Max Reger - more conspicuous than Schoenberg


'In the very early years of the twentieth century Max Reger held a more conspicuous place in Austro-German music than Schoenberg; certainly he was far more productive, especially of instrumental music. Several of his works are sets of variations culminating in a fugue, but contrapuntal energy is almost omnipresent, driving through dense harmonic textures. He acknowledged his source in making piano arrangements of Bach’s music, as indeed did Busoni, a musician of mixed German-Italian background best known at this period as a virtuoso pianist' ~ from A Concise History of Western Music by Paul Griffiths (Cambridge University Press ISBN 139780521842945).

Max Reger, seen in the photo above playing the organ in 1913, died on May 11 1916 aged 43

Now Playing ~ Variations and Fugue on a theme of J S Bach played Marc-André Hamelin piano. This excellent Hyperion disc of Reger’s piano music also includes his Variations and Fugue on a theme of Georg Philipp Telemann, and Five Humoreques. Wonderful sound from the beautiful acoustics of St George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol.


For another view on Reger’s status read music history rewritten.
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