Brahms Clarinet Quintet, Movt. 1

We clarinetists are lucky, we've got 4 major works for clarinet written by Johannes Brahms: the Trio in A minor for clarinet, cello and piano, Op. 114; the Quintet in B minor for clarinet and strings, Op. 115; and Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2, Op. 120. His association with clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld gave the world some great music, and clarinetists some of their best. Too bad he didn't write a concerto for clarinet.

Here's the first movement of the quintet, with that silky lullaby main theme. I was privileged to performed this with my fine colleagues from the Columbus Symphony a number of years ago. I was playing my Lelandais mouthpiece, for those interested.

Written for the A clarinet, Brahms explored the dark lower range of the instrument. He also featured the clarinet's gypsy side in the second movement which I'll post in a few days.

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3 comments for “Brahms Clarinet Quintet, Movt. 1

  1. john ayres
    January 22, 2010 at

    The link to the audio is dead for me.

  2. January 18, 2010 at

    Very well done! I also wish he'd have written a clarinet concerto. Have you heard Berio's arrangement for clarinet and orchestra of the first sonata? I have not, but it sounds interesting.

    • January 18, 2010 at

      Joar- I've heard the Berio arrangement. It's quite good. But the clarinetist must play the piece much fuller in volume to be heard.

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