By 1853 Brahms had emerged as a force in music and would afterward be acknowledged as the greatest master of the symphonic form of the last half of the century. In that generation of composers, only Dvořák (for whom he had a special regard and to whom he gave invaluable aid) produced as much chamber music as the prolific Brahms. This prodigious outpouring, perhaps more than any other aspect of Brahms's oeuvre, provides a clear and uninterrupted view of his artistic development.
Here reproduced in this handsome, inexpensive volume is a superb selection of chamber works — masterful compositions by Brahms, written for violin, viola, cello, and piano. Reprinted from the reliable Breitkopf & Härtel edition, they include Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34; the Quartet in C Minor, Op. 25; and Quartet in A Major, Op. 26, distinguished by their variety of moods, gypsy coloring, and richness of ideas; and the Quartet in C Minor, Op. 60, with its somber and foreboding atmosphere.
Standards of the repertoire, these four compositions are strongly dramatic, richly inventive, and filled with ingenious thematic transformations. Musicians, music lovers, and any admirer of Brahms will welcome their appearance in this convenient, affordable edition. Large, readable noteheads and ample margins for notations make this excellent volume an important addition to the library of every serious student of chamber music.