MAX REGER'S FINAL CHORAL/ORCHESTRAL WORK: A STUDY OF OPUS 144 AS CULMINATION WITHIN CONTINUITY
As their composer's final completed works for chorus and orchestra, Der Einsiedler and Requiem, op. 144a & b, demonstrate Max Reger's mature ability when setting poems of recognized literary merit. These powerful single-movement works from 1915 defy many stereotypes associated with their composer. They manifest a lyrical beauty, a dramatic compactness, and an economy of musical means. The central theme of both is mortality and death. Chapter 1 of this study provides biographical material on Reger gleaned from current and historical materials published largely in German. Chapters 2 and 3 contain analyses of the poems by Joseph von Eichendorf and Christian Friedrich Hebbel set in op. 144a & b and an identification and analysis of the harmonic, melodic, textual, structural and timbral properties of Reger's response to them in the Zwei Gesänge für gemischten Chor mit Orchester, op. 144. The finding is that his careful control of compositional parameters in these works results in a powerful distillation of lifelong compositional habits. In these challenging works, his mastery of impulse, technique, and material is apparent. Op. 144 constitutes both a continuation of Reger's choral/orchestral style in earlier works and, by dint of the composer's death as a mid-aged man, the culmination of it. A consideration of those earlier works in Chapter 4 finds that, though no stylistic linear development is clearly discernable from one choral/orchestral work to the next, there exist clear similarities in approach and style between all Reger's works in this genre, indicating at the very least a consistency of creative impulse and stylistic inclination.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:max reger der einsiedler hebbel requiem requiems
Date of Publication:01/01/2002