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The String Quartet

sun 26 sep 2021 12:00 
Composer: Max Reger

Max Reger (1873-1916) – String quartet in G flat minor opus 54:1 (1900)

  1. Allegro agitato, 2. Vivace assai, 3. Largo mesto, 4. Prestissimo assai

Performers: Berner Streichquartett

CD: CPO

Max Reger (1873-1916) – String quartet in A flat major opus 54:2 (1900)

  1. Allegro assai e bizarro, 2. Andante semplice con variazioni, 3. Allegro vivace, con spirito

Performers: Berner Streichquartett

CD: CPO

Max Reger (1873-1916) – String quartet in D flat minor, WoO 2 (1889)

  1. Adagio

Performers: Berner Streichquartett

CD: CPO

Max Reger was considered highly modern around 1900. But he also looked back. Thus, Reger brought together various developments in his music: firstly, his admiration for the absolute music of Johannes Brahms, then – as an organist – his love for the music of Bach, and subsequently, as a young German, his weakness for Wagner’s fierce chromaticism.

The two String Quartets opus 54, both from 1900, are a direct continuation of those by Brahms. The Quartet in G minor (opus 54:1) is a grand four-movement work. Here we get the impression that Reger sometimes wants to say and express more than he can realise with four instruments.

The three-movement String Quartet in A flat minor (opus 54:2) is much more light-hearted than the previous one, although no less complex. The difficulty of this music is shown by the fact that at the first performance in 1904 the members of the quartet were hardly able to play in tune because of the persistent chromaticism. My quartet sounds as if it was composed by a drunken faun’, was Reger’s opinion.

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