Johannes Brahms

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

    Description by Peter Bates

    When Clara Schumann first heard this quintet, she wrote: "It is a really marvelous work, the wailing clarinet takes hold of one; it is most moving. And what interesting music, deep and full of meaning!" These poignant words by Brahms' closest female friend belie Brahms' disingenuous comparison of the work with his earlier Clarinet Trio: "[It is] a far greater piece of foolishness." From the first movement, the music pulsates with yearning. In its opening measures are the seeds that germinate in the rest of composition, which is equally perfect in its power of evocation and its structural rigor. The autumnal mood of the work results in part from the subtle shifts throughout between the closely related keys of D major and B minor.

    Most notable is the second movement Adagio, a tender love song whose wistfulness seems to reflect the entire decline of the late Romantic musical ethos. Of course there is more to this piece than its dreamlike evocations. Listen to the Presto, with its Hungarian folk-dance style and the finale's intriguing variations, the last of which returns full circle to the opening theme of the first movement. "Foolishness" indeed!

    Parts/Movements

    1. Allegro
    2. Adagio
    3. Andantino - Presto non assai, ma con sentimento
    4. Con moto

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2017 Naxos 8573454
    2017 Audite AUDITE 21425
    2016 Mirare MIR 282
    2016 Berlin Classics 0300643BC
    2016 Deutsche Grammophon 4795982
    2016 Signum Classics SIGCD 448
    2016 Gaia Recordings
    2015 Warner Classics 0825646019311
    2015 Doremi / Doremi Records DHR 6612
    2015 Linn / Linn Records BKD 278
    2015 Nimbus Alliance NI 6310
    2015 Mercury Classics
    2015 Deutsche Grammophon 4811409
    2015 Harmonia Mundi HMX 290873335
    2015 Boston Records BR 1078
    2014 Champs Hill Records CHRCD 076
    2014 BIS BIS 2063
    2014 CAvi-music AVI 8553300
    2014 Cedille Records CDR 147
    2013 NEOS NEOS 21305
    2013 Bridge BRIDGE 9397
    2013 Harmonia Mundi HMC 902152
    2013 Harmonia Mundi HMX 290840108
    2013 Ondine ODE 12462
    2013 Naxos 8501064
    2013 Leonardo / Urania LDV 14011
    2013 Audite AUDITE 91662
    2013 CAvi-music 8553283
    2013 Lawo Classics LAW 1015
    2012 Alto ALC 1161
    2012 Toccata Classics TOCC 0066
    2012 Deutsche Grammophon
    2012 Newton Classics 8802131
    2012 Harmonia Mundi 807558
    2012 Myrios Classics MYR 007
    2012 Music@Menlo LIVE 201107
    2012 Music@Menlo LIVE 201107
    2012 Concerto / Zebralution
    2011 Foghorn Classics CD 2007
    2011 Yarlung Records YAR 78874
    2011 Vivace 8802
    2010 Summit Records 541
    2010 Epr Records / EPR-Classic 001
    2010 Harmonia Mundi 1957048
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Centaur Records 3051
    2010 Denon Records
    2010 Foghorn 1982
    2009 Deutsche Grammophon 477 818-3
    2009 Denon Records
    2009 Oehms Classics 110
    2009 Supraphon 39692
    2008 Hyperion 44331/42
    2008 Vox 3014
    2008 Brilliant Classics 93554
    2007 Melodiya MELCD 1001040
    2007 Brilliant Classics 93156
    2007 Linn Records 278
    2007 Virgin Classics 0946395147
    2007 Brilliant 93181
    2007 Tudor Records 7137
    2007 Testament SBT1381
    2007 Doremi Records 5709
    2006 Fineline 72403
    2006 Archipel 0287
    2006 Praga 250227
    2006 Simax 1259
    2006 Glossa GCD 920607
    2006 Tall Poppies 131
    2006 Wigmore Hall 7
    2006 ASV / Sanctuary 404
    2005 Centaur Records 2745
    2005 Angel Records 72643
    2005 Deutsche Grammophon 002894775280
    2004 Harmonia Mundi 987048
    2004 Brilliant 92392
    2003 Testament SBT1282
    2003 Brilliant 99800
    2003 Vernissage Records 5561
    2003 Deutsche Grammophon 474358
    2003 Hungaroton 11596
    2003 Chandos 10151
    2003 Urtext 63
    2002 Music & Arts 1107
    2002 Apex
    2001 Naxos 8 554601
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 569558
    2001 Harmonia Mundi HMA 1951349
    2001 Cascavelle 6127
    2001 Bayer Records BR 100337
    2001 Angel Records / Warner Classics 7243574520
    2001 EMI Music Distribution 567644
    2001 Elysium 720
    2000 K 617 7084
    1999 Harmonia Mundi 911691
    1999 EMI Music Distribution 56759
    1999 Deutsche Grammophon
    1999 CRD Records 3445
    1998 Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 637
    1998 Sony Classical 60550
    1998 Pearl 0007
    1998 Delos 3706
    1997 Claves 509608
    1997 MDG 0719
    1997 Arte Nova 74321 30493-2
    1997 EMI Music Distribution 566422-2
    1997 Nimbus 5515
    1997 Doremi Records 7702
    1997 Calliope 9249
    1996 Koch Schwann 311502
    1996 Camerata Records 25CM332
    1996 Philips 454 073-2PB11
    1996 Testament 1001
    1996 Deutsche Grammophon 449611
    1995 RCA 68033
    1995 Sony Music Distribution 66285-6
    1995 Philips 446172
    1995 Silver Doubles 68935
    1995 Gallo 631
    1995 Boston Skyline 135
    1994 Cala Records 1009
    1994 Deutsche Grammophon
    1994 Naxos 550391
    1993 Reference Recordings 40
    1993 Deutsche Grammophon 437646
    1992 Chandos 6522
    1991 Harmonia Mundi 901349
    1991 EMI Music Distribution 754304
    1990 Deutsche Grammophon 419875
    1990 Delos 3066
    1989 EMI Music Distribution 63116
    1987 Hyperion CDA66107
    1984 Orfeo 068-831
    Musical Heritage Society 5290886
    MusicMasters 5027
    Round Top Records 83702
    Platz 615
    Erasmus 17
    Sony Music Distribution 45553
    Lyrinx 123
    Hungaroton 31463
    Testament 1366
    BBC Music Magazine 227
    Brilliant 92392/11
    Brilliant 99800/5
    Brilliant Classics 93554/14
    Brilliant 93181/19
    Northeastern 243
    Medici/Whitehall 8001
    FSM Adagio 97740
    BCMS
    Philips 442149
    Blumberg Artists
    Radiant Mastery 1003
    Art of Classics 885926
    Fonit-Cetra Italia 80
    Pearl 9903
    Opus 3 19301
    Teldec 46429
    ECO Classics 1
    Intaglio 763
    Crystal Records Dist. 832
    ABC Classics 4763660