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Brahms: Clarinet Quintet; String Quartet No. 2 / Sharon Kam, clarinet; Jerusalem Quartet

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 51/2
>Brahms, Johannes : Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op.115
Performer Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Brahms's implacable self-criticism was at its 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 Mühlfeld 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.

American Record Guide, July/August 2013
The same could be said of the performances. They are first-rate, presented with consummate professionalism and artistic commitment. The quartet digs into each score with rich timbres, beautiful phrasing, exceptional teamwork, breathtaking dynamic range and color, and a bold romantic spirit.

BBC Music Magazine, June 2013
An interpretation [of the Quartet] that displays breathtaking homogeneity of ensemble, subtle textural control and marvellous fluidity of nuance...Kam takes infinite care to blend her wonderfully mellifluous clarinet line within the string texture, rather than opt for a more soloistic approach.

Gramophone Magazine, June 2013
Few command Brahms's string quartets the way the Jerusalem do here in Op. 51 No. 2...Joined by Sharon Kam in the Clarinet Quintet, the Jerusalem exude an even greater sense of freedom with much more give and take within any given tempo. Kam has lovely warm tone and seamless legato, but what sets her apart from her contemporaries is her chemistry with the quartet.

International Record Review, May 2013
Kam plays the work beautifully, and is thoroughly musical in understanding when to merge with the strings and provide an enrichening of the accompaniment rather than be the soloist...This is a gentle, lyrical performance, of 'late' music by a great composer.

MusicWeb International, 8th July 2013
[In the A minor Quartet] They are the epitome of Brahmsian classicism, stylish and composed...These recordings...show them to be strong, lusty advocates of immortal music.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Teldex Studio Berlin (06/2012).


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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor, Op. 51/2
  • Ensemble: Jerusalem Quartet
  • Running Time: 32 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1865

>Brahms, Johannes : Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op.115
  • Performer: Sharon Kam (Clarinet)
  • Running Time: 38 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1891