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 / Performer Label / Catalog # AllMusic Rating
    2021
    Universal Music
    2020
    Paladino Music
    PMR 0115
    2020
    Foghorn Classics
    FCL 2021
    2019
    Delos
    DE 3562
    2019
    B Records
    LBM 015
    2019
    ECM
    2019
    ECM / ECM New Series
    ECM 2557/4818082
    2019
    Decca
    4818963
    2018
    Various Artists
    Menuetto Classics
    2018
    Navona Records
    NV 6193
    2018
    Hänssler Classic
    HC 16084
    2017
    Naxos
    8573454
    2017
    Grand Piano
    GP 749
    2017
    Audite
    AUDITE 21425
    2016
    Mirare
    MIR 282
    2016
    Berlin Classics
    0300643BC
    2016
    Deutsche Grammophon
    4795982
    2016
    Signum Classics
    SIGCD 448
    2016
    Gaia Recordings
    2016
    Decca / London
    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
    Warner Classics
    5099940939
    2013
    NEOS
    NEOS 21305
    2013
    Bridge
    BRIDGE 9397
    2013
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMC 902152
    2013
    Harmonia Mundi
    HMX 290840108
    2013
    Ondine
    ODE 12462
    2013
    Various Artists
    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
    Various Artists
    Deutsche Grammophon
    477 818-3
    2009
    Denon Records
    2009
    Oehms Classics
    110
    2009
    Supraphon
    39692
    2008
    Hyperion
    44331/42
    2008
    Various Artists
    Vox
    3014
    2008
    Brilliant Classics
    93554
    2007
    Melodiya
    MELCD 1001040
    2007
    Brilliant Classics
    93156
    2007
    Linn Records
    278
    2007
    Virgin Classics
    0946395147
    2007
    Erato
    2007
    Various Artists
    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
    EMI Classics
    2005
    Centaur Records
    2745
    2005
    Angel Records
    72643
    2005
    Deutsche Grammophon
    002894775280
    2004
    Harmonia Mundi
    987048
    2004
    Various Artists
    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
    Warner Classics
    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
    Various Artists
    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
    Naxos
    550391
    1993
    Reference Recordings
    40
    1993
    Deutsche Grammophon
    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
    93181/19
    Brilliant Classics
    93554/14
    Brilliant
    92392/11
    Brilliant
    99800/5
    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
    Teldec
    46429
    Opus 3
    19301
    Intaglio
    763
    ECO Classics
    1
    Crystal Records Dist.
    832
    ABC Classics
    4763660