Hyperion Records

Clarinet Sonata in F minor, Op 120 No 1
composer
Summer 1894; first performed by Richard Mühlfeld and Brahms in Berchtesgaden, Meiningen, on 19 September 1894; also for viola and piano

Recordings
'Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas' (CDH55158)
Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas
MP3 £4.99FLAC £4.99ALAC £4.99Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDH55158  Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42  
'Brahms: The Complete Chamber Music' (CDS44331/42)
Brahms: The Complete Chamber Music
MP3 £35.00FLAC £35.00ALAC £35.00Buy by post £40.00 CDS44331/42  12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
Details
Movement 1: Allegro appassionato
Track 1 on CDH55158 [7'35] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42
Track 5 on CDS44331/42 CD9 [7'35] 12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 2: Andante un poco adagio
Track 2 on CDH55158 [4'48] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42
Track 6 on CDS44331/42 CD9 [4'48] 12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 3: Allegretto grazioso
Track 3 on CDH55158 [4'20] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42
Track 7 on CDS44331/42 CD9 [4'20] 12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
Movement 4: Vivace
Track 4 on CDH55158 [5'02] Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42
Track 8 on CDS44331/42 CD9 [5'02] 12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Clarinet Sonata in F minor, Op 120 No 1
EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The concentration of thought is clear at the outset in the avoidance of repetition; the clarinet continues rather than echoes or counterstates the theme first given out by the piano, and the whole movement proceeds in this way with dignified, serious energy. Nothing is wasted, and the first movement development is a model of perfectly graded but surprisingly swift growth. The moment of reprise is unobtrusive, and the whole recapitulation is condensed to make way for a gentler, more expansive coda, Sostenuto ed espressivo.

Although the slow second movement in A flat gives the impression of dreamy ease, it is also economical, and its return to the main theme through a foreign key characteristically saves space as it suggests leisure (one thinks of the slow movement of the Piano Concerto No 2). With the lyrical Allegretto grazioso we stay in A flat, and the F minor of the trio, with its syncopated accompaniment, is the last extended use of the tonic minor in the whole work.

The exuberant finale, Vivace, is in F major and its second subject looks like being one of those gloriously expansive Brahmsian themes in swinging triplets. But with the economy typical of this work, Brahms does not allow it to spread and it is soon invaded by terser action. At the end we feel that, although the sonata has been officially in F minor (Beethoven’s ‘barbarous’ key), it has been composed more with pleasure than pain.

from notes by Robert Simpson © 1986

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for CDS44331/42 disc 9 track 8
Vivace
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-86-20204
Duration
5'02
Recording date
19 September 1984
Recording venue
St Barnabas's Church, North Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Martin Compton
Recording engineer
Mike Clements
Hyperion usage
  1. Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas (CDA66202)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: April 1987
    Deletion date: February 2004
    Superseded by CDH55158
  2. Brahms: Clarinet Sonatas (CDH55158)
    Disc 1 Track 4
    Release date: February 2004
    Deletion date: July 2014
    Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service; also available on CDS44331/42
  3. Brahms: The Complete Chamber Music (CDS44331/42)
    Disc 9 Track 8
    Release date: October 2008
    12CDs Boxed set (at a special price)
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