The teachers of the German composer Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (1873-1916) included the renowned theoretician Hugo Riemann. From 1902 onward, Reger was organist of the Leipzig Thomaskirche. In 1905, Reger was appointed professor of organ and composition at the Akademie für Tonkunst in Munich, and two years later he also became professor of organ as well as cantor in Leipzig. During these years Reger began to tour throughout Europe as a composer, pianist, conductor, and organist. Between 1911 and 1915 he was the conductor of the renowned Meininger Hofkapelle. One of the greatest contrapuntists of his time, Reger was called ‘the son of Brahms and the grandson of Bach’. Reger’s compositions had a significant influence on later German composers such as Hindemith and Hartmann. Reger’s cello suites (1914) are elegantly written, warm-blooded romantic works; stylistically, they really belong to the 19th century. The 19th century itself produced no music for solo stringed instruments which currently remains in the repertoire. It is Reger’s music, then, which actually gives us the pure sound of a solitary cellist, singing, preluding, improvising, and practising. The pieces are spontaneous and unpretentious in character. They make playful allusions to Bach here and there; in the best late Romantic tradition, they often lose themselves in chromaticism and emotional explosions – not to mention the luxuriant use of thirds and sixths which hum and gurgle so gratefully in the cello’s timbre. This is likeable music, uninhibited and direct in its expressivity and filled with moments of moving intimacy…..Download booklet
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