Ten Chorale Preludes (Max Reger, arr. Philip Sparke)

Max Reger (1873-1916) composed prodigiously in many genres during a working life of little more than 20 years. Born in Bavaria, he studied with the theorist Hugo Reimann and taught at the University of Leipzig, before his appointment as conductor of the Meiningen Court Orchestra in 1911. In addition to his activities as a teacher, conductor and composer, he was also a pianist and organist.

It was during his stay in Meiningen that he wrote his Thirty Short Chorale Preludes, op. 135a for organ, from which these ten preludes have been selected. They were dedicated to his friend Hans von Ohlendorff and are intended for voluntaries in liturgical use rather than for recital.

In arranging them for band, Philip Sparke has kept in mind that they might still serve this use and has therefore made them playable by minimal instrumentation for those occasions when a small band might take part in a religious service. They are also ideal for band warm-ups or studies in intonation, sound and balance. 

The mood of these chorales varies widely, so it is also possible to construct small suites for concert use. Some suggestions among the many possibilities would be:-

1, 3, 5

1, 8, 4

7, 8, 9, 4

10, 6, 7, 9, 1