Brahms: Clarinet Trio; Horn Trio; Piano Quintet; Clarinet Quintet; Schumann Variations
Schiff; Högner; Schmidl; Solti; Takács Quartet
Catalogue No.

This collection of five of Brahms’s chamber music masterpieces includes four with piano and all of these feature the supreme artistry of András Schiff. Both the quintets – for clarinet and for piano – are included; the recording of the Clarinet Quintet with Peter Schmidl and members of the New Vienna Octet, receives its first release on CD. The rarest of the chamber works on this collection is the set of Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann. Composed in 1854 for piano four-hands, Brahms’s biographer Malcolm MacDonald called it a ‘special act of solace’ for Clara Schumann, to whom they were dedicated. In fact, the title page reads, ‘Minor Variations on a Theme by Him, Dedicated to Her’. Here, Schiff is joined by his Hungarian compatriot Sir Georg Solti, at the piano. Also representing Hungary on this collection is the Takács Quartet.


Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114

András Schiff, piano
Peter Schmidl, clarinet
Friedrich Dolezal, cello

Horn Trio in E flat major, Op. 40

András Schiff, piano
Günther Högner, horn
Erich Binder, violin

Variations for 4 hands on a theme by Schumann, Op. 23

András Schiff, piano
Georg Solti, piano

Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34

András Schiff, piano
Takács Quartet

Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

Peter Schmidl, clarinet
Members of the New Vienna Octet

Recording information

Recording Producers: Christopher Raeburn (Clarinet Trio, Horn Trio, Variations); Ray Minshull (Piano Quintet); Michael Haas (Clarinet Quintet)
Balance Engineers: Simon Eadon (Clarinet Trio, Horn Trio); James Lock (Variations); Jonathan Stokes (Piano Quintet); Arthur Lilley (Clarinet Quintet)
Recording Locations: Sofiensaal, Vienna, Austria, 3–5 January 1980 (Clarinet Quintet); 1–3 November 1982 (Clarinet Trio, Horn Trio); Grosser Saal, Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria, 20–23 April 1988 (Variations); Mozart Saal, Konzerthaus, Vienna Austria, 21–23 January 1990 (Piano Quintet)


‘The eloquent soaring clarinet line of the opening phrase immediately sets the seal on what is to be a passionately committed reading throughout … the element of nostalgia is not missing, with the Adagio tenderly eloquent from clarinet and strings alike.’ (Clarinet Quintet) Gramophone, October 1981

‘the sonority remains warm and full, and in the clarinet trio balance could scarcely be bettered. It would certainly be hard to imagine lovelier reproduction of Dolezal’s burnished cello’ … ‘the atmosphere is seductively Viennese, warm and relaxed … The sound and balance seems to me, virtually ideal’ (Clarinet & Horn Trios) Gramophone

‘glowing piano and string tone’ (Piano Quintet) Gramophone