strange little volume it is! A reprint of the 1904 translation by John Bernhoff. There are sixty-two pages in all, of which only two - the "Preliminary Remarks" - consist of text proper. The remaining pages contain one hundred - a nice round number perhaps Reger thought - examples of modulation, presented in musical notation with a line or two of description or analysis.

On the back cover we read "'I consider him a genius,' remarked Arnold Schoenberg of the progressive early modernist Max Reger." But that tells us rather more about Schönberg than it does about Reger does it not.

There are forty-one examples which start from C major and modulate to forty-one other keys (including B double-flat major); then there are five examples which start from C sharp major and modulate to five other keys; next thirty-nine examples which start from A minor and modulate to thirty-nine other keys; then three examples which start from C flat major and modulate to three other keys; then six examples starting from D flat minor and modulating to six other keys; finally six more examples starting from A sharp minor and modulating to six other keys.

All these modulations take place within one, two, or occasionally three bars of music.

Here is a typical double page, showing how to get from D flat minor (you what?) to B and F sharp.


Report Spam   Logged
guest2
Guest
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2011, 09:07:05 am »

And here are Reger's Preliminary Remarks, showing what he was attempting:

"This 'Supplement to the Theory of Modulation' is intended both for the professional musician, and for the amateur to whom the rudiments of the theory of music are not a sealed book.

"I would draw special attention to the fact that in this 'Supplement to the Theory of Modulation,' i.e. in the examples of modulation, I have purposely avoided anything pertaining to enharmonics, with a view of drawing the student's special attention to musical logic; for the same reason, I have given almost all the examples of modulation by translating tonic, sub- and super-dominant into the new tonic, sub- or super-dominant, as the case may be, i.e. I have given them in so-called cadence-like form, in order thus to lay before the pupil the fundamental principle of modulation in the clearest possible manner; the analyses of the examples of modulation will allow of other solutions; but I doubt whether such other solutions will always be shorter - i.e. 'more to the point' and more logical than those given in this 'Supplement.'

"The musician, studying the examples of modulation with their analyses under the guidance of an experienced teacher with a 'mind open to improvement or progress,' should transpose the examples into as many keys as possible, and should himself try to invent similar modulations, and even perhaps analyze his own examples of modulation in the manner of analysis adopted by me, whereby the understanding of the principles of modulation briefly developed in this 'Supplement' will certainly be facilitated for him, and he will gain a considerable amount of additional insight into the subject and absolute clearness in grasping and understanding even the most complicated modulation, harmony, and counterpoint.

"In conclusion, I would request that my examples of modulation be looked upon not as compositions, but that they be taken merely for what they are intended - 'dry' examples explaining the simplest principles of the theory of modulation, one of the most important chapters in the whole of musical theory - especially considering the modern style of composition.

"Should my little book be destined to assist in clearing up the difficulties of so manifold and varied a nature which students encounter in dealing with this special subject, the chief object of my efforts will have been attained.

"Munich, October 1903"

His continual use of the word "supplement" suggests that there was some larger work "The Theory of Modulation" somewhere, but this seems not in fact to have been the case. And also he thought "enharmonics" were "illogical" - but that is a matter of debate is it not.

Certainly it can be said that all his examples look like the way his music sounds, if I may put it thus. Which raises the questions, WHY, WHEN, and HOW FAR should one in fact modulate, none of which appear to concern him here.
Report Spam   Logged
autoharp
Level 3
***

Times thanked: 15
Offline Offline

Posts: 215



View Profile
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2011, 08:40:21 am »

This is all most interesting! Many thanks for bringing this to our attention. I've wanted to see this publication for sometime: good that it has now become easily available.
Report Spam   Logged
autoharp
Level 3
***

Times thanked: 15
Offline Offline

Posts: 215



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2011, 10:38:28 am »

Scrolling to the bottom, one will find an interesting download possibility - if you can get it to work.

http://classics-glaucus.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00%2B01%3A00&updated-max=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00%2B01%3A00&max-results=8
Report Spam   Logged
guest2
Guest
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2011, 12:01:40 am »

. . . if you can get it to work
They all work well for me - many thanks.
Report Spam   Logged
autoharp
Level 3
***

Times thanked: 15
Offline Offline

Posts: 215



View Profile
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2011, 08:05:10 pm »

. . . if you can get it to work
They all work well for me - many thanks.

And it has eventually worked for me. A better recording than the (different) version I had - and it shed quite a bit of new light on the situation. Are there other (choral/orchestral?) works of Reger which explore similar territory? It seems a world away from the admittedly few works of his with which I'm familiar.

And many thanks for the pointer towards Reger's book on modulation - quite fascinating!
Report Spam   Logged
t-p
Guest
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2011, 03:41:28 pm »

Thank you for interesting discussion.
Thanks to the thread I listened to several performances of Reger's music.

I knew that he was influenced by Bach and loved Bach's music.


Here is his arrangement of Bach's organ fugue.


This concerto was interesting discovery too.







Report Spam   Logged
guest54
Guest
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2011, 04:43:34 am »

What delight to "see you" again Madame P.!!!
Report Spam   Logged
Neil McGowan
Level 7
*******

Times thanked: 78
Offline Offline

Posts: 1344



View Profile
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2011, 07:21:39 am »

Indeed, it's a pleasure to see you posting here, t-p Smiley
Report Spam   Logged

Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum


Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy