Piano Quartet No.1 in d minor, Op.113
"The Piano Quartet in d minor, Op.113 dates from 1910. Reger called the work his own solution to finding new paths and a thorough adherence to an expanded tonality. The massive Allegro moderato ma con passione which opens the work is both rugged and yet at times gentle and filled with yearning. The ideas are spread upon a huge tonal canvas and are extraordinarily effective. The second movement, Vivace-Adagio-Vivace, is what Reger himself described as a “crazy scherzo.” At once forceful and ponderous, there are some very clever, surprising and original ideas to be found in this ingenious movement. To say that the slow trio section provides a fine contrast is a big understatement. A substantial Larghetto follows and is clearly closely related to the slow section of the scherzo. The finale, Allegro energico, is a theme with an ever shifting, restless tonality. Again there are many fine ideas along the way to the powerful coda. This is a very important work deserving concert performance."---The Chamber Music Journal
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 Reger’s 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.
Although this is certainly a work which will appeal to professionals, amateurs should have no trouble navigating this very approachable Reger work.