View Poll Results: Is Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet overrated?

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  • No, and I listen to Brahms

    34 87.18%
  • Yes, and I listen to Brahms

    2 5.13%
  • No, and I don’t listen to Brahms

    2 5.13%
  • Yes, and I don’t listen to Brahms

    1 2.56%
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Thread: Is Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet overrated?

  1. #1
    Senior Member RogerWaters's Avatar
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    Default Is Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet overrated?

    I’ve been listening to Brahms for about four years now and find the quintet somewhat meandering, like it never hits home and says ‘anything’, a bit like overly adjectival prose or something. I like the clarinet sonatas much more, and the beautiful horn trio.
    Last edited by RogerWaters; May-29-2021 at 06:48.

  2. #2
    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    Tastes differ. Many think it's a masterpiece (like I do), some don't hear it. It happens with every piece of music. Overrated is a very overrated word.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RogerWaters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Art Rock View Post
    Tastes differ. Many think it's a masterpiece (like I do), some don't hear it. It happens with every piece of music. Overrated is a very overrated word.
    Perhaps a better question would have been simply ‘do you think it is a masterpiece’?

  4. #4
    Moderator Art Rock's Avatar
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    Yes, it would have been better imo.

    I don't think you can edit the poll title, but I can if you want me to.
    Last edited by Art Rock; May-29-2021 at 07:06.

  5. #5
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    I can understand that people don'the like the persisting melancholy mood but it is a great masterpiece and rated as such. As any mature or late Brahms it's not at all meandering but very tightly constructed and unified. Not as laconic as the trio which I always found tougher and less immediately appealing. Especially poignant the return of the motto theme at the end which had been prepared by the last variation.
    Last edited by Kreisler jr; May-29-2021 at 09:19.

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  7. #6
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Meandering - No.
    Overrated - No.
    Masterpiece - Yes.

  8. Likes Manxfeeder, Highwayman, SearsPoncho and 4 others liked this post
  9. #7
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    A work I never tire of. So beautiful. So true.

  10. #8
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Certainly in my top 10 chamber music works. Maybe top 5.

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  12. #9
    Senior Member Brahmsian Colors's Avatar
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    Not only do I consider it a masterpiece, but also a wonderful and soulful work, certainly among the top tier of my Brahms favorites.


    Quote Originally Posted by RogerWaters View Post
    I like the clarinet sonatas much more
    I also like very much the Clarinet Sonata no. 2, however, I don't feel as strongly about no. 1
    Last edited by Brahmsian Colors; May-29-2021 at 14:44.

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  14. #10
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    Prompted by this thread, I have just put it on.

    The version I'm listening to is the Cleveland Quartet with Stoltzman, which I think someone on this site was good enough to share for free along with some other Cleveland Quartet stuff including Brahms' quartets and sextets, and the Beethoven Quartets, plus some Barber and Ives (quite legally, I believe): worth downloading if you can find the relevant thread.
    My long standing version is Thea King and the Gabrlieli.

    It's a gorgeous work. Out and out masterpiece.

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  16. #11
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    I don't find it meandering; rather, to me it is ambiguous, like a statement of uncertainty.

    There's a great story about when the quintet was played for Brahms and a few friends. As a pupil of Clara Schumann described it, "When they had finished playing this heavenly work, we were all so moved that nobody found a word to say. But Nikisch fell on his knees before Brahms, and that exactly expressed our feelings."

  17. #12
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    Astonishingly beautiful music

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  19. #13
    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Beautiful piece. Certainly not meandering for me.

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  21. #14
    Senior Member Celloman's Avatar
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    I find it beautifully meandering, like a clear, trout-filled mountain stream.
    to drown,
    to sink unconscious --
    supreme bliss!

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  23. #15
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    A fine work, but I think certain sections in the slow movement**, Brahms may have found inspiration lacking (at least in terms of melody). For instance; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOB0ORcfZUU&t=3m25s (although I like the bit from 3:45~4:00)

    **compared to;
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jun-07-2021 at 23:59.

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