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CHAN 10825
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CHAN 10825

Brahms: Cello Sonatas/Clarinet Trio

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2014

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2013


Paul Watkins


Michael Collins


Ian Brown



Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk


Rachel Smith


Jonathan Cooper

Record Label




Total Time - 81:12
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Sonata, Op. 38

  in E minor - in e-Moll - en mi mineur  
  for Piano and Cello  
  Herrn Dr. Josef Gänsbacher zugeeignet  
1 Allegro non troppo 14:10
2 Allegretto quasi Menuetto - Trio - Allegretto D.C. sin' al Fine 5:42
3 Allegro - Più presto 7:00

Trio, Op. 114

  in A minor - in a-Moll - en la mineur  
  for Piano, Clarinet, and Cello  
4 Allegro - Poco meno Allegro 8:03
5 Adagio 8:04
6 Andantino grazioso - Un poco sostenuto 4:36
7 Allegro 4:40
 Michael Collins clarinet

Sonata, Op. 99

  in F major - in F-Dur - en fa majeur  
  for Piano and Cello  
8 Allegro vivace 9:15
9 Adagio affettuoso 7:09
10 Allegro passionato - [ ] - Da Capo sin al Fine 7:38
11 Allegro molto 4:55
  TT 81:20      
 Paul Watkins cello
 Ian Brown piano
  12-14 June 2013  

Brahms: Cello Sonatas / Clarinet Trio

Performing Brahms’s cello sonatas and Clarinet Trio, Paul Watkins here presents three enduring masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire. He is joined by two musicians of the highest calibre, the pianist Ian Brown, his established duo partner, and the clarinettist Michael Collins.

Himself an accomplished player in his youth, Brahms was passionate about the cello and wrote many glorious parts for the instrument. However, he had difficulty writing his Cello Sonata No. 1, eventually destroying an Adagio to leave the three-movement work we know today. Completed in 1865, it is somewhat reserved in character, with an elaborate fugal finale that, looking backwards, pays homage to Bach. A little over twenty years later, in 1886, Brahms composed his Cello Sonata No. 2, the expansive form and extrovert character of which stand in graphic contrast to those of the first. The writing also shows a more adventurous approach to the cello, heard right from the outset in the leaping, passionate theme with which the first movement opens.

One of his last works, the Clarinet Trio was written after Brahms had decided to retire from composition. It was the artistry of Richard Mühlfeld that inspired him to return to composition and write a series of works for the clarinet, considered some of the supreme masterpieces in the instrument’s repertoire.

 “… a worthy release, especially for Watkins’s E-Minor Sonata. Recommended.”

Richard A Kaplan – Fanfare – January/February 2015

“… The all-Brahms program is highly satisfying… The playing is thoughtful and intense … these are moving readings … the interpretations are very effective ...” 

David W Moore – American Record Guide – November/December 2014


                  Recording of the Month

"This is one of those rare discs that surprises as much as it delights. It has been a long time since I last listened to Brahms’ cello sonatas so intently and with so much enjoyment. Paul Watkins and Ian Brown commanded my attention, not with declamatory statements but by making me complicit in an act of discovery. This is familiar music, yet suddenly new... Michael Collins’ gorgeous tone and eloquent contribution enhance this disc’s already considerable attractions. The acoustic of Potton Hall is captured beautifully by the Chandos sound engineer Jonathan Cooper... This recording sounds ideally intimate whichever way you listen. Chandos has lavished its typical care on presentation... Brown and Collins give us: an old master, sounding fresher than ever."

Tim Perry - - 14 October 2014

                 ***/****   - Good/Excellent

Massimo Viazzo - Musica magazine (Italy) - October 2014

 “…A penetrating interpretation.”

Nalen Anthoni – Gramophone magazine – October 2014

                  Performance ****       Recording ****

"I can’t think of a better way of presenting Brahm’s Cello Sonatas than with the darkly passionate Clarinet Trio, especially when played by three such rewarding artists. They get under 

the skin of this masterpiece, performing with a lovely flexible sense of timing..."
Helen Wallace - BBC Music magazine - October 2014

                     Performance ****           Recording ****

“I can’t think of a better way of presenting Brahms’s Cello Sonatas than with the darkly passionate Clarinet Trio, especially when played by three such rewarding artists… “

Helen Wallace – BBC Music magazine – October 2014

 “… an impressive account: responsive, detailed, unforced yet vividly communicative … a recommendable release.”

Colin Anderson – International Record Review – September 2014


 “Brahm’s cello sonatas, composed two decades apart, could hardly be more different … The late sonata’s expansive mood and grand sonorities have made it the more popular of the two – it was a favourite of Casals. Yet the melancholy early work doesn’t deserve its comparative neglect. Nor does the Clarinet Trio, as this expressive performance by three of Britain’s finest musicians reminds us.”

David Cairns – The Sunday Times (Culture magazine) – 20 July 2014

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