- Trio for clarinet (or viola), cello & piano in A minor, Op. 114
- 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
At the end of his life, Johannes Brahms wrote four great chamber works for the renowned clarinetist Richard Mühlfield: a quintet, a trio, and two sonatas. The clarinet's dark, mellow tone ideally suits the autumnal mood of the composer's late style. Karl Leister (principal clarinetist of the Berlin Philharmonic for more than three decades) has perfected the art of understatement, giving performances that emphasize the music's intimate lyricism. Other musicians may find more burning passion in these scores -- Richard Stoltzman, for example -- but Leister and his colleagues, cellist Wolfgang Boettcher and pianist Ferenc Bognár, prefer to smolder, providing ample warmth without overheating. Nimbus's recording bathes the instruments in a golden glow that is particularly flattering to Leister's liquid tone.