“It is quite clear to me what is missing from today’s music: a Mozart!” With his trios which he consciously kept in a classical manner, Reger hoped to prove the contrary to the “ignorant people”, who for their part accused him of “a lack of feeling” and being too “complicated”. The instrumentation for his serenades op. 77a and 141a is rather distinctive: he omits the lower registers, opting for the bright tones of the flute, violin and viola to outline joyful musical figures and catchy melodies. Reger’s own style cannot however be mistaken. These two serenades, which are technically not overly demanding, are not only suited for concert performances but also offer a welcome change for those engaging in spontaneous chamber music.
- Serenades for Flute, Violin and Viola op. 77a and op. 141a
Late-Romantic composer who combines a chromatic tonal language with Baroque and Classical forms, thus anticipating 1920s neoclassicism.
|1873||Born in Brand (Upper Palatinate) on March 19, the son of a teacher. First piano lessons from his mother.|
|1888||After a visit to Bayreuth (for Meistersinger and Parsifal), decides on a career in music.|
|1890–93||Studies with Hugo Riemann at the conservatory in Wiesbaden, composes chamber works. Thereafter he endeavors to publish his own works as a freelance composer, albeit with multiple failures.|
|1898||Return to his parents’ home in Weiden. Composition of organ works: choral fantasies, “Fantasy and Fugue on B-A-C-H,” Op. 46 (1900); Symphonic Fantasy and Fugue (“Inferno”), Op. 57.|
|1901–07||Living in Munich.|
|1903||Publication of his “On the Theory of Modulation,” causing Riemann to feel attacked because Reger espouses a different understanding of the role of chromatics. “Variations and Fugue on an Original Theme,” Op. 73.|
|1904||Breakthrough with his first performance for the Allgemeine Deutsche Musikverein (General German Music Association). First volume of his “Simple Songs” for voice and piano, Op. 76; String Quartet in D minor, Op. 74, one of the most significant works in that genre at the beginning of the century.|
|From 1905||Instructor at Munich’s Academy of Music. “Sinfonietta” in A major, Op. 90.|
|1907–11||Music director and professor of composition at the University of Leipzig. Orchestral work “Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Hiller,” Op. 100.|
|1909||“The 100th Psalm,” Op. 106, his most popular choral work.|
|1911–14||Director of the royal court orchestra of Saxe-Meiningen.|
|1912||“Concerto in the Old Style,” Op. 123. Orchestral song “An die Hoffnung” (“To Hope”), Op. 124.|
|1913||“Four Tone Poems after A. Böcklin” for large orchestra, Op. 128; “A Ballet Suite,” Op. 130.|
|1914||“Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart,” Op. 132|
|1915||He resides in Jena. Late compositions.|
|1916||Death in Leipzig on May 11.|
(...) denn die drei "einfachsten u. sehr melodiösen" Stimmen sind oft aufs Raffinierteste miteinander verzahnt. Da hilft, um sich über manche Stelle einen Überblick zu verschaffen, die Studienpartitur. Deren Notenbild, wie auch das der Einzelstimmen, ist - bei Henle schon gar nicht mehr anders zu erwarten - übersichtlich und bestens lesbar.
These parts are very clear, and the score is presented in a convenient study edition; both score and parts, which are available separately, include performence comments.