Quintet in B Minor for Clarinet and String Quartet
Scherzo in C Minor for Violin and Piano, WoO2
Trio in B Major for Violin, Cello and Piano
The first version of the Trio in B Major for Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 8, was written mostly in 1853, the year Brahms turned 20 years old. He completed it in 1854, then revised it significantly in 1889-90. The result is a deep and mature work that exudes youthful energy, understandably a favorite among chamber music lovers.
Scherzo in C Minor for Violin and Piano, Wo02, was also written in 1853. It grew out of a collaborative compositional project proposed by Robert Schumann: a sonata for violinist Joseph Joachim. Schumann's student Albert Dietrich wrote the first movement, Schumann wrote the second and final movements, and the young Brahms wrote the third movement, Scherzo, that appears on this program.
Though Brahms had intended to retire from composition in 1891, he reconsidered after experiencing the superlative artistry of clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld. Brahms then composed a series of works for the clarinet, including Quintet in B Minor for Clarinet and String Quartet, Op. 115--long considered among the composer's most magnificent works, full of remarkable contrasts.