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majlis

I am glad to see someone recognize the extreme importance of Brahms chamber music. I wouldn't say it is the greatest of all western music - Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert are superior - and, in the XX century Webern, Bartok and Schönberg are very important, but Brahms is the greatest chamber music composer between Schubert and Schönberg.
I prefer the 3 violin sonatas, the first sonata for clarinet, the third trio with piano, the first piano quartet, the piano and the clarinet quintets and the first sextet. But all the works - with the exception of the Quartet with piano opus 26 and the clarinet Trio opus 114 - are extraordinary beautiful.
 

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Daniel


Yes, Brahms opus 34 is perhaps even more perfect that Schumann's Piano Quintet (were the piano dominates the other instruments, sometimes almost in a concertant way). The development of the first movement is one the most perfect and natural structures in Brahms work (at the same level of the first movements of the 4th Symphony or the 1rst clarinet sonata).
 

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I agree with Majlis wholeheartedly! Brahms is my favorite composer of chamber music. His piano quintet and clarinet quintet are unmatched, although Mozart's clarinet quintet is quite extraordinary. His first piano trio is just behind Beethoven's Archduke, and his string sextets are some of the warmest and most lyrical chamber works. He falls well short of Beethoven's magnificent string quartets, and Schubert's incomparable string quintet, but there is a special place in my heart for Brahms' chamber compositions as a whole.
 

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I agree with Majlis wholeheartedly! Brahms is my favorite composer of chamber music. His piano quintet and clarinet quintet are unmatched, although Mozart's clarinet quintet is quite extraordinary. His first piano trio is just behind Beethoven's Archduke, and his string sextets are some of the warmest and most lyrical chamber works. He falls well short of Beethoven's magnificent string quartets, and Schubert's incomparable string quintet, but there is a special place in my heart for Brahms' chamber compositions as a whole.
 

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I have always thought of the Andante from Brahms' piano quintet as the quintessential lullaby, so lovingly gentle, warm and tender. Amazingly, it is followed by the Scherzo/Allegro which is one of the most powerful and intense movements in all of chamber music literature. The combination of these two movements brings tears of joy to my eyes.
 

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majlis

I am glad to see someone recognize the extreme importance of Brahms chamber music. I wouldn't say it is the greatest of all western music - Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert are superior - and, in the XX century Webern, Bartok and Schönberg are very important, but Brahms is the greatest chamber music composer between Schubert and Schönberg.
I prefer the 3 violin sonatas, the first sonata for clarinet, the third trio with piano, the first piano quartet, the piano and the clarinet quintets and the first sextet. But all the works - with the exception of the Quartet with piano opus 26 and the clarinet Trio opus 114 - are extraordinary beautiful.
Aha, someone who knows his chamber music. However, you give short shrift to Debussy, especially the string quartet, Sonata for cello and piano, Trio for flute, viola and harp, and Sonata for violin and piano no. 3, and Ravel, especially the string quartet, Introduction and Allegro for flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet, Sonata for violin and piano, Sonata for violin and cello, Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Faure, Tzigane and Sonata for violin and piano, and Chansons Madecasses for voice, flute, cello and piano.
While I love all the Brahms chamber music, the string sextets are considered more important than the quintets and quartets by many, including me, especially the first sextet, so your comment there is well taken.
 
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