André Moisan and Jean Saulnier have put together for this recording, three sonatas dedicated to the great German clarinettist Richard Muhlfeld ( 1856-1907). The two sonata of Op. 120 and the sonata by Gustav Jenner ( 1865-1920) Brahms’only student.
Brahms' chamber music sometimes gets difficult — Brahms did not hold back from difficulty, notably in his quartets and certain of his sonatas. Yet, in the magic case of the two sonatas for clarinet, one cannot but mention a sacrilegious idea: the relation between the two instruments is one of easy, perfect complicity. Mühlfeld's sonority must have been as extraordinary as is the unique, rich, and new universe to which these works take us.
Jenner's Sonata for clarinet, Op. 5, dates from 1900. Though Jenner's sonata is inferior to Brahm's, it is nonetheless a polished piece of work and shows the strong influence that Mühlfeld could exercise in stimulating composers so as to broaden his repertoire with pieces he liked.