Wiegenlied WoO VII/19

for medium voice and piano

Frau Elsa von Bercken geb. von Bagenski verehrungsvollst gewidmet

Performance medium
Middle voice; Piano

Work collection
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Original work
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Reger-Werkausgabe Bd. II/1: Lieder I, S. 140–141.
Herausgeber Alexander Becker, Christopher Grafschmidt, Stefan König, Stefanie Steiner-Grage.
Verlag Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart; Verlagsnummer: 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.

Text template
First edition

Template edition

Used for comparison purposes in RWA: Albert Traeger: Wiegenlied, in: id.: Gedichte, Siebzehnte, vermehrte Auflage, Ernst Keil´s Nachfolger, Leipzig 1892, p. 6.

Copy shown in RWA: DE, Karlsruhe, Max-Reger-Institut/Elsa-Reger-Stiftung.


1. Composition and Publication

On 23 January 1899 Reger gave Ernst Guder detailed information about the works he composed shortly before in Weiden. Amongst other things, he reported: “Shortly a song ‘Wiegenlied’ by me will be published by C. Ogg (Taubald’sche Bookshop) Weiden, Bavarian Upper Palatinate. The song is 2 pages long. I wrote it 8 days ago. The bookseller saw it and offered me 50 M[arks] for it straight away, at which I gave it to him. This new song is so simple and so melodious, that you will have pure delight in it. I will let you know when it is published. You must order at least 20 copies of it straight away: you will be shot of them in 3 days!” (Letter) The piece was probably printed shortly afterwards, for by 14 February Reger was able to include “a short lullaby published here” (letter) in a package of new compositions sent to Caesar Hochstetter. Friedrich Hofmeister’s Musikalisch-literarischer Monatsbericht lists the first printed edition in Mai.1 This was the first (and possibly the only) music edition from the G. Taubald’sche Bookshop run by Conrad Ogg, where Reger bought new poetry publications for “occasional later use” 2 when he was in Weiden.

In 1910 the Berlin publisher Bote & Bock, by now Reger’s main publisher, took over the remaining copies of the Wiegenlied from the Taubald’sche Bookshop and published it in a revised edition. In addition they issued the song with an additional English translation, and in a transposed version for low voice.3 Compared with the Weiden first edition of 1899, the constant differences, although small, which affect the texture of the piano writing undoubtedly came from Reger himself. However, the revision of the song, which was composed eleven years earlier, is not mentioned in Reger’s surviving correspondence.

Composition and publication · Widmung · Early reception


Translation by Elizabeth Robinson.

Hofmeister 71 Jg., no. 5 (Mai 1899), p. 226.
Lindner 1938, p. 193.
Hofmeister 82 Jg., no. 11 (November 1910), p. 301.

1. Reception

In contrast to many of his other songs without opus numbers, the Wiegenlied WoO VII/19 soon entered Reger’s extensive repertoire of songs. The composer sent the Berlin singer Maria Schmidt-Koehne the song as a new publication in the hope of a performance1 and also included it several times in the programs of concerts where he performed as piano accompanist. In the context of his song recitals or “Reger evenings” (with mixed programs), the Wiegenlied was a relaxed musical contrast to other works which were much more challenging for audiences and performers, and in the controversies about Reger’s musical language it was received with corresponding sympathy and benevolence.2

Following on from the new edition (Bote & Bock, 1910), a review of the Wiegenlied by the composer Arno Kleffel appeared in the Musikpädagogische Blätter. Probably thinking he was looking at a new publication, he summarized almost in irritation: “Hardly anyone would recognize Reger as the composer of this song, for the simple song, elevated through a finely-stylized piano accompaniment, exudes such a comforting warmth, and its melodic line flows so clearly and intimately – virtues, the like of which are only found very rarely in Reger’s works.” (Review)

Composition and publication · Widmung · Early reception · Reviews


Translation by Elizabeth Robinson.

“My most humble plea to you is that you might have the great kindness to sing one or other of the songs in concerts, for which I would be deeply grateful! I will also take the liberty of including a little recently-published lullaby with the songs; perhaps this will meet with your approval.” (Letter dated 7 December 1899)
And so the Wiegenlied and other works were performed in December 1903 at two concerts given by Amalie Gimkiewicz (voice) and Reger (piano) in Berlin and Breslau (present-day Wrocław), which were devoted to songs by contemporary composers living in Munich. Of the ten Reger songs presented – including some of the Seventeen Songs op. 70 published the same year – the “wonderfully deeply-felt Wiegenlied” was expressly singled out in the Berlin reviews as one of the “creations which make an impression” (Tageblatt) and as a “contented” composition (Morgenpost), and the Breslau critic Ernst Flügel, who subsequently turned out to be a strong critic of Reger, it nevertheless numbered amongst those songs which he felt were “relatively enjoyable”, whilst he described “the numbers performed from op. 70 as true examples of artificiality and ear-torturing affectation”, which he “never wanted to hear” wash over him “ever again” (Schlesische Zeitung).

1. Stemma

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

2. Quellenbewertung

Der Edition liegt als Leitquelle die von Reger für den Verlag Bote & Bock revidierte Auflage des Erstdrucks aus dem Jahr 1910 zugrunde. Als zusätzliche Quelle wurde der Erstdruck aus dem Jahr 1899 (G. Taubald’sche Buchhandlung, Weiden) herangezogen. Der letztlich zur Ergänzung des englischen Texts angefertige Neudruck ist ansonsten mit der revidierten Auflage des Erstdrucks identisch. Die transponierte Ausgabe für tiefe Stimme, die vermutlich ohne Regers Beteiligung entstand, war editorisch ebenfalls nicht relevant. .

3. Sources

  • Stichvorlage
  • Erstdruck
  • revidierte Auflage
  • Neudrucke
Object reference

Max Reger: Wiegenlied WoO VII/19, in: Reger-Werkausgabe, www.reger-werkausgabe.de/mri_work_00247.html, last check: 18th May 2024.


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