Reger viola suites, op. 131d

Edited: April 18, 2019, 3:33 PM · Can someone please give me an idea how difficult these are for someone who is decent violist and can play, e.g., the Bach cello suites? Also, are they interesting musically? Thanks.

Replies (9)

April 18, 2019, 4:09 PM · I'm not an expert on these suites, but they're about as difficult as the Bach Suites, maybe even a bit harder because some of them have lots of double stops and some of the passagework is quite hard. they're nice, musically, but we each have our own preferences so you should listen to recordings to find out for sure.
April 18, 2019, 4:18 PM · Thanks, Ella.
Edited: April 18, 2019, 8:32 PM · They are some of the most difficult repotoire the viola has for unaccompanied. To put in perspective Colburn on required auditions puts this in the same option categories as Hindemith solo sonatas, the Penderecki cadenza for solo viola or a Paganini caprice. This repotoire is not for anyone with really much technical weakness anywhere if the playing of these are your goal pieces, pull out the sevcik, the schradieck, the Simon fischer, and probably some fingered octaves and tenths.
April 18, 2019, 8:37 PM · The solo violin Reger pieces are more than merely "interesting" to me, though his viola works are better known (they do sound difficult, but why not try? No rules about it.) He should be performed more often.
April 19, 2019, 1:57 AM · They are quite challenging, with a lot of double stops. However, they are very beautiful. It's great music.

Reger was perhaps the first composer who didn't think Bach's solo violin or cello works needed piano accompaniment to fill out the harmonies. Reger understood that the imagination could supply those silent harmonies, and wrote these three viola suites and a lot of violin solo pieces as an early twentieth century companion to the Bach.

I'm a fan of this music.

April 19, 2019, 7:06 AM · Yes, I heartily agree with those who say those suites are quite challenging. I just didn't know how they compare with other viola pieces in difficulty. He wrote 3 unaccompanied suites for cello as well.
April 19, 2019, 11:06 AM · The double stops in some of them are extremely hard. I remember playing one in college and never really getting it in tune. But they are lovely!
Edited: April 20, 2019, 2:27 AM · the Third Suite in E minor, live by Hiyoli Togawa:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbDHgV9suoE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUbr4LuMfTo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXmJWLljdrs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45otPTd4oK0

April 20, 2019, 12:37 PM · Thanks for all the input!

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