- Sonata for Clarinet (or viola) & Piano No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120/1
- Sonata for Clarinet (or viola) & Piano No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 120/2
- Trio for Clarinet (or viola), Cello & Piano in A minor, Op. 114
Start with the sound: Berlin Classics here offers chamber music recorded in a chamber like the ones for which it was intended. Israeli clarinetist Sharon Kam, along with German pianist Martin Helmchen (there's something that wouldn't have been so common until recently) and cellist Gustav Rivinius, performs Brahms' three late chamber masterpieces for clarinet in the Siemens-Villa in Berlin, not the studio it sounds like but a genuine villa in Berlin's swank Lichterfelde neighborhood. The intimacy of the sound environment fulfills the first condition for a great recording of these works, which their breathtaking combination of autumnal warmth and gnarly motivic complexity. The second condition is fulfilled by the players, who draw you into the incredible wealth of implications at the beginning of each of the opening movements maintain the long, lyrical phrases of the slow movements and beautifully capture the quiet resolution of the finales. The duets between Kam and Helmchen are the best of all; this pair has the fluid and attentive quality beyond mere ensemble that brings out the profound but somehow domestic magic of these works. These are less dramatic than the classic recordings of the two clarinet sonatas by Richard Stoltzman, but, taken for what they are, they're hard to beat.