Sixteen Songs op. 62

for high or medium voice and piano

  • No. 1 Wehe!

    Text: Martin Boelitz

  • No. 10 Die Nixe

    Text: Gustav Falke

  • No. 11 Fromm

    Text: Gustav Falke

  • No. 12 Totensprache

    Text: Ludwig Jacobowski

  • No. 13 Begegnung

    Text: Eduard Mörike

  • No. 14 Ich schwebe

    Text: Karl Henckell

  • No. 15 Pflügerin Sorge

    Text: Christian Morgenstern

  • No. 16 Anmutiger Vertrag

    Text: Christian Morgenstern

  • No. 2 Waldseligkeit

    Text: Richard Dehmel

  • No. 3 Ruhe

    Text: Franz Evers

  • No. 4 Mensch und Natur

    Text: Richard Braungart

  • No. 5 Wir zwei

    Text: Gustav Falke

  • No. 6 Reinheit

    Text: Martin Boelitz

  • No. 7 Vor dem Sterben

    Text: Martin Boelitz

  • No. 8 Gebet

    Text: Richard Braungart

  • No. 9 Strampelchen

    Text: Victor Blüthgen

Komponiert in München, Dezember 1901 bis Anfang Februar 1902
Josef Loritz

Performance medium
No.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: High voice, Piano; No.7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16: Middle voice, Piano

Work collection
  • -
Original work
  • -
  • Sechzehn Gesänge op. 62, Version for mittlere Singstimme und Orchester


Reger-Werkausgabe Bd. II/3: Lieder III, S. 28–79.
Herausgeber Knud Breyer und Stefan König.
Unter Mitarbeit von Christopher Grafschmidt und Claudia Seidl.
Verlag Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart; Verlags- und Plattennummer: CV 52.810.
Erscheinungsdatum September 2022.
Notensatz Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart.
Copyright 2022 by Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart and Max-Reger-Institut, Karlsruhe – CV 52.810.
Vervielfältigungen jeglicher Art sind gesetzlich verboten. / Any unauthorized reproduction is prohibited by law.
Alle Rechte vorbehalten. / All rights reserved.
ISMN M-007-29722-0.
ISBN 978-3-89948-432-8.

1. Composition and Publication

Reger had long planned to dedicate a complete opus to the baritone Josef Loritz, to whom he had already dedicated individual songs (opp.35 no. 1 and 43 no. 4). After the composition of the Fifteen Songs 55, Reger still had some poems left to set, so on 14 April 1901, the day after completing the collection, he was able to write to Loritz about the planned new opus: “About the new songs op. 60 (?) (dedicated to you) so far I already have about 18 wonderful texts! You can look forward to these”. (postcard) Although Reger already had a definite idea of the work at this point in time (there will be 16–18 pieces letter), it took a while to come to fruition. Instead, as he announced to Loritz on 24 June, of “a few songs” being completed in August and that he would “have the song opus complete by the end of November at the latest” (letter), work on the composition seems to have taken until the end of 1901. Insofar as the songs were composed chronologically, the date of completion (München, 18. December 1901) on the engraver’s copy of Waldseligkeit (no. 2) gives an indication of when composition began. The date of composition of Begegnung (no. 13) can also be determined, as Reger wrote in a letter to Theodor Kroyer dated 29 January 1902 that he had “composed a song to a text yesterday which Hugo Wolf has also set” (letter).1 Two days later, Reger told the pianist Henriette Schelle about the completion of the whole opus (see letter dated 31 January 1902).

On 8 February Reger wrote to his publisher Aibl: “Please urgently, regarding the 16 Songs op. 62 have these engraved as soon as possible”” and asked for the “courier to be sent in the course of Monday (10. Febr.)” (letter), in order to have the manuscripts picked up. Evidently the courier also brought the copyright agreement and the royalty receipt statement for 600 Marks with him on this occasion, which are dated 10 February 1902. On 15 February the engraver’s copies were sent for engraving.2 Around two months later the edition was published, and Reger sent a review copy to Theodor Kroyer of the Münchner Allgemeine Zeitung (see letter dated 20 April 1902 to Kroyer). He reviewed op. 62 as part of a collective review with other song collections by Reger (opp. 55, 66, 68) but only in the following year (recension).


Translation by Elizabeth Robinson.

Wolf’s setting is no. 8 of the poems of Eduard Mörike HWV 119.
See acquisition stamp on the autograph engraver’s copy,

1. Reception

On 8 June 1902 the dedicatee Josef Loritz included a song from op. 62, Waldseligkeit (no. 2), for the first time in a concert program in a Lieder matinee in Krefeld. On 28 December 1902 he also sang Gebet (no. 8), Fromm (no. 11), Pflügerin Sorge (no. 15) and Anmutiger Vertrag (no. 16) in the Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich, accompanied by Reger. But other performers such as Auguste Vollmar, Ludwig Hess, and Sophie Rikoff also included individual songs from op. 62 in their repertoire, thereby ensuring their early dissemination in Munich and Leipzig (Hess on 27 February 1903 in the Hôtel de Prusse with Wehe! [no. 1]).

Reger had described the songs to the pianist Henriette Schelle as quite mad, which of course is why they give me all the more fun!” (letter dated 31 January 1902), but he also confidently remarked to his publisher “that, anyone who has previously seen these new 16 Songs op 62, can only but detect a great progress compared with op 55; I have now achieved the ability, to express all conceivable psychological processes quite exhaustively in song.” (letter dated 8 February 1902 to the director of the publishing house Eugen Spitzweg) Both aspects – the departure from traditional song aesthetics and the heightened expressive ability – were mentioned in concert reviews, but detecting a break with tradition did not exclusively apply to op 62, for songs from opp. 51, 66 and 68 were also performed in the concerts. Paul Schwers, the reviewer in the Berlin periodical Germania found in Ludwig Hess’s song recital “crass unnaturalness its most intrusive form is reflected in these insanely eccentric harmonic combinations” (recension dated 8 March 1903). Hugo Leichtentritt also detected that Reger “often goes further than appears necessary for the appropriate expression of the mood to be set to music”, but that the “strange conglomerations of notes [are] often of quite extraordinary ex- pressive power.” (recension, Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung) There was a general complaint that Reger did not place any importance on “naturally felt, meaningful speech melody” (Arthur Smolian, recension Leipziger Zeitung). For this, Fritz Hoyer chose the description ““declamatory music” [which] is so close to the language that very little remains to have reached it completely.” (recension, Staatsbürgerzeitung) Leichtentritt also viewed the phenomenon from the experimental perspective of “how far you could probably get without any melody at all.” (recension, Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung) Despite all the criticism – “songs [are] not harmonic mathematical examples and experiments” (Carl Kipke, recension, Musikalisches Wochenblatt) – the contributions listed from op. 62 were acknowledged as an addition to variety. Arthur Hahn recognized the fact that intimate and lyrical realms of expression were also shown to their best advantage, as in the “intimately felt Fromm [no. 11]” (recension, Münchener Zeitung) or in Waldseligkeit (no. 2)]”, which Otto Leßmann described as “a piece of music of the most tender emotion but with an austere character” (recension, Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung). Both critics and audiences liked the “particularly characteristic songs” (Alexander Winterberger in Leipziger Neueste Nachrichten) “from a naturalistic point of view” (Hoyer, recension, Staatsbürgerzeitung). With regard to op. 62, Wehe (no. 1) was meant. “For such social poetry”, wrote Ernst Günther, “Max Reger has the requisite colors at his disposal” (Max Reger als Liedercomponist). Pflügerin Sorge (no. 15) was also mentioned. Here, reviewers felt Reger’s “ruthlessness in diction” (V. J., recension, Der Sammler) and “above all a very strange skill in drawing the mood exhaustively in one big sweep” (Emil Liepe, recension, Allgemeine Musik-Zeitung) was positively used.

Op. 62 no. 11, Fromm, is one of the five songs of which Reger also made an orchestral version in 1915.1 It was published posthumously in 1916 by Universal-Edition Wien.


Translation by Elizabeth Robinson.

It will be published in RWA Vol. II/6.

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 Referenzquelle diente die vielfach differenzierter bezeichnete Stichvorlage (siehe Zu den editorischen Besonderheiten von Band II/3). Insbesondere im Bereich der Vortragsanweisungen wurde oftmals den Lesarten der Stichvorlagen der Vorzug gegeben. Von geringer Bedeutung für die Edition waren die Entwürfe sowie die Quellen der später entstandenen Fassung der Nr. 11 Fromm für Singstimme und Orchester. Josef Regers Bearbeitung für Harmonium der Nr. 3 (Ruhe) war nicht relevant. Die Einzelausgabe der Nr. 2 ist mit dem Erstdruck identisch.

3. Sources

  • Entwürfe zu Nr. 2 und 4 (E)
  • Stichvorlagen (SV)
  • Erstdruck (ED)
  • Einzelausgabe Nr. 2 (ED-Z)
  • Neudruck Nr. 11 in Lieder-Album I
  • Neudruck Nr. 11 in Das moderne Lied
Quellen Nr. 11 für Singstimme und Orchester
  • Stichvorlage
  • Korrekturabzug
  • Erstdruck
Quellen Nr. 3 Bearbeitungen für für Harmonium (Josef Reger)
  • Erstschrift
  • Stichvorlage
  • Erstdruck

Weiterlesen in der RWA

Object reference

Max Reger: Sixteen Songs op. 62, in: Reger-Werkausgabe,, last check: 10th December 2022.


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