String Quartet Op.51 No.2 in A Minor
Clarinet Quintet Op.115 in B Minor
with Sharon Kam, clarinet
Released: January 31, 2011
Catalog Num: HMC902152
Brahms's implacable self-criticism was at it's height in the domain of chamber music; he was already forty when he produced his second String Quartet (of three) after two decades of rejected attempts, which only makes the work's formal perfection and intense lyricism all the more striking. In the case of the much-loved Clarinet Quintet, it was a meeting with the clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld that inspired Brahms to emerge from his self-imposed retirement to compose this almost unbearably nostalgic musical testament, completed five years before his death. The acclaimed Jerusalem Quartet is joined by clarinetist Sharon Kam in highly charged performances of these two masterworks of the Romantic.