Hyperion Records

Reger, Max (1873-1916)  

Max Reger

born: 19 March 1873
died: 11 May 1916
country: Germany

The image of Max Reger as a composer of long, tortuously chromatic, over-elaborate polyphonic extravaganzas dies hard. But in his amazing fertility he also produced many pieces which show, on the one hand, his passionate commitment to Germanic Romanticism, and on the other the neo-Classical, indeed neo-Baroque vein of inspiration that made him such an important forerunner of Paul Hindemith. Reger was born in Brand, Bavaria, in 1873, the son of a schoolmaster. He gained his first musical education from his parents and from the town organist at Weiden (where he himself became organist at the age of thirteen), then went on to study under the great pedagogue Hugo Riemann. After a series of teaching and organ appointments in Munich, Leipzig and Jena, in 1911 he became music director at the court of Meiningen, where there was a famous touring orchestra; the Brahms tradition was still strong there, and one of Reger’s predecessors had been Hans von Bülow. However, Reger’s health was frequently poor (and aggravated by his heavy drinking). In the summer of 1914 he had to resign from Meiningen and returned to Jena, but he continued also to teach at Leipzig, where he died in 1916, aged forty-three. Despite this comparatively short life he left an immense output. Reger was an amazingly prolific composer (he had reached opus 100 by the age of thirty-four), writing multitudinous organ works and chamber music, as well as music for piano, for orchestra and for voices. His personal idiom evolved in the shadow of Brahms, and vastly developed the archaizing strain—the yearning towards strict Baroque contrapuntal forms—that had been present in Brahms’s make-up. Yet at the same time he was greatly influenced by the complex chromaticism and motivic writing of Wagner, and by his slightly older contemporary Richard Strauss. Towards the end of his life he showed an interest in Impressionism, and was moving towards a neo-Classical stance that would probably have served him well had he survived into the 1920s. In general, however, though his works’ actual expressive import usually identifies with Classical form and traditional Baroque clarity and serenity, Reger’s technical means and vocabulary (a daunting combination of advanced polyphonic techniques with ripe, perhaps overripe, and tonally unstable harmony) mark him out as a child of his time.

from notes by Calum MacDonald

Albums
'Reger & Strauss: Piano Concertos' (CDA67635)
Reger & Strauss: Piano Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67635 
'Reger: Cello Sonatas' (CDA67581/2)
Reger: Cello Sonatas
Buy by post £20.00 CDA67581/2  2CDs  
'Reger: Choral Music' (CDA67762)
Reger: Choral Music
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67762 
'Reger: Organ Music' (CDA66223)
Reger: Organ Music
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66223  Archive Service  
'Reger: Piano Music' (CDA66996)
Reger: Piano Music
Buy by post £10.50 CDA66996  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Reger: Violin Concertos' (CDA67892)
Reger: Violin Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67892  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Bach: Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 7 – Max Reger' (CDA67683)
Bach: Piano Transcriptions, Vol. 7 – Max Reger
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67683  2CDs for the price of 1  
'Organ Fireworks, Vol. 8' (CDA66978)
Organ Fireworks, Vol. 8
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66978  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'Organ Fireworks, Vol. 9' (CDA67228)
Organ Fireworks, Vol. 9
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA67228  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'Rare Piano Encores' (CDH55109)
Rare Piano Encores
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55109  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Royal Eurostar' (CDA66870)
Royal Eurostar
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66870  Archive Service  
'Strauss & Reger: Piano Concertos' (CDA67635)
Strauss & Reger: Piano Concertos
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67635 
On other labels
'Reger: Organ Music' (SIGCD329)
Reger: Organ Music
SIGCD329  Download only  
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
Abendgang im Lenz  No 2 of Drei Gesänge, Op 111b (Reger)
Abendlied  No 2 of Drei Sechsstimmige Chöre, Op 39 (Reger)
Abendlied  No 3 of Drei Chöre, Op 6 (Reger)
Ach wie nichtig, ach wie flüchtig, BWV644 (Bach/Reger)
An Wasserflüssen Babylon, BWV653b (Bach/Reger)
Aus tiefer Not, schrei' ich zu dir  No 4 of Chorale Preludes, Op 67 (Reger)
Cello Sonata No 1 in F minor, Op 5 (Reger)
Cello Sonata No 2 in G minor, Op 28 (Reger)
Cello Sonata No 3 in F major, Op 78 (Reger)
Cello Sonata No 4 in A minor, Op 116 (Reger)
Cello Suite No 1 in G major, Op 131c No 1 (Reger)
Cello Suite No 2 in D minor, Op 131c No 2 (Reger)
Cello Suite No 3 in A minor, Op 131c No 3 (Reger)
Chorale Fantasia on Straf' mich micht in deinem Zorn, Op 40 No 2 (Reger)
Chorale Preludes, Op 67 (Reger)
Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWVAnh 171 (Pachelbel/Reger)
Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BWV903 (Bach/Reger)
Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV614 (Bach/Reger)
Der Einsiedler, Op 144a (Reger)
Drei Chöre, Op 6 (Reger)
Drei Gesänge, Op 111b (Reger)
Drei Sechsstimmige Chöre, Op 39 (Reger)
Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV637 (Bach/Reger)
Durch den Wald, den dunkeln, geht  First line to Frühlingsblick, No 3 of Drei Sechsstimmige Chöre, Op 39 (Reger)
Er ist's  No 3 of Drei Gesänge, Op 111b (Reger)
Es fiel ein Tau vom Himmel himmlisch mild  First line to Palmsonntagmorgen (Reger)
Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BWV638 (Bach/Reger)
Es ist kein Weh auf Erden  First line to Trost, No 1 of Drei Chöre, Op 6 (Reger)
Feierlicher Einzug der Ritter des Johanniter-Ordens (Strauss/Reger/Koch)
Five Easy Preludes and Fugues, Op 56 (Reger)
Five Humoresques, Op 20 (Reger)
Friedlicher Abend senkt sich aufs Gefild  First line to Abendlied, No 3 of Drei Chöre, Op 6 (Reger)
Frühling läßt sein blaues Band  First line to Er ist's, No 3 of Drei Gesänge, Op 111b (Reger)
Frühlingsblick  No 3 of Drei Sechsstimmige Chöre, Op 39 (Reger)
Fugue  Movement 2 of Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue in E minor, Op 127 (Reger)
Herr, wie du willst, so schick's mit mir  No 13 of Chorale Preludes, Op 67 (Reger)
Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV727 (Bach/Reger)
Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV639 (Bach/Reger)
Im Himmelreich ein Haus steht  No 1 of Drei Gesänge, Op 111b (Reger)
Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue in E minor, Op 127 (Reger)
Introduction, Variations and Fugue on an original theme, Op 73 (Reger)
Komm, heiliger Geist Herre Gott, BWV651 (Bach/Reger)
Komm, Trost der Welt, du stille Nacht!  First line to Der Einsiedler, Op 144a (Reger)
Leise geht der Tag zur Rüste  First line to Abendlied, No 2 of Drei Sechsstimmige Chöre, Op 39 (Reger)
Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV730 (Bach/Reger)
Mariä Wiegenlied, Op 76 No 52 (Reger)
Nun danket alle Gott, BWV657 (Bach/Reger)
Nun fallen die Augen müde mir zu  First line to Zur Nacht, No 2 of Drei Chöre, Op 6 (Reger)
Nun freut euch, lieben Christen  No 28 of Chorale Preludes, Op 67 (Reger)
Nun um mich her die Schatten steigen  First line to Schweigen, No 1 of Drei Sechsstimmige Chöre, Op 39 (Reger)
O Mensch, bewein' dein' Sünde gross, BWV622 (Bach/Reger)
Palmsonntagmorgen (Reger)
Piano Concerto in F minor, Op 114 (Reger)
Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV532 (Bach/Reger)
Prelude and Fugue in E flat major 'St Anne', BWV552 (Bach/Reger)
Prelude and Fugue in E minor 'The wedge', BWV548 (Bach/Reger)
Requiem, Op 144b (Reger)
Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV654 (Bach/Reger)
Schweigen  No 1 of Drei Sechsstimmige Chöre, Op 39 (Reger)
Seele, vergiss sie nicht  First line to Requiem, Op 144b (Reger)
Selig durch die Fluren gehn  First line to Abendgang im Lenz, No 2 of Drei Gesänge, Op 111b (Reger)
The well-tempered Clavier Book 1, BWV846-869 (Bach/Reger)
The well-tempered Clavier Book 2, BWV870-893 (Bach/Reger)
Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV565 (Bach/Reger)
Trost  No 1 of Drei Chöre, Op 6 (Reger)
Two Romances, Op 50 (Reger)
Valet will ich dir geben, BWV736 (Bach/Reger)
Variations and Fugue on a theme of Georg Philipp Telemann, Op 134 (Reger)
Variations and Fugue on a theme of Johann Sebastian Bach, Op 81 (Reger)
Variations and fugue on Heil dir im Siegerkranz (Reger)
Violin Concerto in A major, Op 101 (Reger)
Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV606 (Bach/Reger)
Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein 'Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit', BWV668 (Bach/Reger)
Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende  No 48 of Chorale Preludes, Op 67 (Reger)
Zur Nacht  No 2 of Drei Chöre, Op 6 (Reger)
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