VISIT WESTCORKMUSIC.IE

LATEST ADDITION TO THE ARCHIVE

Sonata for Clarinet/Viola No.2 in E flat Op.120/2

Johannes Brahms (b. 1833 - d. 1897)

Lawrence Power (photo credit: Jack Liebeck)

Lawrence Power (photo credit: Jack Liebeck)

Composer
Johannes Brahms (b. 1833 - d. 1897)
Composition Year
1894
Work Movements
1. Allegro amabile
2. Allegro appassionato
3. Andante con moto – Allegro non troppo
Artists
Lawrence Power [viola], Simon Crawford-Phillips [piano]

Programme Note Writer:
© Francis Humphrys

Throughout his career Brahms composed music that showed his love of the viola, beginning with the two gorgeous string sextets, which contain what often amounts to solo parts for both violas – as you can hear in the Festival Finale this year. In numerous other places we find Brahms picking out the viola, for instance the two string quintets, the two exquisite viola songs and the third movement of his Third Quartet. So when he was inspired to write the four late clarinet works, it was quite natural for him to provide alternative viola parts. This worked particularly well for the two sonatas.

The E flat Sonata is a fantasia-like conception in three movements, none of them really slow, an unusually relaxed sonata form followed by an unexpectedly powerful scherzo concluding with a glowing set of variations. It opens with a gently undulating melody that immediately sets the mood for this gentle work. Impassioned outbursts are firmly quelled and the flow is not interrupted by any obvious divisions between exposition, development and recapitulation. With the need for lyricism already assuaged, Brahms dispenses with a slow movement and goes straight to the scherzo. This is in the minor mode but sweeps by full of confidence. The Trio is built on a proud but noble sostenuto melody first declaimed by the piano and then softening for the entry of the viola. It develops a fine climax before fading out and letting the scherzo sweep back. The Andante con moto is a set of five variations on a classically poised and richly harmonic theme of fourteen bars with no repeats. The first four variations seem primarily concerned to simplify, paring the theme down to its smallest note values. Finally Brahms throws his restraint to one side and the fifth variation bursts out passionately before flowing directly into the tranquil coda that returns to the major before a final brief display of virtuosity in both instruments.

FULL DETAILS SEARCH FOR MORE

Sonata for Clarinet/Viola No.2 in E flat Op.120/2

Composer: Johannes Brahms (b. 1833 - d. 1897)
Performance date: Thursday 3rd July 2014
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

Share on Twitter | Share on Facebook
http://archive.westcorkmusic.ie/details/view/cmf/416

Composer Johannes Brahms (b. 1833 - d. 1897)
Work Title Sonata for Clarinet/Viola No.2 in E flat Op.120/2
Composition Year 1894
Work Movements 1. Allegro amabile
2. Allegro appassionato
3. Andante con moto – Allegro non troppo
Artist(s) Lawrence Power [viola], Simon Crawford-Phillips [piano]
Performance Date Thursday 3rd July 2014
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Crespo Recital Series
Duration 00:19:46
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTE
Instrumentation Category Duo
Instrumentation va, pf
Programme Note Writer © Francis Humphrys

Throughout his career Brahms composed music that showed his love of the viola, beginning with the two gorgeous string sextets, which contain what often amounts to solo parts for both violas – as you can hear in the Festival Finale this year. In numerous other places we find Brahms picking out the viola, for instance the two string quintets, the two exquisite viola songs and the third movement of his Third Quartet. So when he was inspired to write the four late clarinet works, it was quite natural for him to provide alternative viola parts. This worked particularly well for the two sonatas.

The E flat Sonata is a fantasia-like conception in three movements, none of them really slow, an unusually relaxed sonata form followed by an unexpectedly powerful scherzo concluding with a glowing set of variations. It opens with a gently undulating melody that immediately sets the mood for this gentle work. Impassioned outbursts are firmly quelled and the flow is not interrupted by any obvious divisions between exposition, development and recapitulation. With the need for lyricism already assuaged, Brahms dispenses with a slow movement and goes straight to the scherzo. This is in the minor mode but sweeps by full of confidence. The Trio is built on a proud but noble sostenuto melody first declaimed by the piano and then softening for the entry of the viola. It develops a fine climax before fading out and letting the scherzo sweep back. The Andante con moto is a set of five variations on a classically poised and richly harmonic theme of fourteen bars with no repeats. The first four variations seem primarily concerned to simplify, paring the theme down to its smallest note values. Finally Brahms throws his restraint to one side and the fifth variation bursts out passionately before flowing directly into the tranquil coda that returns to the major before a final brief display of virtuosity in both instruments.