Author Topic: Max Reger(1873-1916)  (Read 25365 times)

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Offline schnittkease

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #220 on: October 14, 2020, 03:15:56 PM »
Excuse me?  Wherever did that idea come from??

Brahms wrote many masterpieces that changing anything about them would have been a disaster.
Monkey with Beethoven's 7th or 9th?  Or the late piano sonatas or late string quartets?  Sacrilege.
Bach's Goldberg Variations?  Mozart's last three symphonies?
Mahler's 'Song of the Earth'??

There are many great pieces of music that are, indeed, perfect.
When the voice of God speaks through gifted people, let us be humbled!

There's a reason why I put "perfect" in quotes - the word is highly subjective. Objective perfection may be defined as not having any flaws/defects. But who defines what a flaw is? Reger's blocky orchestration may be too thick to Person A but perfect to Person B. Person B calls the work perfect because they don't detect any flaws, but Person A obviously doesn't agree. But since Person B thinks it's perfect, does that make it objectively so? No.

When did I say that I wanted to change anything about the pieces you list (or any piece, for that matter)? Objective perfection is unattainable, so there's nothing anyone could do to make them more "perfect." I also don't like the idea of "the voice of God" speaking through people's music... what is that even supposed to mean?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 08:58:31 AM by schnittkease »

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #221 on: October 14, 2020, 03:17:11 PM »
I did and still not hearing it. Maybe I am expecting Bachian counterpoint. I also have this:


Maybe I just don't care about Reger's counterpoint?

Why are you looking specifically for counterpoint?

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #222 on: October 14, 2020, 04:24:07 PM »
Why are you looking specifically for counterpoint?

Because Reger is said to be counterpuntal composer. As a matter of fact I listened to the other CD and it has more counterpoint to my ears. I had completely forgotten the disc and how I actually like it. It even reminds me a little bit of Elgar's lesser orchestral works. Now I remember how the chamber music CD "killed" my interest in Reger, but the Op. 132 & Op. 100 disc is nice.  :)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 04:26:38 PM by 71 dB »
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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #223 on: October 15, 2020, 02:16:35 AM »
I did and still not hearing it. Maybe I am expecting Bachian counterpoint. I also have this:


Maybe I just don't care about Reger's counterpoint?

Perhaps, yes. I wouldn't describe it as Bachian counterpoint at all. Maybe closer to Brahms's counterpoint.

Offline Scion7

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #224 on: October 15, 2020, 04:12:50 AM »
Let us not forget Reger was Johanna Senfter's teacher and mentor.  A "Brahmsian grand daughter" of sorts.
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #225 on: October 15, 2020, 04:55:55 AM »
Perhaps, yes. I wouldn't describe it as Bachian counterpoint at all. Maybe closer to Brahms's counterpoint.

Yes, as I said it reminds me of Elgar's lesser ochestral music such as the Nursery Suite.
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Offline Herman

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #226 on: October 15, 2020, 07:07:14 AM »
You seem to have, on two cds, the four best, or most successful pieces of Reger's oeuvre: the Hiller and Mozart Variations; the Clarinet Quintet and the 4th String Quartet.

And these remind you "of Elgar's lesser music".

I guess to each his own.

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #227 on: October 15, 2020, 08:50:33 AM »
You seem to have, on two cds, the four best, or most successful pieces of Reger's oeuvre: the Hiller and Mozart Variations; the Clarinet Quintet and the 4th String Quartet.

And these remind you "of Elgar's lesser music".

I guess to each his own.

My favorite is the Bach Variations, and (just for the record) I don't think Elgar wrote anything on that level. I also like Reger's 4th String Quartet, but it's a conscious receding from the harmonic daring of earlier works. I can take or leave the Clarinet Quintet.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 09:00:19 AM by schnittkease »

Offline kyjo

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #228 on: October 15, 2020, 09:40:23 AM »
Yes, as I said it reminds me of Elgar's lesser ochestral music such as the Nursery Suite.

Well, that's certainly the first time I've seen Reger and Elgar compared! :laugh:
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #229 on: October 15, 2020, 09:48:22 AM »
Well, that's certainly the first time I've seen Reger and Elgar compared! :laugh:

I'm not saying the composition style is same, but I got similar vibes and it wasn't as if it was a 100 % match.
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #230 on: October 15, 2020, 09:50:27 AM »
My favorite is the Bach Variations

Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J.S. Bach, Op 81 ?
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Offline schnittkease

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #231 on: October 15, 2020, 12:13:32 PM »
Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J.S. Bach, Op 81 ?

That's the one.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/QijUP_0yehw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/QijUP_0yehw</a>

Offline amw

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #232 on: October 15, 2020, 12:49:43 PM »
Reger is a bit bipolar, his more contrapuntal music (e.g. the organ works, or the fugues in the two big variation sets for piano) tends to also be extremely melodramatic whereas some of his other music exists in a state of constant chromatic haze that prevents any real tension from developing (e.g. the violin concerto, which is probably my favourite of his pieces, and will appeal to anyone who likes the Elgar concerto but wishes it had less stuff happening and fewer melodies and less excitement*). Like Szymanowski it's very much an acquired taste. The pieces I'd recommend as introductions to Reger and his style would actually be the four Sonatinas for piano, op. 89—if you don't like them, you probably won't like any of his stuff.

* I do like it better than the Elgar concerto but I have specific manias when it comes to music

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #233 on: October 15, 2020, 04:21:50 PM »
I find that the only Reger that has hooked me, so far, is his organ music. I have two of the Naxos discs, vols. 1 & 4 of that series (both random record store finds) and I enjoy returning to them from time to time. His organ music seems to have two moods (@amw, I agree with your bipolar assessment)...: tranquil/meditative/eerie calm and ecstatic/psychedelic/explosive/completely psychotic. I don't often go for organ music, but his is impressive!

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #234 on: October 15, 2020, 04:59:20 PM »
I also like Reger's 4th String Quartet, but it's a conscious receding from the harmonic daring of earlier works.

I remember that quartet made a strong impression on me. Even the longest one (which lasts more than 50 minutes IIRC) is astonishing and doesn't feel too long.

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #235 on: October 16, 2020, 02:26:15 AM »
That's the one.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/QijUP_0yehw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/QijUP_0yehw</a>

I listened maybe 40 %. Interesting. I need to explore it better when I have time ( =state of mind for it)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 02:28:06 AM by 71 dB »
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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #236 on: October 23, 2020, 03:38:58 AM »
Getting more and more into Reger, mostly the organ music, but I listened to this CD yesterday and it finally clicked:



Excellent orchestration. Both of these works are kind of like Brahms's Haydn Variations on steroids, but w/ Reger's original voice. I enjoyed both works but especially the Mozart Variations.

Trying to decide where to next with Reger. Looking at Hamelin's disc of piano works, plus the Järvi and Segerstam discs with the Böcklin Poems, not sure which of the two to go for.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #237 on: October 23, 2020, 05:08:58 AM »
The Hamelin disc seems very good to me, although I am by no means an expert (I have the piano variations also with Becker and I once heard Peter Serkin in concert with the Bach variations although I could hardly appreciate the piece then in my early 20s). But for these two sets of variations it's basically true what you wrote about the orchestral variations, they are pretty close to Brahms Händel- or Haydn-Variations. I don't know the other discs but the Böcklin suite also seems to me one of the most accessible orchestral Reger that is NOT a variation sequuence.
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Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Reply #238 on: Today at 06:02:06 AM »
I ended up ordering the Böcklin Suite on BIS with Leif Segerstam, plus the Hamelin with the Bach & Telemann Variations. I'm really racking up a lot of Reger. I also managed to get 4 volumes of the organ music set for 9 bucks.