“Maria Weigenlied” (Mary’s Lullaby”) is No. 52 of 60 songs from the German composer Max Reger’s Schlichte Weisen (Simple Melodies), Op. 76, and his most commercially successful work, with copies and arrangements of it outselling all of his other pieces combined.
During his relatively short life of 43 years (1873-1916), Reger became a noted concert pianist and organist, music director, conductor, professor, and composer. His compositions display the influence of Baroque structure and late Romantic harmonic devices, with his own unique counterpoint woven through. This compositional style was sometimes criticized as being intentionally and unnecessarily complex, and the Simple Melodies were likely a response by Reger to his critics.
“Maria Wiegenlied” is a gently swaying cradle-song in 6/8 time. It is, certainly, a simple melody, yet it contains some harmonic surprises typical of Reger as well as imaginative imitation between voice and piano in the second iteration of the tune. (In this arrangement, the two trumpets imitate each other.)
This simple, lovely tune is well-suited to the sonorities of the brass quintet.
Score, parts (Bb tpt. 1, Bb tpt. 2, F horn, tbn, tuba) — $12.99