MRI Max-Reger-Institut - Elsa-Reger-Stiftung

Max Reger Chronology | 1898

A piano quintet C minor is finished in February but refused by Augener. Piano pieces and Bach arrangements may remain unprinted and appear only after the successful change to the Munich publisher Jos. Aibl in later years. Reger applies unsuccessfully for conductor's positions in Heidelberg and Bonn, supported by favourable reports of Busoni and Mottl. Through the failures he gets more and more into alcohol addictment; a first attempt of Emma Reger to take back her unkempt brother to the Weiden parents home in March fails. At the end of March, with concerts by Karl Straube in the Frankfurt Paulskirche, in which he also performs Reger's organ suite, a lifelong friendship between the two artists begins. Reger is given up by the parents who presume megalomania in the highest stage. Emma has success with her second attempt: in mid-June Reger returns to the parental home; his health is strongly attacked by alcohol and nicotine, the ulcer on his neck has re-appeared and needs to be operated again.

Weiden The isolation in Weiden supports Reger's artistic productivity. Few days after his return he puts the closing mark under the waltzes op. 22 and the aquarelles op. 25, finishes the brilliant Danube waltz improvisation and starts himself searching for a publisher for his works opp. 23-26 composed partially already in Wiesbaden. Considered by the parents as a failed existence, he is supported by Straube in his vocation as a composer. Already by mid-September the first chorale fantasy "Ein' feste Burg" is finished and is soon being performed by Straube from the manuscript. With Reger opens his line of big organ works with which he finds to a new and unmistakeably personal organ style, and acquires increasing successes. Further organ works originate in rapid succession, premiered by Straube in Wesel. On the other hand, he has little success with his second cello sonata op. 28 in which the influence of Brahms is still obvious; it is premiered only eight years later.
Richard Strauss mediates Reger to the Leipzig publisher Forberg (opp. 24, 26, 27 and 29) and the Munich publisher Jos. Aibl who in the Weiden years becomes Reger's main publishers. Reger thanks Strauss with the dedication of his opus 29. With beginning gains Reger can remove the debts left in Wiesbaden by degrees. For the first time for four years a full-length article on Reger with picture and course of life appears again, written by Reger's Wiesbaden friend Caesar Hochstetter who recommends the highly talented young composer to the publishers. Reger thanks him with the dedications of his opp. 25 and 34.

Next page: Year 1899