Johannes Brahms 1833-1897
Clarinet Quintet

String Quartet no.2

Brahms’s implacable self-criticism was at its height in the domain of chamber music: he was already forty when he produced this Second String Quartet (of three) after two decades of rejected attempts, which only makes its formal perfection and intense lyricism all the more striking. In the case of the Quintet op.115, it was a meeting with the clarinettist Mühlfeld that inspired him to emerge from his self-imposed retirement to compose this almost unbearably nostalgic musical testament, five years before his death.