Serenade Op. 141a

Serenade Op. 141a


Click the links below to hear the movements.

1st movement
3rd movement

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Max Reger (1873-1916) was a German composer, pianist, conductor and teacher. He combined duties at the Leipzig University Church and the Royal Conservatory in Leipzig with concert performances, before becoming musical director at the court of Duke Georg II of Sax-Meiningen. Despite writing music for all combinations of instruments, it is his organ music that is most performed now. His love of more abstract forms (such as the fugue and counterpoint in general), coupled with his admiration and respect for the composer J.S. Bach has left Reger’s music with a reputation for being dour and overly academic. If any piece of his music was to disprove this impression, this Serenade must surely be the one. In three movements it is in turn light, melodic and sunny. Originally score for flute, violin and viola, the use of three largely treble instruments is an important factor in the overall enchanting mood of the piece. The first movement trips along cheekily, with frequent extreme harmony changes in the first subject, which alternates with a more legato, flowing second idea. The second movement starts with a hymn-like theme, which becomes more and more tortuous before a very brief coda of the hymn-like material. The third and final movement is a lively romp in compound time, almost reminiscent of a Tarantella. The dance-like feeling is halted a couple of times by a longer phrased theme with almost a triple time feel. The dance keeps bursting through the texture, until the very end when it calms to a tranquil conclusion

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