Barenreiter Urtext Edition of Brahms' Sonatas In F Minor And E-Flat Op.120 for Clarinet and Piano.
- A pioneering Urtext edition with an extensive Performance Practice Commentary
- For further information on Romantic performance practice we recommend the text booklet: “Performance Practices in Johannes Brahms‘ Chamber Music”, BA 9600
Brahms had already announced his "retirement" from composition when in the spring of 1894 he played chamber music with the cellist Robert Hausmann and the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld. This encounter renewed Brahms' enthusiasm for Mühlfeld’s much admired playing and inspired him to write two new Clarinet sonatas in the summer of the same year. Brahms and Mühlfeld premiered the works and played them in several performances until the Sonatas Op.120 were first published in June 1895. These two works remain pivotal in the Clarinet’s recital repertoire establishing the Clarinet sonata as a distinct and viable chamber music genre.
This edition features an extensive preface that informs about the sonatas‘ origins, their compositional process, pre-publication performances and their publication history as well as their early reception. Another truly remarkable aspect of this publication is the unique Performance Practice Commentary. Here, the editors start from the premise that only a few decades after Brahms' death a widening gulf was already developing between the composer's expectations and the performance practices of the early 20th century. On the basis of manifold sources which include memoirs by pupils and chamber music partners, treatises and essays, early instructive editions and historical recordings, the editors deal with key issues in understanding Brahms' notation. The editors provide an indispensable assistance for a historically informed interpretation of the work through a section-by-section analysis of rhythm and timing, dynamics and accentuation, dots and strokes, slurring and non legato, Piano pedalling and overholding, Piano arpeggiation and dislocation, Clarinet vibrato and portamento. At the same time, the edition offers an exciting and often surprising insight into musical interpretation of the German Romantic Era in general.