Clarinet Trio (Brahms)

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The Trio for clarinet, cello and piano in A minor, Op. 114, was one of four chamber works featuring clarinet composed by Johannes Brahms in rapid succession after emerging from retirement toward the end of his life.

It is one of a small number of compositions for clarinet, cello and piano, and one of the very few to have entered the standard repertoire. Eusebius Mandyczewski, a scholar and friend of Brahms, wrote of the trio that "It is as though the instruments were in love with each other." [1]

The movements are marked Allegro, Adagio, Andantino grazioso - Trio, Allegro.

Brahms was inspired to compose these works by the playing of clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld.[2] In November 1891 Mühlfeld participated in the first private performance, in Meiningen, with Robert Hausmann on cello and Brahms on piano. The following month they had a triumph with the public premiere in Berlin.

The clarinet in this Trio can also be substituted with a viola.

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