- Clarinet Sonatas, and more—
I love all of the chamber music of Johannes Brahms. And on this CD we get a bonus via the inclusion of the piano pieces Op. 118 for piano solo.
We get to listen to the following:
- Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1
- Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 120 No. 2
- Klavierstücke (6), Op. 118
Performed by Lorenzo Coppola, clarinet, and Andreas Staier, piano.
The two sonatas for clarinet and piano, composed in 1894, were Brahms’ last chamber works. Knowing that he could count on the virtuosity of the musician to whom they were dedicated, the prodigious clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, Brahms enthusiastically exploited all the expressive possibilities of that instrument.
Both Andreas Staier and Lorenzo Coppola contribute booklet notes for this CD, and in particular they have this to say about the 1875 Steinway used in the recording:
“The grand pianos of Steinway & Sons of New York were the most advanced of their time. They won a gold medal at the Paris International Exposition of 1867, and their technical innovations were eventually to be adopted by all European piano makers. The instruments, which were again honored at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876, may be said to mark the end of the development of piano building: with them, today’s concert grand was created, which has since been modified only in minor details. The instrument used in this recording is numbered 32500 and dates from the year 1875…”
Here is 14-year-old clarinetist Andrew Moses playing Brahms’ Clarinet Sonata No. 2 in E-flat Major:
And next, here are Francois Benda, Clarinet, and Rolf-Dieter Arens, Piano, playing the sonata number 1 of Brahms:
Tags: Johannes Brahms, Clarinet, piano, chamber music, Richard Mühlfeld, Steinway, Klavierstücke, Op. 118