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Charles Draper (clarinet)
The Griller String Quartet:
Sydney Griller (violin)
Jack O'Brien (violin) Philip Burton (viola)
Colin Hampton (violoncello) -Presto non assai ma con sentimento. 4 Con moto
Early in 1891, when Brahms went to stay with the Duke of Meiningen, he heard Miihlfeld, principal clarinet of the Meiningen Orchestra, whose tone was as beautiful as his execution was clean and brilliant. Brahms was so impressed that he asked Miihlfeld for a private recital, at which Miihlfeld played many examples of clarinet music, and explained the finer technical points of his instrument.
The result was that Brahms composed four works in which the clarinet played a predominant part: two Sonatas for clarinet and piano, a Trio for clarinet, 'cello and piano, and the Quintet for clarinet and string quartet. The Clarinet Quintet in B minor may be considered Brahms's swan-song in instrumental music and at the same time the crowning achievement of his life's work. It is a profoundly moving work full of pathos and deep feeling, particularly in the first two movements and at the end of the finale.
The second movement has a wonderfully romantic middle section in which the possibilities of the clarinet are exploited in a series of remarkable arabesques that are essentially Hungarian in style and origin.
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Feedback about CHAMBER MUSIC, National Programme Daventry, 19.00, 29 August 1937
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