Brahms’s Clarinet Trio, composed in 1891, was inspired by the exceptional musicality of clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld. As he did for his horn trio, Brahms prepared a viola part as a possible alternative to the clarinet. Both scorings were rehearsed (the viola part being played by Joseph Joachim) prior to the premiere and publication of the work.
Bärenreiter’s scholarly-critical edition, prepared by Christopher, offers a foreword on the trio’s compositional process with comments on performance practice, as well as a comprehensive critical commentary and facsimile excerpts of the manuscript. The viola part is included as an alternative to the clarinet part.