Max Reger (1873-1916) is perhaps best-known for his organ music. This quickly assumed a prominent place in the repertory of German organists due in large measure to the efforts of Reger’s contemporary Karl Straube (1873-1950). The personal and collegial relationship between the composer and performer began in 1898 and developed until Reger’s death. By that time, Straube had established himself as an important artist and teacher in Leipzig and the central authority for the interpretation of Reger’s organ music. The Reger-Straube relationship functioned on a number of levels with decisive consequences both for the composition of the music and its interpretation over a period fraught with upheaval on sociopolitical, religious and aesthetic fronts. This book evaluates the significance of the relationship between the composer and organist using primary source materials such as autograph performing manuscripts, reviews, programmes, letters and archival sources from contemporary organ building. The result is a much enhanced understanding of Reger in terms of performance practice and reception history, and a re-examination of Straube and, more broadly, of Leipzig as a musical centre during this period.
Winner of the 2006 Max B. Miller Book Prize, awarded by The Organ Library of the American Guild of Organists at Boston University, USA. ''This is a stupendous book. It is 434 pages of highest quality research and scholarship, presented in a very readable way. The printing is of the best standard, too… This book is a must for all serious students of organ composition and performance…' The Organ '… we should be thankful that this major work, the first to look at the musical relationship between the two men, is in English… It is an important achievement..' Church Music Quarterly
Contents: Preface; Introduction; Reger, Straube, and the organ: aspects of the relationship, 1898-1916: Max Reger, the 'potent genius'; Karl Straube, the 'scholarly intelligence'; Reger, Straube, and the beginnings of collaboration; Reger's music and Straube's musicianship, 1898-1918: Questions and evidence; Straube's musical sense and his playing of Reger; Issues of influence; Reger's music under Straube's editorship, 1903-38: Johann Sebastian Bach: Schule des Triospiels (1903); Max Reger: Drei OrgelstÃ¼cke op. 59/7-9 (1912); Max Reger: PrÃ¤ludien und Fugen (1919); Max Reger: Phantasie Ã¼ber den Choral 'Ein feste Burg' op. 27 (1938); Karl Matthaei: Vom Orgelspiel; 'Lighter paper for lady cigarette smokers': thoughts on a complete Reger edition; Reger's music at the Leipzig Conservatory and Church Music Institute, 1907-48: Reger and Straube: relations to Leipzig; 'The soul of the German people': Straube and a nationalist organ repertory; Teaching and performance within Straube's Leipzig curriculum; The Leipzig Conservatory organ and the implications of its history; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.