The last Romantic? Max Reger and the Welte Philharmonie organ

A special exhibition from 11 May 2016 to 20 November 2016

Max Reger

The Museum of Music Automatons is marking the 100th anniversary of the death of the composer, organist, pianist and conductor Max Reger (1873-1916) by devoting a special mini exhibition to his relationship with the Welte Company in Freiburg im Breisgau. Reger recorded both piano and organ works for Welte, including some of his own keyboard works in early December 1905 and late May 1913. These recordings were created using the Welte Mignon and Welte Philharmonie reproducing systems for the piano and organ respectively, enabling them to be reproduced to this day in a live context. Since Reger never made a conventional gramophone recording during his lifetime, the performances captured by Welte on their rolls of perforated paper are considered exceedingly valuable, and represent the sole means of marvelling at the piano and organ artistry of a musician Paul Hindemith once characterised as the "last giant of music".

Britannic tour

The two daily Britannic tours offered by the Museum of Music Automatons (13:40 and 15:40) feature a piece performed by Max Reger at either the piano or the organ.

Supporting event

  • 4 September at 17:30: concert of works by Max Reger in collaboration with musicians from the Verein der Konzertveranstaltenden OrganistInnen Basel (KVOB), a society devoted to the organ.
  • 6 November 2016 at 11:15: concert of works by Max Reger, part of the 14th Autumn of Culture in Seewen festival featuring David Rumsey, organist and organ expert.

Accompanying products

  • Max Reger ─ The Britannic Organ Vol. 8. The Welte Philharmonie organ at the Museum of Music Automatons in Seewen. A double-CD issued by OehmsClassics, Munich 2014.
  • The Complete Britannic Organ Edition. The Welte Philharmonie organ at the Museum of Music Automatons in Seewen. CD box set containing volumes 1 to 12 of the 23 CDs issued in Munich by OehmsClassics between 2011 and 2016.
  • The companion volume to the symposium Recording the soul of music ─ Welte music rolls for organ and piano, reproduced by artists as authentic interpretation documents? held on 10 and 11 March 2013. The publication is appearing in 2016 in cooperation with the Bern University of the Arts.