„Do you like Brahms?“, asks Philip, played by Anthony Perkins, of Paula, played by Ingrid Bergman in Anatole Litvak's classic film of 1961, based on Françoise Sagan's book of the same name. Both Brahms' contemporaries and later audiences have had a particular affection for his chamber music. While the genre seemed to the „New Germans“ to be the „epitome of the obsolete“, for the Brahms Party it allowed a strict concentration on the laws of pure, „absolute music“. The serene mastery of Brahms on this terrain can be seen nowhere so clearly as in the late autumnal colours of the sonatas he wrote for the Meiningen clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld.
Composers regarded as „conservatives“ also wrote tone poems, even in the field of chamber music. Proof of this can be seen in Carl Reinecke's famous Undine Sonata, which, inspired by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's fairy tale, retells in music the story of the mermaid of the title. It appeared originally as a flute sonata in 1882, before the composer wrote a version for clarinet and piano, which receives its Brucknerhaus premiere from the star clarinettist Sharon Kam.
Carl Reinecke (1824–1910)
Undine. Sonata in E minor for clarinet and piano, Op. 167 (1882, rev. 1885)
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)
Sonata in Eb major for clarinet and piano, Op. 120, No. 2 (1894)
– Pause –
Niels Gade (1817–1890)
Four fantasy pieces for clarinet and piano, Op. 43 (1864)
Sonata in F minor for clarinet and piano, Op. 120, No. 1 (1894)
Sharon Kam | Clarinet
Matan Porat | Piano