The reputation of Max Reger today belies his dominant presence in music during his lifetime and the legacy he left. Here we celebrate two of his works, and one by his friend and contemporary, Adolf Busch.
Leon Botstein shares the stories behind the music in a lively 30-minute Conductor’s Notes Q&A at 7 PM in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. Free for all ticket holders.
Three Études for Orchestra
Adolf Busch was a close friend of Reger’s, and the two shared a similar musical style. These études were among the first pieces written by Busch after his emigration to the United States at the start of World War II.
Max Reger’s only piano concerto was rarely heard after its premiere until it was championed by pianist Rudolf Serkin, who recorded it in 1959. His son, Peter Serkin, takes on the piece at this concert. Based on Brahms’ D minor piano concerto, this dramatic work is a challenge and triumph for the virtuoso pianist.
Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J.A. Hiller
One of Reger’s most popular pieces, these variations on a melodic line by Johann Adam Hiller show the influence of Brahms and Bach on the composer’s work. It was written at a tumultuous period of Reger’s life, when he had turned to alcoholism after leaving Munich in disgrace.
Adolf Busch – Three Études for Orchestra
Max Reger – Piano Concerto
Max Reger – Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J.A. Hiller