Autograph Letter Signed, J. Br., one page, octavo, on the verso of a correspondence card, Vienna, January 20, 1895. In German, to a correspondent in Berlin.
“It may perhaps be that I will return your visit in the next few days! Joachim is pressing me to play the sonatas on the 28th with Muhlfeld in his quartet. The telegraph will probably decide things today, and I shall report then-however should I come around 11 in the evening, then let me just go to the Asc. Hof, the anyway please only send your friendly servant. It would really be very pleasant, and perhaps I shall be looking forward to the journey tomorrow! With warm regards to the lady of the house.”
The violinist Joseph Joachim was a lifelong friend of Johannes Brahms; they met in 1853 when Brahms was 20 years old and touring as an accompanist to the Hungarian violinist Eduard Reményi; Joachim was 22.
Richard Mühlfeld, clarinetist with the Meiningen orchestra, was greatly admired by Brahms. In the years before Brahms’ death (in 1897) he persuaded the master, who had resolved (in 1890) to give up composing, to compose the Clarinet Trio, Op. 114, Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115 and the two Clarinet Sonatas, Op. 120. The Sonatas received their first performance in the home of the sister of the Duke of Meiningen at Berchtesgaden on September 19th, 1894 with Richard Mühlfeld on clarinet, and Johannes Brahms himself as pianist.
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