Sonata in B flat Major for Clarinet or Violin and Piano, Op.107
Max Reger (1873-1916) was born in the small Bavarian town of Brand. He began his musical studies at a young age and his talent for composition became clear early on. His family expected him to become a school teacher like his father and to this end passed the necessary examinations for certification. However, before he landed his first teaching job, he met the eminent musicologist Hugo Riemann, who was so impressed by Regerís talent that he urged him to devote himself entirely to music. Reger studied with him for nearly five years. By 1907 Reger was appointed to the prestigious position of Professor of composition at the Leipzig Conservatory. In addition to this he was widely regarded as one of the best living conductors and organists.
In a career that only lasted 20 years, Reger wrote a prodigious amount of music in virtually every genre except opera and the symphony. Chamber music figures prominently within his oeuvre. Reger showed an affinity for the clarinet and his writing for that instrument is particularly fine and inspired. He wrote several works for the instrument as well as his Op.146 Quintet for Clarinet and strings. All of these works, to a lesser or greater extent, were inspired by similar works by Brahms. This said, it should be made clear that Regerís are in no way imitative of that composer. The Op.107 dates from 1908, a particularly happy period in the composerís life and this is reflected in the music which was hailed by critics as a ďbeautiful and deeply felt idyll.Ē The music shows the composerís return to traditional late Romantic tonality and a classical simplicity both in form and content.