Fantasia and Fugue on B-A-C-H op. 46

for organ

Content
  • I. Phantasie
  • II. Fuge
Creation
Status
Dedication
Herrn Geheimrath Professor Dr. von Rheinberger in besonderer Verehrung zugeeignet

Performance medium
Organ

Work collection
  • -
Original work
  • -
Versions
  • -

1.

Reger-Werkausgabe Bd. I/2: Phantasien und Fugen, Variationen, Sonaten, Suiten I, S. 86–112.
Herausgeber Alexander Becker, Christopher Grafschmidt, Stefan König, Stefanie Steiner.
Verlag Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart; Verlagsnummer: CV 52.802.
Erscheinungsdatum Februar 2011.
Notensatz Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart.
Copyright 2011 by Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart and Max-Reger-Institut, Karlsruhe – CV 52.802.
Vervielfältigungen jeglicher Art sind gesetzlich verboten. / Any unauthorized reproduction is prohibited by law.
Alle Rechte vorbehalten. / All rights reserved.
ISMN M-007-09485-0.
ISBN 978-3-89948-141-9.

1. Composition

On 7 January 1900, when sending a copy of the first edition of the 1st Sonata in F sharp minor op. 33, Reger offered to dedicate a “new organ work” 1 not yet written to Josef Rheinberger, an offer which was accepted by return of post. He then informed Caesar Hochstetter on 25 January of the plan for a “Fantasia and Fugue on B-A-C-H” and at the same time, held out the prospect of a “work of the greatest style and caliber” (Letter). The projected composition forms the weighty counterpart to the Six Trios for organ intended “more for teaching”, (Letter to Gustav Beckmann) which were completed on 5 February as “Opus 46b”. Although Reger had only written a little more than a third of the new work on 13 February (see Letter to Alexander Wilhelm Gottschalg), four days later he was already able to write the date of completion under the engraver’s copy, which probably originated as a copy.2 Further stages of work may still have been pending, for he informed Alexander Wilhelm Gottschalg on the same day that the work was proceeding “vigorously forwards […]; in ten days I will be able to send you the manuscript for your inspection” (Letter). Reger sent what was presumably the Erstschrift (first copy) to Karl Straube to learn (see Manuscripts for Karl Straube); it bears an entry of 19 February, which could be the date it was sent. Both manuscripts bear the provisional opus number “46a”.

2. Publication

Before Reger submitted the engraver’s copy to the publisher Jos. Aibl in Munich for press, unusually, he gave them out of his hand twice. Firstly, Alexander Wilhelm Gottschalg who, as a former consultant to Franz Liszt was to Reger an authority figure, received the manuscript for appraisal, together with the request to give advance notice of the work in the periodical Urania; it was returned on 27 February 1900 (see letter to Gottschalg). A month later, on 27 March, Reger sent the engraver’s copy for a few days to the Essen organist Gustav Beckmann. Beckmann who was to prepare a copy from it, so that he would be able to play the work before it was printed; Reger also invited him to give his opinion.3

The work was submitted to Aibl on 26 April 1900 together with five additional manuscripts, including those for the Six Trios for organ.4 Until then Reger had assumed that op. 46 would be split into Fantasia and Fugue on B-A-C-H as op. 46a and Six Trios as op. 46b, as findings in the manuscripts also show. Only with the copyright agreement and the confirmation of the receipt of fees which Reger signed on 6 May 1900 in Weiden, did the trios receive a separate opus number. On 30 September 1900 Reger was able to send copies of the recently published first edition of op. 46 to his former teacher Hugo Riemann and to the dedicatee Josef Rheinberger.

3.

Translation by Elizabeth Robinson.


1
Letter, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, shelf mark: Rheinbergeriana II.
2
Concerning questions of the order of the two manuscripts see Quellenbewertung.
3
Reger wrote to Beckmann: “Hold on; an idea; I will send you the manuscript of the Bach fantasia and fugue tomorrow! (That is with this letter!) Only, in 12 days at the latest I must have my manuscript, the only one in existence, so that I can send it to print. Therefore, please have a copy made within 12 days – and then you can play the work, even if it isn’t published until Whitsun!” In addition he requested “a message as soon as possible about whether you have safely received the manuscript, and whether you like it” (letter dated 27 March 1900). As early as four days later Reger pressed for the speedy return of the manuscript (see letter dated 31 March 1900).
4
See Postbuch 1 (postal receipt book), fol. 3.

1. Reception

At present, there are no records of performances in Reger's time.

1. Stemma

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

2. Quellenbewertung

Der Edition liegt als Leitquelle der Erstdruck zugrunde. Als zusätzliche Quellen wurden Regers autographe Stichvorlage sowie die Erstschrift herangezogen, welche Reger Karl Straube geschenkt hatte. Letztere lag jedoch nur in einer Xerokopie vor, das Original (Privatbesitz, Nachlass Max Martin Stein) war zum Zeitpunkt der Edition nicht einsehbar.

Obwohl der Schlussvermerk unter die Stichvorlage bereits zwei Tage früher gesetzt wurde als der Schenkungsvermerk unter das Autograph für Karl Straube (17. bzw. 19. Februar 1900), kann davon ausgegangen werden, dass Letzteres die Erstschrift darstellt. Für diese Einschätzung sprechen die in diesem Autograph häufigeren Rasuren und nachvollziehbaren konzeptionellen Änderungen sowie auftretende Platzprobleme bei der Ausgestaltung des Manuskripts (vgl. etwa T. 23), die in der sauber ausgeführten Stichvorlage nicht mehr zu finden sind. Die beiden Manuskripte sind dabei jedoch vermutlich nicht komplett nacheinander geschrieben worden, sondern es scheinen sich kompositorische Nachträge und Korrekturdurchgänge – bei Reger nicht unüblich (vgl. Regers Arbeitsablauf und Quellenfolge) – überlagert zu haben. So finden sich im Autograph für Karl Straube einige sehr deutlich ausgeführte Korrekturen, die weder in die noch einige Zeit bei Reger verbliebene Stichvorlage rückübertragen noch via Korrekturabzug in den Erstdruck Eingang gefunden haben (vgl. T. 31, 42 und 49). Dieser Befund spricht dafür, dass zumindest der letzte kompositorische Verfeinerungsprozess nur noch in der Stichvorlage stattgefunden hat.

3. Sources

    Object reference

    Max Reger: Fantasia and Fugue on B-A-C-H op. 46, in: Reger-Werkausgabe, www.reger-werkausgabe.de/mri_work_00047.html, last check: 13th April 2024.

    Information

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