By 1890, Brahms vowed to retire from composing, but fortunately for clarinetists, fate intervened. In January 1891, Brahms made a trip to Meiningen for an arts festival and was captivated by performances of the Weber Clarinet Concerto and the Mozart Clarinet Quintet with the local orchestra's solo clarinetist, Richard Muhlfeld.
Brahms had shown a particular favoritism for the clarinet in earlier works including his symphonies and serenades. However, the letters Brahms wrote to Clara Schumann show that he thought the art of clarinet playing had deteriorated to a great extent, especially in solo performances. Thus, his burst of enthusiasm at hearing Muhlfeld was extremely fortunate. Brahms' two sonatas for clarinet and piano, his final chamber music compositions, were completed during the summer of 1894.
This edition has been edited by clarinetist John Anderson. Special attention has been given to the layout of both the clarinet and piano parts for ease and clarity of reading.
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