Six Poems by Anna Ritter op. 31

for middle voice and piano

Content
  • No. 1 Allein

    Text: Anna Ritter

  • No. 2 Ich glaub, lieber Schatz

    Text: Anna Ritter

  • No. 3 Unbegehrt

    Text: Anna Ritter

  • No. 4 Und hab so große Sehnsucht doch

    Text: Anna Ritter

  • No. 5 Mein Traum

    Text: Anna Ritter

  • No. 6 Schlimme Geschichte

    Text: Anna Ritter

Creation
Dedication
Der Dichterin in Verehrung gewidmet

Performance medium
Middle voice; Piano

Work collection
  • -
Original work
  • -
Versions
  • Sechs Gedichte von Anna Ritter op. 31, Version for mittlere Singstimme und Orchester

1.

Reger-Werkausgabe Bd. II/1: Lieder I, S. 124–138.
Herausgeber Alexander Becker, Christopher Grafschmidt, Stefan König, Stefanie Steiner-Grage.
Verlag Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart; Verlags- und Plattennummer: CV 52.808.
Erscheinungsdatum Juni 2017.
Notensatz Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart.
Copyright 2017 by Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart and Max-Reger-Institut, Karlsruhe – CV 52.808.
Vervielfältigungen jeglicher Art sind gesetzlich verboten. / Any unauthorized reproduction is prohibited by law.
Alle Rechte vorbehalten. / All rights reserved.
ISMN M-007-17140-7.
ISBN 978-3-89948-268-3.

2.

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Errata


1. Composition

Reger first became aware of Anna Ritter in summer 1898 when he discovered her poem Vom Küssen (see Opus 23) in a journal. As a result he dedicated to her the complete cycle of Opus 31, comprising six settings of her poems. This was very unusual, as all other song cycles by Reger contained poems by different authors – he only planned comparable cycles setting works by a single author in two other cases (the poets Franz Evers and Ludwig Jacobowski), but neither of these collections came to fruition. Naming the poet in the title of the collection is an indication of Reger’s high regard for her.1 Nothing is known about the composition of the songs. Based on the choice of texts and the identical paper type2, it can be assumed that the fair copy was made after the Four Songs op. 23, some time from October 1898 onwards.

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Composition · Publication · Early reception

2. Publication

Reger mentioned his new song opus for the first time on 1 February 1899 in a letter to his cousin Hans Koessler. In this he listed several new works which would soon be published by the Munich publisher Jos. Aibl, including “probably 6 Songs op 31”.3 In letters to Baron von Fridagh, Reger already referred to his new songs by the title which they were ultimately to have in the first printed edition: as “op. 31 Six Poems by Anna Ritter” 4 or (in a listing of his previously-composed works of 11 February) as “op 31 Six Poems for medium voice with piano”.5 Shortly afterwards (according to the copyright agreement and the royalty receipt on 14 February) the publisher’s contract with Jos. Aibl-Verlag for a royalty of 100 Marks for Opus 31 and for the future song collections opp. 19 and 23 was concluded.

Nothing is known about the correction stages, but the printing of opus 31 was brought forward ahead of opp. 19 and 23. Reger held out the prospect to Ernst Guder of the publication of Opus 31 “by the end of April at the latest”,6 and was, in fact, able to send a copy of the “just published 6 Songs op. 31” to his friend, the singer Josef Loritz on 17 April, accompanied by the request to “accept the same & look through them. Hopefully they will please you!” 7 In a further letter to Loritz Reger reported around 22 May 1899 about the first performance of the Songs opus 31, which were “sung two weeks ago in Wesel by Miss Sus. Triepel with great success”,8 immediately adding: “When do you want to introduce the songs to the Regensburg audience?”

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Composition · Publication · Early reception

3.

Translation by Elizabeth Robinson.


1
The Three Poems by Elsa Asenijeff WoO VII/44 written in 1912 were not given an opus number by Reger, and he probably did not plan them as a continuous cycle; instead the three songs were “to be absorbed into the ‘Schlichte Weisen’ later”, as Reger wrote to the publisher Bote & Bock on 8 July 1912 (in Bote & Bock-Briefe, p. 235).
2
Reger used the paper for the first time in October 1898 for the song Pythia op. 23 no. 2.
3
In Der junge Reger, p. 382.
4
Letter dated 7 February 1899, ibid., p. 386.
5
Ibid., p. 388; similarly also in a work list to Ernst Guder, letter from the second half of February 1899, ibid., p. 394.
6
Letter dated 17 March 1899, in ibid., p. 399.
7
Postcard, ibid., p. 407. Twice in this card Reger asked Loritz for an “opinion on the new songs”.
8
Ibid., p. 411.

1. Reception

In his detailed assessment of Reger’s previously-published works in the periodical Die Redenden Künste in August 1899, Caesar Hochstetter acknowledged the novelty of Reger’s songs, but his remarks on Opus 31 were rather critical: “A song should grow naturally, like a flower, as nature forms its works of art. […] Reger’s songs are certainly also flowers, but they do not grow in meadows or in gardens, but on the edge of cliffs, in gorges and only sometimes on the edge of the woods. – And who tempts the composer to change his strange ways? The accomplice is often the poet, and in this case even a female poet. At any rate, the composer did not need to mould the ‘Six Poems’ by Anna Ritter […], which […] although they come from the pen of a true lyric talent, any more pessimistically in music than they already are by their very nature. Each w o r d in these songs is finely illustrated musically; however, the composer tries to make m o r e out of the texts than they offer in opportunity, and the result is that they are harmonically overloaded.” (Review)

In a review of the printed music, the critic Benno Horwitz acknowledged an “aversion to the repetition of a phrase” in the songs opus 31; as earlier in opus 23, it was similar “in this series of songs […] the careless note, which the poet certainly invites, and the disparity between expression of mood and the decisiveness of the motivic style were noticeable. [Opus 31] no. 1, ‘Allein’, and no. 4, ‘Und hab’ so grosse Sehnsucht doch’, are free of the latter. Both compositions result from an abundance of rich inventive power, no. 1 is evidence of an exceptional talent.” (Review) There were also positive voices everywhere, such as Alexander W. Gottschalg: “The erotic songs in Op. 31 offer a rich abundance of love’s joy and sorrow” (review). After a Munich song recital on 27 February 1902 with Josef Loritz and Reger at the piano, an anonymous reviewer wrote: “In [Reger’s] songs it is the self-assurance above all which captivates, with which he hits the prevailing tone of the lyrical mood, the peace and greatness of the style through which the deepest appeal of the treasury of feeling is manifested” (review); he names Allein (no. 1) as an example of this. In particular, Mein Traum (no. 5) received unanimous admiration in both music and concert reviews,1 and in subsequent years was frequently included in mixed concert programs. In May 1915 Reger arranged this song for voice and small orchestra. The orchestral version was published together with four further orchestrations of his own songs in 1916 by Universal Edition Vienna.

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Composition · Publication · Early reception
Reviews

2.

Translation by Elizabeth Robinson.


1
Rudolf Buck wrote in the Allgemeinen Musik-Zeitung, that the songs opp. 23 and 31 would all be “surpassed by ‘Mein Traum’, op. 31 no. 5. This beautiful text by Anna Ritter has received a setting here which places it next to our most beautiful songs. […] The song is sung from the soul.” (Review) – After a concert in Frankfurt on 1 December 1904, a reviewer expressly praised “‘Mein Traum’, the piano accompaniment of which is so meaningful and poetic, where the music follows one of the most beautiful poems by Anna Ritter. A work of personal feeling in word and note.” (Review).

1. Stemma

Die in Klammern gesetzten Quellen sind verschollen.
Die in Klammern gesetzten Quellen sind verschollen.

2. Quellenbewertung

Der Edition des Notentextes liegt als Leitquelle der Erstdruck zugrunde. Als zusätzliche autographe Quelle wurde die Stichvorlage herangezogen. Bei Nr. 5 Mein Traum wurden Regers später entstandene Fassung für Singstimme und Orchester sowie Josef Regers autorisierte Bearbeitung für Harmonium aufgrund der veränderten Faktur nur in Zweifelsfällen, welche den Notentext (schwarze Schicht) betreffen, herangezogen.1 Die Ausgabe der Nr. 2 in Der Kunstwart spielte für die Edition keine Rolle.

3. Sources

  • Stichvorlage
  • Erstdruck
  • Stichvorlage
  • Erstdruck
  • Frühe Niederschrift (Max-Reger-Institut)
  • Stichvorlage
  • Erstdruck

1
In der Orchesterbearbeitung etwa weicht die Dynamik generell etwas von der originalen Klavierfassung des Liedes ab; die Gabeln sind oft leicht verschoben und länger ausgezogen. Insgesamt ist die Dynamik weiter ausgreifend (so etwa T. 15: im Lied, aber in der Orchesterfassung). Diese Abweichungen spielten bei der Edition des Liedes keine Rolle. Sie sind im digitalen Kritischen Bericht verzeichnet
Weiterlesen in der RWA

Object reference

Max Reger: Six Poems by Anna Ritter op. 31, in: Reger-Werkausgabe, www.reger-werkausgabe.de/mri_work_00032.html, last check: 28th January 2023.

Information

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