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BRAHMS, JOHANNES (1833–1897)

Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano • Clarinet Quintet (arr. P. Klengel for Piano)

  • Christopher Williams, piano

The 19th century witnessed an almost insatiable demand for arrangements and transcriptions to be played on domestic pianos. Brahms himself wrote such works under the names GW Marks and Karl Würth but friends and colleagues also contributed. The violinist, pianist and conductor Paul Klengel, brother of the eminent cellist Julius, made solo piano versions of the Horn Trio and the Clarinet Quintet, transcribing with remarkable fidelity and sensitivity Brahms’ myriad expressive and technical demands.

This recording was made on a modern instrument: Steinway, Model D


Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano in E-Flat Major, Op. 40 (arr. P. Klengel for piano) (1865) (00:29:00 )
I. Andante - Poco più animato * (00:08:47)
II. Scherzo: Allegro * (00:06:41)
III. Adagio mesto * (00:07:14)
IV. Finale: Allegro con brio * (00:06:06)
Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115 (arr. P. Klengel for piano) (1891) (00:41:00 )
I. Allegro * (00:13:03)
II. Adagio * (00:12:08)
III. Andantino - Presto non assai, ma con sentimento * (00:05:56)
IV. Con moto * (00:10:22)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:10:17

The Artist(s)

Christopher Williams Christopher Williams is a music graduate of Cardiff University and now leads a busy and varied professional life as a pianist, composer, conductor, teacher and arranger. He is currently assistant director of the BBC National Chorus of Wales and is a pianist for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with whom he has performed at the BBC Proms and recorded for the Chandos and Hyperion labels. In addition to his work as a soloist, Williams is in great demand as an accompanist and chamber musician, and has partnered many of the prominent instrumentalists of his generation including Philippe Schartz, Tim Thorpe, David Childs, David Pyatt and Tine Thing Helseth. He has also appeared on BBC TV and been broadcast on BBC Radio and Radio Luxembourg. His recording of Brahms transcriptions for Grand Piano was featured as album of the week on NDR Kultur.

The Composer(s)

Johannes Brahms Born in Hamburg, the son of a double bass player and his older seamstress wife, Brahms attracted the attention of Schumann, to whom he was introduced by the violinist Joachim. After Schumann’s death he maintained a long friendship with the latter’s widow, the pianist Clara Schumann, whose advice he always valued. Brahms eventually settled in Vienna, where to some he seemed the awaited successor to Beethoven. His blend of Classicism in form with a Romantic harmonic idiom made him the champion of those opposed to the musical innovations of Wagner and Liszt. In Vienna he came to occupy a position similar to that once held by Beethoven, his gruff idiosyncrasies tolerated by those who valued his genius.


“These arrangements are engaging and virtuosic, and I imagine that you would have had to be a more than competent pianist to do the music justice.” – MusicWeb International