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Brahms: Sonatas, Op 120 no 1 & 2 / Manasse, Nakamatsu

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for clarinet (or viola) & piano no 2 in E flat major, Op. 120/2
>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for clarinet (or viola) & piano no 1 in F minor, Op. 120/1
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The 'Clarinet Sonatas' of Opus 120 (1894), which Johannes Brahms dedicated to the clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld, "the master of this beautiful instrument, in sincerely grateful remembrance," are the fruit of a close friendship which helped the nearly sixty year-old composer to rediscover both the instrument and his own dormant desire to compose at this late stage in his life. With their characteristically Viennese atmosphere, these valedictory sonatas - his last great works of chamber music - reflect at once the solid experience of a long career and the sheer delight of writing for pleasure. In the hands of Jon Manasse and Jon Nakamatsu, this ravishing music receives a passionate and sensitively shaped reading.

International Record Review
Even in this exalted company, this new disc stands out, helped by sound engineering that is natural and warm, capturing the nuances of Manasse's and Nakamatsu's playing with magical immediacy... a disc to treasure.

Sunday Times
Jon Manasse's beautiful legato and Jon Nakamatsu's incisive pianism are a delight.

Gramophone Magazine
Jon Manasse has a lovely, soft tone, rich in the lower register, singing but never shrill in the upper, and warm even in the weaker centre of the instrument. He phrases beautifully, with a sense of the long line that characterises Brahms's melodies here even when they are built up of shorter component parts.

BBC Music Magazine
Impressive instrumental mastery and good rapport. But both performances are dogged by a recorded balance which places Nakamatsu's forceful piano playing in the foreground, at the expense of Manasse's soft-grained clarinet.



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for clarinet (or viola) & piano no 2 in E flat major, Op. 120/2
  • Performers: Jon Manasse (Clarinet); Jon Nakamatsu (Piano)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1894

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for clarinet (or viola) & piano no 1 in F minor, Op. 120/1
  • Performers: Jon Manasse (Clarinet); Jon Nakamatsu (Piano)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1894