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Max Reger


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Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (19 March 1873 – 11 May 1916) was a German composer, organist, pianist and teacher.

Born in Brand, Bavaria, Reger studied music in Munich and Wiesbaden with Hugo Riemann. In 1901 he settled in Munich, where he taught organ and composition, and from 1907 he worked in Leipzig, where he was music director of the university until 1908 and professor of composition at the conservatoire until his death. He was also active internationally as a conductor and pianist in that period of time. Among his students there were Joseph Haas and George Szell. From 1911 he conducted the court orchestra at Meiningen until it was disbanded in 1914, when he moved to Jena. He died of a heart attack in Leipzig.

During a composing life of little more than 20 years, Reger produced an enormous output in all genres, nearly always in abstract forms, although few of his compositions are well known today. Many of his works are fugues or in variation form, including what is probably his best known orchestral work, the Variations and Fugue on a theme of Mozart (based on the opening theme of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Sonata, K. 331). He also wrote a large amount of music for organ, including the Fantasy and Fugue on BACH (this piece, based on the BACH motif, is considered one of the most difficult and demanding in organ literature). He was particularly attracted to the fugal form his entire life, once remarking: “Other people write fugues - I live inside them”. He composed music in virtually every other genre too, (opera being a notable exception).

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  • Takademi47

    Mariä Wiegenlied ♥

    16 Sep 2012 Reply
  • slavicfrost

    @Alexface21: I agree. Using more or less strict contrapuntal devices, and genres/forms as fugues, chorale preludes, suites, etc., doesn't mean writing in neo-baroque style.

    19 Dec 2011 Reply
  • elnimio

    Such an underrated composer

    31 Oct 2011 Reply
  • Alexface21

    @SirAlecHendrix.. have you not heard the piano concerto? About as far from baroque as you could get.

    14 Jul 2011 Reply
  • Alexface21

    Underrated much?

    14 Jul 2011 Reply
  • fuckyoupeter

    The organ works are mindblowing, I'll have to check out all the other stuff he's done.

    25 Apr 2011 Reply
  • KraeheK

    The Psalm 100 is incredible. I would suggest trying to hear the Horst Stein/Koch recording, the Chandos one is nowhere near as good. It's a really dynamic piece which doesn't feel overly-long, and the finale is overwhelming.

    22 Feb 2011 Reply
  • Prince-Marolo

    Love his clarinet works ♥

    16 Dec 2010 Reply
  • Aserikoth

    His organ works are masterful

    29 May 2010 Reply
  • KraeheK

    Neat stuff, the violin sonatas and orchestral music with choir especially.

    16 Aug 2009 Reply
  • Thornspire

    @SirAlecHendrix: Max Reger was the one who led tonality at the beginning of the 20th century along with Richard Strauss and many others to the very edge of existance, until unanticipated Arnold Schönberg made the step into unknown territory. The emancipation of the Dissonance. NOw as as a more known term. Atonality.

    21 Jun 2009 Reply
  • RexMager

    if you like to learn more about Max Reger, have a look here:

    11 Feb 2009 Reply
  • Seavas

    Also, his Schubert Orchestrations are awesome.

    31 Jan 2009 Reply
  • SirAlecHendrix

    max reger's music never was "romantic", a more fitting term could be 'neo-baroque'

    6 Dec 2008 Reply
  • BurakCC


    27 May 2008 Reply

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