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Max Reger (Composer)

Born: March 19, 1873 - Brand, Upper Palatinate, Bavaria, Germany
Died: May 11, 1916 - Leipzig, Germany

The celebrated German composer Reger (Johann Baptist Joseph) Max(imilian) Reger, was the son of a school-teacher and amateur musician, who gave him instruction on the piano organ, and various string instruments. In 1874 the family moved to Weiden, where he studied organ and theory with Adalbert Lindner. He then attended the teacher-training college; after visiting the Bayreuth Festival in 1888, he decided on a career in music. He went to Sondershausen to study with Riemann in 1890, and continued as his pupil in Wiesbaden (1890-1893).

From 1890 to 1896, Max Reger was active as a teacher of piano, organ, and theory. Following military service, he returned to Weiden in 1898 and wrote a number of his finest works for organ. He went to Munich in 1901, first gaining general recognition as a pianist and later as a composer; was professor of counterpoint at the Königliche Akademie der Tonkünst (1905-1906). Prominent compositions from this period included the Piano Quintet, op. 64 (1901-1902), the Violin Sonata, op. 72 (1903), the String Quartet op. 74 (1903-1904), the Variationen und Fuge über ein Thema von J.S. Bach for Piano, op. 81 (1904), and the Sinfonietta, op. 90 (1904-1905). He went to Leipzig as music director of the University (1907-1908) and as professor of composition at the Conservatory (from 1907).

Max Reger's fame as a composer was enhanced by his successful tours as a soloist and conductor in Germany and throughout Europe. While he continued to produce major chamber works and organ pieces, he also wrote such important orchestral compositions as the Variationen und Fuge über ein lustiges Thema von J.A. Hiller, op. 100 (1907), the Violin Concerto, op. 101 (1907-1908), the Sympbonischer Prolog zu einer Tragödie, op. 108 (1908), the Piano Concerto, op. 114 (1910), and the Variationen und Fuge über ein Thema von Mozart, op. 132 (1914). As a result, having been awarded an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Jena in 1908, he composed his most distinguished sacred work, the Psalm C, op. 106 (1908-1909). He was called to Meiningen as conductor of the Court Orchestra in 1911, assuming the title Hofkapellmeister. He was also Generalmusikdirektor (1913-1914). He settled in Jena in 1915.

Max Reger was an extraordinarily gifted musician, widely respected as a composer, pianist, organist, conductor and teacher. A master of polyphonic and harmonic writing, he carried on the hallowed Classical and Romantic schools of composition. Although he wrote major works in nearly every genre, his music has not found a place of permanence in the repertoire.




Source: Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (December 2005)

Max Reger: Short Biography | PT: Works | Recordings | Orchestral Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works

Title

Chorale Melody

Year

Chorale Fantasia for Organ Alle Menschen müssen sterben Op.52

Alle Menschen müssen sterben (Zahn 6778)

1900

Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Her, Chorale Prelude for organ, Op. 67/1

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr

1902

Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Her, Chorale Prelude for organ, Op. 135a/2

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr

1914

Christus der ist mein Leben, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 79b/9

Christus, der ist mein Leben

1901-1903

Christus der ist mein Leben, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/5

Christus, der ist mein Leben

1902

Dir, dir, Jehova will ich singen, Chorale Prelude for organ Op. 67/7

Dir, dir, Jehova, will ich singen

1902

1st Suite for Organ op. 16

Es ist das Heil uns kommen her

1894-1895

Chorale for Organ Es ist das Heil uns kommen her / Sei Lob und Ehr’ dem höchsten Gut, Op. 67/10

Es ist das Heil uns kommen her

1902

Chorale for Organ Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, Op. 135a/7 from 30 kleine Choral Vorspiele

Es ist das Heil uns kommen her

1914

Phantasie über den Choral Freu' dich sehr, o meine Seele, Op. 30

Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele

1898

Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/11

Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele

1902

Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 135a/9

Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele

1914

O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/32

Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht

1902

Jesu meine Freude, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/21

Jesu, meine Freude

1902

O Jesulein süß, folk song for chorus (7 Sacred Folk Songs, No. 6)

Komm, heilger Geist, mit deiner Genad

1699

Komm susser Tod, Chorale Prelude for organ

Komm süßer Tod

Lasset uns den Herren preisen, Easter motet for 5 voices

Lasset uns den Herren preisen

Machs mit mir, Gott, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/27

Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt

1902

Meinem Jesum laß ich nicht, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/26

Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht

1902

Setting of Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht for Soprano, Mixed Choir, Violin, Viola., and Organ

Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht

1905/1906

Meinem Jesum laß ich nicht, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 135a/17

Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht

1914

Mit Fried und Freud fahr ich dahin, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 79b/5

Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin

1901-1903

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, Chorale Prelude for Organ Op. 67/29

Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland

1902

O Gott, du frommer Gott, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/31

O Gott, du frommer Gott

1902

O Gott, du frommer Gott, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 135a/20

O Gott, du frommer Gott

1914

O wie selig seid ihr doch, Chorale Prelude for organ, Op. 67/35

O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen

1902

O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen, cantata for soprano, chorus, strings & organ

O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen

1904

Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/36

Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele

1902

Seelenbräutigam, Chorale Prelude for organ, Op. 67/37

Seelenbräutigam

1902

Straf' mich nicht in deinem Zorn, Chorale Fantasia for organ, Op. 40/2

Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn

1899

Valet will ich dir geben, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 135a/23

Valet will ich dir geben

1914

Vater unser im Himmelreich, Chorale Prelude for organ, Op. 67/41

Vater unser im Himmelreich

1902

Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/46

Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan

1902

Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, ChoralePrelude for Organ, Op. 135a/26

Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan

1914

Chorale Prelude for organ Was mein Gott will, das gscheh allzeit, Op. 135a/27

Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit

Sep 1914

Werde munter, mein Gemüte, Chorale Prelude for Organ, Op. 67/49

Werde munter, mein Gemüthe

1902

Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seelen, Chorale Prelude for organ, Op. 67/52

Wie wohl ist mir

1902

Arrangements of J.S. Bach's Works

Title

J.S. Bach's Work

Year

Aria O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (Mvt. 29) from Matthäus Passion BWV 244

Matthäus Passion BWV 244

Goldberg Variations BWV 988, arrangement for two pianos by Josef Rheinberger, revised by Max Reger

Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Links to other Sites

Max Reger Pages (1873-1916) (Official Website)
Max Reger (Classical Music Pages)
Max Reger (Classical Net)
Organ Composers: Max Reger
The Max Reger Mp3 Page on Classic Cat
Max Reger (Fugue Masters)
Max Reger (1873 - 1916) (Karadar) [German]
Max Reger (Carol Traxler)
Max Reger (1873-1916) (Naxos)

Max-Reger-Institut / Elsa-Reger-Stiftung [German]
Max Reger (Guild Music)
Reger Max English (Maurice Abravanel)
REGER, Max (BBKL) [German]
Max Reger (Wikipedia)
Max Reger (Answers.com)
Max Reger biography (8notes)
Classical Music Archives: Biography of Max Reger
allmusic: Max Reger > Overview

Bibliography

 

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Last update: ýOctober 6, 2009 ý17:46:53