Recorded on 03/21/2009, uploaded on 03/21/2009
Musician's or Publisher's Notes
Brahms composed his two sonatas for the clarinet for the
principal clarinetist of the Meiningen orchestra, Richard Mühlfeld. These two
sonatas, published as op. 120, with the Clarinet Trio in A minor, op. 114 and
the B minor Clarinet Quintet, op. 115 were Brahms's last chamber works. They
have since become cornerstones of the clarinet repertoire. Brahms also
published alternate versions of the works for viola and piano, which became the
first published sonatas for that instruments, as well as, versions for the
The second Sonata in E flat major is highly contrasted to
the F minor Sonata preceding it. Whereas the F minor Sonata is constructed
along traditional Classical expectations, the E flat Sonata is much more in the
vein of the fantasy-sonata.
Its first movement, marked Allegro amabile, goes even farther than the F minor sonata in
obscuring the divisions of sonata form. The entire movement is pervaded by a
song-like character and lyricism and concerned with the continuous development
of its material.
The second movement is Brahms's last scherzo and, perhaps
intentionally, in the same key as his first: E flat minor. The movement is
heroic and shows that over a forty year career, Brahms's scherzos never
diminished in their fiery character.
Another of his final statements, the last
movement is also Brahms's last set of variations. The variation form was one of
Brahms's favorites and one which he nearly single-handedly saved from falling
into obscurity. The theme of the movement is of a somewhat Classical cut and
well-suited to the variation treatment. Five variations follow the theme. The
last, quickens the tempo from Andante
to Allegro and moves to the minor
key. The coda, however, ends the piece Più
tranquillo and in the major key.
Courtesy of International Music Foundation.
We at classicalconnect.com believe that classical music is a necessity of life. It is our pleasure to be your virtual concert hall and bring you this performance.
Copyright 2008-2010 Classical Connect, LLC