Clarinet Concerto No. 1 (arr. for orchestra by Butorac)


1833 – 1897

Putting pen to paper.  

After announcing in 1890 that he was retiring from composing, Brahms heard the famous clarinetist, Richard Mühlfeld. Impressed by his prodigious talent and charmed by the instrument’s smooth sound, he put pen back to paper and didn’t hold back! He wrote a trio, quintet and two sonatas for clarinet and piano.

These sonatas were the composer’s final chamber works, written at the age of 61. Once again, Brahms composed in contrasting pairs: the first sonata was in a minor key, and the second in a major key. He wrote expansive, lyrical and brilliant themes for the clarinet, which were surely inspired by Mühlfeld’s great talent.

In the 20th century, Italian composer Luciano Berio was particularly interested in Sonata No. 1, and arranged the piano part as an orchestral accompaniment for the clarinet. This concert will feature an even more modern arrangement of the piece by the young composer Darko Butorac.

Suggested Gallimard readings to enhance your experience:

La clarinette, Vassilis Alexakis, Folio

@Marilou Garon