Newly published: Songs II

Volume II/2, published by Carus-Verlag, is now available.

Reger caused a sensation in the music world with his songs written between summer 1889 and spring 1901. The composer, who had consolidated himself personally and artistically after years of serious crisis, displayed a harmonic and melodic uncompromisingness in these songs that challenged, fascinated and irritated performers and audiences alike.

The collections that Reger compiled became more and more extensive: Opera 35 and 37 comprised six and five songs, Opera 43 and 48 eight and seven, Opera 51 and 55 twelve and fifteen songs. In addition, he wrote several individual contributions for publication in the Neue Musik-Zeitung (WoO VII/23-29).

In his search for texts, Reger turned to contemporary poetry. The poems he set to music came from representatives of literary Jugendstil and Impressionism, including Otto Julius Bierbaum, Detlev von Liliencron and Richard Dehmel. Intensity and subtlety of feeling, a claim to inwardness and modern emotional language were Reger’s musical yardsticks. The concentration on the modern declamation song in the wake of Hugo Wolf, to whom Opus 51 is dedicated, corresponded to this.

Furthermore, Reger ventured into texts that Richard Strauss had also previously set to music, finding very different solutions in mood and tonal language.

Reger-Werkausgabe, vol. II/2: Songs II, Stuttgart 2021, CV 52.809