Recording: Karl Leister, clarinet; Georg Donderer, cello; Christoph Eschenbach, piano [DG 437 131-2]
Published 1892.

Brahms had indeed announced his retirement after the publication of the G-major string quintet.  He released a set of six vocal quartets after that, four of which were a sort of “appendix” to the Op. 103 “Zigeunerlieder,” as well as a set of thirteen canons for women’s voices, most of which had been written much earlier, but the last one was new.  He did not intend to compose or publish any new substantial multi-movement instrumental works.  That changed when he became acquainted with the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, who played in the Meiningen Court Orchestra, which had played the premiere of the Fourth Symphony.  Mühlfeld’s mastery of the instrument inspired Brahms to write four chamber works featuring the clarinet.  Pianists also have Mühlfeld to thank, as Brahms composed the miraculous twenty short, late piano pieces published as Opp. 116-119 after getting back into the habit with the first two clarinet works.  These were written together in 1891, both following models by classical masters.  The Clarinet Quintet was given the later opus number and has proved the more popular of the two.  Its main precedent was Mozart’s late work for the ensemble (K. 581).  For the trio, a denser, more concise, and more tightly argued work than the quintet, the prior example was an early work by Beethoven, the so-called “Gassenhauer” Trio for clarinet, cello, and piano, Op. 11 (and perhaps Mozart’s “Kegelstatt” Trio, K. 498, which uses viola instead of cello).  As with the quintet, the trio is written for the clarinet in A, which can reach a half-step lower than the more common clarinet in B-flat (for which he wrote the two later sonatas of Op. 120).  The trio is an uncompromising work, rich with recurring motives and compositional virtuosity, straightforward in presentation but often nebulous in form.  While the clarinet is sometimes given a leading role, it is the cello that more frequently emerges as the dominant instrument.  The cello initially presents the main themes of the first and last movements, the clarinet those of the middle two.  The piano writing is of course superb, coming at the end of a long line of quartets, trios, and a quintet featuring the instrument.  But it is the interaction between the clarinet and cello that gives the work its distinctive character.  Brahms’s friend Eusebius Mandyczewski, who played a leading role in editing the first complete edition of the composer’s works, observed that in the trio, it is as if the two instruments “were in love with each other.”  Indeed, they are well-matched, which is why Brahms’s approved substitution of the viola for the clarinet, creating an odd ensemble, is highly unsatisfactory and almost never performed.  The first movement is written without an exposition repeat and is notable for its second theme group that uses two keys.  Its development section is short, and its recapitulation unusually structured in thematic order.  The atmospheric coda, with rippling contrary motion arpeggios between the clarinet and cello and a final piano sonority using both extreme ends of the keyboard, is justly praised.  The closing movements of Brahms’s later chamber works are often short and fast like this trio’s finale.  Its notable features include its “metric modulation” between 6/8 and 2/4, the incredible chains of thirds in its extremely brief development section, and again an unconventional recapitulation split on either side of the development.  The middle movements provide contrast to the sardonic and even angry character of the outer ones.  The second movement is one of Brahms’s great chamber music slow movements, 54 broad measures spread over eight minutes of intense beauty.  The scherzo/minuet-type movement is more of a waltz.  It drew criticism from some early commentators for its seemingly “ordinary” melody and its square phrases, but it really shows great subtlety and humor, a sort of last nod to the world of the Liebeslieder Waltzes, transferred to a complex instrumental form.  The main waltz is a long five-section structure.  The contrasting “trio” section comes more than halfway through the movement, as the reprise of the main waltz is greatly abbreviated.  The “Clarinet Trio” is a delight for all three instruments and a quintessential example of the composer’s very late style.

ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck)

ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition [monochrome] including clarinet, viola [alternate for clarinet], and cello parts)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke)

1st Movement: Allegro (Sonata-Allegro form). A MINOR, Cut time [2/2].

0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The cello alone presents the austere first statement of the main thematic melody, a rising line based on the A-minor chord, turning back down in shorter rhythms.  At the close of this melodic fragment, the other two instruments enter.  The clarinet sneaks in on an upbeat, holding over a bar line before presenting its own version of the melodic fragment with different pitch orientation, adding a new arching line in quarter-note triplets.  The piano left hand enters here in the low bass, the right hand entering later in the tenor range with some imitation of the cello’s slow notes.  The clarinet extends the melody after the triplet arch, working down and diminishing in volume, holding its last note as the others drop out.
0:28 [m. 14]--As the clarinet holds its low E, the piano presents a new idea.  With both hands in the low range, it mutters out a downward-arching triplet figure on the upbeat.  Three statements of this emerge into a more emphatic figure.  The clarinet then plays a brief low turning flourish and drops out, passing the long-held E to the cello.  The piano has another set of the muttering triplet figures and the emphatic figure, inverting the motion of the first set, ending on the “dominant,” and the cello plays the turning flourish
0:37 [m. 18]--The clarinet plays the opening arpeggio of the melodic fragment against a held cello note and soft piano chords.  The cello then murmurs downward, and the clarinet plays a slightly different version of the arpeggio an octave lower, again over soft piano chords.  The cello murmurs its way back up, leading into the following unexpected thematic outburst from the piano.
0:46 [m. 22]--Suddenly at a loud volume, the piano plays the thematic fragment in a new version with triplet rhythm and full harmony, supported by long notes in the cello.  As it reaches the downward turn of the melody, the clarinet enters with a rising arpeggio in faster triplet rhythm, followed by the cello doing the same.  The clarinet plays the closing gesture of the familiar melodic fragment as the piano has worked down to more emphatic chords.  The cello, then the clarinet, play another rising arpeggio in fast triplets.
0:57 [m. 28]--The clarinet and cello, at first in unison, play the distinctive long-short downward motion from the now-familiar melody, the rising arpeggios in fast triplets passing to the piano.  It has one arpeggio with both hands, after which the left hand joins the familiar long-short descent under a second arpeggio from the right hand.  All three instruments finally join on the rhythm in full harmony before the piano plays the melody’s closing gesture.  As the piano chords reach an arrival point on an emphatic cadence in the “dominant” key of E major., the clarinet has a rapid upward scale figure.  This is briefly passed to the cello before the clarinet joins it in unison, moving back to toward an arrival at home on A.
1:07 [m. 34]--Transition.  At full volume and in its high register, the cello plays the melodic outline (the “top notes”) of the piano’s muttering triplets from 0:28 [m. 14], the statement and its inversion.  Beneath this, the piano plays the triplets themselves without their melodic “top notes.”  Held chords in the left hand and the melodic phrasing give strong emphasis to the weak beats and upbeats.  After holding its top arrival note from the preceding scale for two measures, the clarinet harmonizes the cello melody below.  The piano bass moves to oscillations matching the right-hand triplet notes, then a descent to a low E.
1:14 [m. 38]--The motion is suddenly arrested, and all three instruments play an austere chorale-like phrase derived from the triplet melody and, like that figure, emphasizing the weak beats and upbeat, now even more strongly.  The piano alternates with the clarinet/cello pair, who predictably invert the motion.  The instruments sustain and repeat notes while the other or others are moving.  After two such alternations, with the piano moving up an octave and the other pair down, the piano takes over in the “inverted” version as the others drop out.  The harmony has been moving steadily but subtly toward C major (the “relative” key), where Theme 2 will begin as the piano reaches its cadence after rapidly diminishing in volume.
1:27 [m. 44]--Theme 2 (C major-E minor).  It is presented initially by the cello, beginning on an upbeat and plunging in thirds, then steps.  After the broad cello statement, the piano artfully imitates the descent of thirds in faster notes (with the left hand in contrary motion), dolce, as the cello continues to spin out a melody.  When the cello soars up to a mildly syncopated motion in long notes, the piano again imitates the descent (the left hand again in contrary motion) a third higher.  The cello concludes its phrase with sighing figures that work their way up and down, adding a minor tinge (A-flat) at the end.  The piano now alters its imitating gesture, outlining the “dominant” chord in long syncopated notes.
1:43 [m. 52]--The clarinet now has a statement of the melody, doubled initially by both hands of the piano.  The cello imitates the clarinet in contrary motion, moving to its low register.  The piano moves to the “sighing” gestures before the clarinet, the hands richly doubled.  The clarinet’s sighing gestures spin out differently, striving upward, eventually harmonized by the cello along with the piano.  The volume builds as the key shifts and darkens toward E minor (a rare full modulation within the secondary theme).
1:55 [m. 58]--The clarinet closes off its phrase, extending it by a measure, with a new and striking gesture in E minor, reaching up, then working down, including a quarter-note triplet descent, making a full arrival.  The piano and cello support this gesture with long notes and chords, the piano bass adding the familiar “sighing” gesture in octaves at the end.  The cello then immediately repeats and intensifies this new gesture, rising to its high register and adding another quarter-note triplet, supported by piano chords.  The cello arrival merges with the following transitional phrase.
2:04 [m. 63]--Transition to Closing Theme.  The clarinet leads in with an upbeat as the cello is completing its cadence.  Both melodic instruments hold a long note (G), as the piano breaks into new forte figuration.  The right hand descends chromatically in solid quarter-note thirds while the left plays a series of descending arpeggios in fast triplets (led into by a broad rising triplet).  The clarinet and cello reiterate their upbeat motion and arrive on another long-held note (B) as the piano has another sequence of its pattern a sixth lower.  All of this leads to another E-minor arrival point as the new Closing Theme begins.
2:12 [m. 67]--Closing Theme (E minor).  After a low bass note, the piano presents the new melody beginning with a rising arpeggio.  The left hand continues with faster arpeggios beginning off the beat.  The melody is extremely passionate, and it develops into a series of wide-ranging descending thirds in long-short rhythm.  The clarinet and cello support it with slower and quieter syncopated harmonies.  The piano concludes the first presentation of the melody in its right hand with an small oscillation in thirds.
2:20 [m. 71]--As the piano melody reaches its cadence, the clarinet begins a new statement.  The piano’s left hand continues to play the off-beat arpeggios, and its right has the quieter harmonic support.  The cello pulses on a low “pedal” E on weak beats.  The cello drops out as the clarinet reaches the oscillation in thirds.  The piano bass patterns change to a reiterated rising octave on E in long-short rhythm.  The clarinet then extends this closing gesture as it diminishes in volume, at first repeating the full measure with the piano, then compressing it into a shorter repeated pattern.  This “compressed” version now works its way up to a high point as the piano holds a long chord, and the clarinet then plunges in a partly chromatic scale.
2:34 [m. 79]--After the descent, the clarinet reiterates and extends the final two-note motion to E against slow chords from the piano, lengthening the first note (F-sharp) and beginning it on the upbeat, holding it across the bar line.  After pausing, the clarinet moves down an octave and extends the length of the first note in that last descending step once again, doubling its original length and again holding it over a bar line.  This subdued but firm cadence in E minor brings the exposition to a close.
2:44 [m. 83]--First section.  The cello, now in its low register, presents the complete main thematic melody (Theme 1) in E minor.  The piano reiterates low bass octaves on E as a “pedal point” while its right hand plays a harmonized and syncopated version of the main rising gesture, continuously ascending from the bass up more than two octaves.  After the cello plays the melody’s downward turn, the right-hand chords echo the descent, still in syncopation, while the left now has the main rising gesture.  The clarinet makes an entry at the end, echoing and shortening the cello’s last descent of a third in its high register.
2:51 [m. 87]--The clarinet extends its “echo,” creating a downward arch.  The chords in the piano artfully shift the key up to F minor against this.  The cello plays its low descending third again, a half-step higher, and then the clarinet has another downward arch, the piano chords shifting up yet again to F-sharp minor, which is the temporary harmonic goal.  The cello has another low descending third moved up yet another half-step, and the clarinet reaches high with the gesture as the piano chords build and rise toward a cadence in F-sharp minor, marked with a change in the key signature to three sharps.
2:59 [m. 91]--This passage combines elements from 0:46 [m. 22] and 0:57 [m. 28].  The piano plays the opening idea in an aggressive ascending version like that at 0:46 [m. 22], moving late to triplet rhythm and incorporating syncopation, the hands in contrary motion.  The clarinet and cello immediately enter in octaves, playing a rising arpeggio in fast triplets.  The descending turn of the melody, with the long-short rhythm, is passed between the piano in full harmony and the clarinet/cello pair in octaves.  The piano’s left hand adds fast rising triplet arpeggios.  Two exchanges lead toward an emphatic “dominant” arrival on C-sharp, decorated by a rapid rising unison clarinet/cello scale.  The piano quickly turns the scale back down.
3:08 [m. 97]--Second section.  Suddenly subdued, the clarinet and cello in unison intone the “chorale” idea from 1:14 [m. 38].  They play the original shape, and the piano responds in harmony, not with the “inverted” version but with the melodic continuation from the original source material at 1:07 [m. 34].  The clarinet and cello then play the “inverted” version themselves, to which the piano responds with the continuation, both hands in doubled thirds.  The whole sequence is then moved down a fifth for a restatement, the low register sounding ominous.  The key has remained in F-sharp, but there is now some hint of A major.  The slowed-down final piano response leads to a “dominant” arrival on C-sharp.
3:25 [m. 105]--Third section.  Very quietly, the cello plays a low upward scale figure reminiscent of the one right before the transition at 1:07 [m. 34].  The piano begins a large-scale “circle of fifths” progression, moving toward D major in chords that emphasize weak beats and lean into downbeats, as an upward scale is played by the clarinet, then the cello.  The “circle of fifths” progression continues toward G major as the scale figure moves higher and is turned around to a descent, again from clarinet, then cello.
3:35 [m. 110]--Now the clarinet and cello play the scale figures in faster alternation, the clarinet ascending, the cello descending.  This is reversed after two alternations.  The clarinet descends and the cello ascends for another two alternations.  The piano chords, which still emphasize weak beats but no longer lean into the downbeats (instead holding over bar lines), move from G major back toward D major and finally to E minor, with much harmonic motion from “dominant”-type chords.  Throughout this passage and the last, the scale figures do not begin on the downbeat and correspond to the long piano chords.
3:45 [m. 115]--The “chorale” idea returns in D major, with the cello and clarinet now in sixths above full piano harmony, building in volume.  The unison continuation resembles a phrase-ending gesture from Theme 2.  An expected cadence in D is diverted with a “deceptive” motion, and as the music builds to forte, the harmony finally shifts back toward the home key of A minor, marked by a descending clarinet scale.
3:53 [m. 119]--Re-transition.  The arrival of A minor signals that the return is imminent.  The scales, which have dominated the end of the development, are now passed between ascending piano octaves and descending unison clarinet and cello.  After two alternations, the piano breaks into forceful chords, and shorter descending fragments are passed between cello and clarinet.  The final clarinet fragment rises.  After this, the piano sweeps down and back up in an extended scale passage over low syncopated bass chords, against leaping octaves from the cello that are supported by syncopated clarinet notes.  Both instruments punctuate the last piano ascent, which emerges into familiar material from the exposition.
4:05 [m. 126]--Transition material.  This arrival point could be considered part of the re-transition, but the home key, along with the full volume and the familiarity of the music from the exposition, point to a more proper interpretation as the moment of reprise, albeit not with the opening music.  What we have is a return of the transition material from 1:07 [m. 34] combined with its source from 0:28 [m. 14].  The cello plays in double-stop sixths, supported by clarinet notes and arpeggios along with broken-octave piano triplets.  The phrase is extended by the long-absent “emphatic” figure from 0:28 [m. 14].  The emphatic figure is inserted after the statement and its inversion.  The cello even adds the “turning flourish,” now in detached notes.
4:17 [m. 132]--Suddenly quiet, the material from 0:37 [m. 18] returns.  The piano plays the arpeggio from Theme 1 in octaves against a low bass harmonized at the third by clarinet and cello.  The “murmuring” figure is now played by the piano bass, still harmonized in thirds by the clarinet and cello.  Instead of two alternations, there are now three, as the “murmuring” continues down instead of turning back up.  The piano’s arpeggios are on A minor, F major, and D major.  The third “murmuring” figure turns back upward, arriving on an inverted D-minor chord.
4:29 [m. 138]--Theme 1.  The expressive statement of the main thematic melody is greatly transformed and transfigured, but recognizable and complete.  After the piano makes a “plagal” arrival on A minor, supported by low cello bass notes, the clarinet begins the melody, shifting it off the beat and doubling it in length from the original cello statement.  The downbeat pauses between the fragments give the statement a very “halting” character.  The chorale-like piano support continues.  The arrival point is delayed with a decorated reiteration of the ending gesture.  This stretches the statement to nine measures, in contrast to the three of the original cello statement at the beginning.  The arrival overlaps with the tiny new transition.
4:46 [m. 146]--Transition.  The original transition material has already been heard.  After the single transformed statement of the Theme 1 melody, a much shorter new transition is used to shift the key to F major.  Because Theme 2 modulates, it must begin in F major to end in A minor (analogous to the C major/E minor presentation in the exposition).  The new transition overlaps with the last bar of the clarinet’s Theme 1 statement.  Oscillating quartet-note triplet chords in the piano over “straight” broken bass octaves underpin fragmentary descending figures in the cello.  Four measures of “diminished” and “dominant” harmony establish F major.
4:54 [m. 150]--Theme 2 (F major-A minor).  The clarinet has the first statement instead of the cello.  Other than the new key, it adheres closely to the model from 1:27 [m. 44], including the abbreviated dolce piano imitations with the left hand in contrary motion.  With the conclusion of the phrase, instead of a bare outline of the “dominant” chord, the piano presents it in reiterated and inverted block chords, maintaining the syncopation from the original.  The piano chords bridge to the next phrase where they had paused in the exposition.  The minor-key tinge is still present in the melody with the note D-flat.
5:08 [m. 158]--The second statement is taken by the cello, reversing the pattern from the exposition at 1:43 [m. 52].  The melody itself is unchanged, and the imitation in contrary motion originally played by the cello is now taken by the piano bass in octaves.  The right hand does not have the “sighing” gestures as before but continues to play high syncopated chords.  Having made the first statement, the clarinet is completely absent for this one.  The key moves to A minor as expected, establishing the appropriate “home key” area for the secondary theme in the recapitulation.
5:20 [m. 164]--The dramatic minor-key upward-reaching gesture from 1:55 [m. 58] is presented by the cello in its high register, continuing the reversal of the exposition patterns.  Now the piano accompanies it with quarter-note triplet arpeggios and harmonies.  The clarinet sneaks into the texture to transition into its statement of the gesture.  The first cello statement is not closed off by that instrument after its descending triplet, and the cadence is transferred to the internal piano harmonies.  The cello instead joins the “sighing” figures in the piano bass.  The second statement is taken by the clarinet, and the cello supports it with arpeggios and broken octaves in the quarter-note triplets.  The statement merges into the transition phrase.
5:30 [m. 169]--Transition to Closing Theme, analogous to 2:04 [m. 63].  The pattern from the exposition is closely followed here, except for a minor register shift in the clarinet and thicker piano chords in the first statement.
5:37 [m. 173]--Closing theme (A minor), analogous to 2:12 [m. 67].  This first statement is now presented by the cello instead of the right hand of the piano.  The piano splits its previous left-hand arpeggios between the hands.  The cello melody follows the pattern closely.  The statement is thinner, as the previous harmonic support from the clarinet and cello is absent.
5:44 [m. 177]--As at 2:20 [m. 71], the clarinet has the second statement.  The cello is absent from the outset and the piano accompaniment is more active, alternating ascending left-hand arpeggios with descending ones in the right hand.  At the repeated measure, the right-hand figures change from descending to arching, and the piano now fully supports and directly harmonizes the faster oscillation in the next measure.  At the upward reach, there is a change in the contour of the clarinet’s figures.  They do not go quite as high, and the plunging descent begins a half-measure earlier, leading the clarinet to its lower range.  The cello enters here with figures in contrary motion.  The closing cadence measures from 2:34 [m. 79] are omitted.
5:58 [m. 185]--The coda is in two sections, the first of which has transitional character.  With a sudden dolce transformation to the major key, a new version of the closing theme is presented by the piano right hand over a reiterated “pedal” A in its bass.  The contour of the long-short figures is altered, but not enough to obscure the theme’s identity.  These lead into a descending arpeggio.  The cello has its own undulating and arching arpeggios in support, and the clarinet has two rising sixths and a fifth, beginning off the beat, that resemble the clarinet/cello accompaniment to the closing theme in the exposition at 2:12 [m. 67].
6:06 [m. 189]--The clarinet now takes the dolce major-key version of the closing theme against wide arching piano arpeggios and a syncopated cello descent.  The piano bass begins to move away from A, and the clarinet’s arpeggio closing the statement is shifted down a step.  The harmony makes a shift to the “subdominant” D major as the clarinet’s arpeggio is reiterated and extended in a measure of buildup.
6:15 [m. 194]--There is now an extended development of the transition to the closing theme heard at 2:04 [m. 63] and 5:30 [m. 169].  It begins in D major, with the clarinet and cello on the descending lines in the expected harmony instead of the piano.  The piano has the expected arpeggios in its left hand against syncopated octaves in its right.  The second statement uses a colorful “diminished seventh” harmony to shift back to A major, and internal piano notes join the descent.  The material is then extended with downward leaps and descents in the clarinet and cello over extremely colorful piano harmonies, including “diminished seventh” chords.  The phrase is extended to seven measures. and leads back to D major.
6:27 [m. 201]--The “chorale” idea now returns, in the form heard in the development section at 3:45 [m. 115], but extended from that presentation.  Moving seamlessly back to A major from the preceding “subdominant” harmony on D, the chorale is presented by the piano right hand in thirds, forte but espressivo.  Before the piano breaks into its syncopated continuation, the clarinet and cello imitate it up a fourth, also harmonized in thirds.  The dovetailing continues as the piano, with both hands in octaves but still harmonized in extended thirds, has a third statement, up another fourth.
6:33 [m. 204]--The clarinet and cello enter and begin where they were before, but now change the figure to a more descending line, still harmonized in thirds before the cello manipulates its direction to create a motion in sixths.  The new figure is given a second time in a downward sequence, harmonized in sixths.  Against all of this, the piano reiterates its last octaves (separated between the hands by an extended third) in syncopation with notes held over strong beats.  After the clarinet/cello statements of the descending figure, the piano continues the downward sequence for two more statements in third/sixth harmonies, moving toward D but over a “pedal” A, the clarinet and cello reiterating their last harmony held over strong beats.
6:41 [m. 208]--The figures are now fragmented.  The cello is isolated in a three-note ascent beginning on the upbeat, followed by the clarinet making the same motion at the same level.  The piano harmonies have settled on D with hints of its “relative” B minor before suddenly changing from D major to D minor, still in syncopation and held over strong beats.  A slowing and quieting are indicated, and the cello figure is reduced to two notes beginning a step lower, again followed by the clarinet.  The syncopated piano harmonies have now settled on D minor and move downward over the continuing ritardando.
6:50 [m. 212]--The second section of the coda begins with a divisional double bar and the tempo marking “Poco meno Allegro,” and can be considered the coda “proper.”  The D-minor harmony makes a “plagal” motion back home to A minor, major having been temporarily banished.  There, the “chorale” figure is played in the version from 3:08 [m. 97] with reversed instrumentation.  The piano presents the “chorale” idea, first in harmonized octaves, then in chords, with the statement and inversion pattern.  The statement and its inversion in the piano are each followed by the “continuation” from clarinet and cello in octaves.  In an extension, the piano descends to D minor as the clarinet and cello reach down and ascend in half notes.
7:05 [m. 217]--On the upbeat, the left hand of the piano reaches down to its very low register and begins a rapid D-minor scale, pianissimo sempre in the “melodic” version with the raised sixth and seventh.  The right hand and the clarinet/cello pair complete an A-major chord on the downbeat as the left hand continues its scale.  On the next upbeat, the cello begins the scale, also in its lowest register, the piano playing a motion in chords from a “diminished” harmony on B to A major.  In a third sequence, the scale passes to the clarinet, also starting in its lowest range, against the same progression in the piano, both hands having moved outward an octave.  The clarinet turns its scale around against another “inward” A-major harmony.
7:12 [m. 220]--The sense of key created by these scale passages is ambiguous.  D minor cannot be confirmed due to the absence of B-flat, nor A minor due to the absence of C-natural, nor A major due to the absence of F-sharp.  The best interpretation is that the “melodic” D-minor scale and the “diminished” chords on B function as “subdominant” or “plagal” motions to A major, though the constant F-natural still hints at A minor.  Here the clarinet and cello come together, but change directions at different, carefully planned times, sometimes moving parallel to each other and sometimes contrary, always separated by a third, sixth, or octave.  The piano moves out and in on the A-major chord.  The clarinet and cello break their scales and arpeggiate the B “diminished” chord in parallel and contrary motion, but a “rogue” G in the piano bass creates a “dominant” sound outside the usual context, further undermining A major.
7:17 [m. 222]--The clarinet and cello are in contrary motion from this point and shift to the A-major chord, keeping it in force to the end.  The piano also continues to reiterate it.  The forceful imposition of this harmony finally resolves its status as the endpoint (though the clarinet still has a “rogue” F-natural).  At the end, the rippling clarinet and cello arpeggios extend their “outward” contrary motion to reach an extreme separation of register, the cello very low and the clarinet very high.  The piano does the same on its final held chord, its right hand reaching toward the top of the keyboard and the left hand to the very bottom, in fact to the piano’s lowest note (an A).  The close of the movement is highly atmospheric and strange.
7:31--END OF MOVEMENT [224 mm.]

2nd Movement:
Adagio (Short sonata form). D MAJOR, 4/4 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The clarinet has the leading voice, dolce, beginning with a held high note (A).  Before the clarinet descends from that note, the piano anticipates that descent in the right hand, the left hand playing in contrary motion, while the cello has a syncopated low D.  After the clarinet’s descent, the pattern is repeated at a lower level, from a D.  In the next measure, the clarinet reverses its motion, which the piano no longer anticipates, instead continuing its contrary motion patterns under the held clarinet note.  The cello also moves down with its bass note.  The clarinet arches, leading into the thematic continuation.
0:19 [m. 3]--The clarinet spins out the winding continuation of the melody, with upward reaches and downward turns, while the cello holds another low D and the piano plays high bell-like chords, alternating in direction over low bass octaves.  The clarinet then descends over preparatory “dominant” harmony, and the cello makes a more prominent higher entry in counterpoint, moving up.  The piano chords, also generally rising with some syncopation, introduce colorful harmonies, including a “diminished seventh,” and as the clarinet closes its line on the “dominant” note, the cello rises to begin its statement of the theme.
0:38 [m. 5]--The cello now has its turn at the theme.  It begins like the first clarinet statement, with the clarinet itself joining the right hand (which is now in a lower register) on the “anticipatory” figures.  The right hand only plays the first of these descents before leaving them to the clarinet.  The low syncopated D is in the piano bass along with the contrary upward arpeggios, both of which are supported by the right hand.  There is deviation from the patterns, both in the clarinet descents and the piano harmonies, when the cello reverses its motion, also with slight deviation, preparing a more complete motion to the “dominant.”
0:55 [m. 7]--The cello has the winding continuation, but its upward reaches are wider than the previous reaches in the clarinet.  That instrument now holds a high A.  The piano harmonies, lower and less bell-like, complete the full motion to the “dominant” key, A major.  Settling down, the cello melody descends, harmonized by the clarinet.  The piano figures thin out, with three-chord patterns beginning off the beat over what is now the “dominant” note E in the low bass.  The clarinet and cello close off the theme in A.
1:13 [m. 9]--Transition.  With the arrival on A major, the clarinet and cello have pulsations, alternating with low piano harmonies off the beat.  The clarinet and cello have a gentle descent, the former beginning with a held note and the latter in long-short rhythm.  The piano harmony underneath hints at the coming harmonic motion.  A second statement reverses the roles, with the piano on the beats and the clarinet/cello pair off the beat.  This second statement is also a step higher, but the harmonies point toward F-sharp minor, “relative” to A major.  The piano takes both elements of the “gentle descent.”
1:31 [m. 11]--The clarinet soars up, espressivo, with the off-beat pulsations now in both the cello and piano.  The clarinet melody swells over downward-arching patterns.   Under the clarinet line, the piano harmonies, supported by cello bass notes on C-sharp, suggest a complete motion to and arrival on F-sharp minor.  The clarinet breaks, and now the pulsations return, with piano chords followed by descending off-beat clarinet notes.  These point directly toward a cadence in F-sharp minor, but this is diverted in the next measure.
1:47 [m. 13]--The cello now has its turn at the espressivo line, and begins it just as the clarinet had done, with the same off-beat pulsations in the piano (the clarinet is absent).  At the point of the downward-arching patterns, however, both the melody and the harmonies change.  The cello patterns are wider, and they expand to include new triplet-rhythm figures.  The harmonies in the piano meanwhile move from F-sharp minor back toward A major, where Theme 2 will be heard.  The piano chords followed by descending off-beat cello notes fit the pattern, but now point to a full arrival on A major, which will be satisfied.
2:04 [m. 15]--Theme 2 (A major).  The piano has the initial presentation in octaves, a soothing melody that rises and falls, the descent using held notes and mild chromatic inflection (F-natural).  The clarinet has fast arching arpeggios that murmur in its very low register.  The cello also has arching lines in a fast long-short rhythm.  At the end of the first measure, there is a role reversal achieved via quick rising arpeggios in the cello, then the piano bass.  The cello now takes the melody, and the clarinet drops out.  The piano has both the arching arpeggios, with some directional reversal, and the long-short rhythm, now in broken bass octaves.  These move up by half-step, the harmony moving chromatically toward the “dominant” E major.
2:21 [m. 17]--The piano has a highly decorated version of the theme beginning on E major and quickly shifting to minor.  The bass and a middle voice of the right hand are in thirds, the right-hand notes alternating with a bell-like “pedal” E above in fast 32nd notes.  The cello imitates the theme a beat later, omitting the first note and beginning off the beat.  The whole pattern is then repeated a step higher on F-sharp.  In the next measure, the cello is suddenly exposed, forte.  The piano now begins off the beat, harmonizing the fragment back in A, but A minor.  The cello slows down, reaches up, then dips way down two octaves against a pair of short, rising colorfully harmonized piano figures leading back to E.
2:39 [m. 19]--The piano starts the decorated pattern again on E, now fully major and reinforced by a bass “pedal point,” but now the right hand is in broken octaves, and it is harmonized from the left hand in sixths instead of thirds, an inversion from the previous pattern.  The cello enters with its expected off-beat imitation.  Suddenly, the long-absent clarinet enters, first harmonizing with and then joining the cello in octaves.  They play the pattern a step lower, reversed from the previous presentation, with A-minor inflection, still over the “pedal” E and the harmonized broken piano octaves, which now accompany.
2:47 [m. 20]--The A-major harmony finally returns, and the clarinet/cello pair seems to give the theme in its original form, held over from the last measure, but then the clarinet drops a sixth while the cello separates from it and starts to shadow it.  The piano figures change from harmonized broken octaves to mid-range undulations, and the harmony briefly moves to the striking “Neapolitan” (B-flat) before the clarinet, shadowed by the cello, settles to a quiet cadence in A major.  The piano punctuates it off the beat.  A reiteration with the bass moving down to G-natural signifies a motion back to the home key of D major.  The clarinet soars up two octaves in syncopation above the others, leading into the development section.
3:07 [m. 22]-- Theme 1 returns, but in a skeletal form presented by the clarinet, removing all the turning figures and making its opening a simple arpeggio in broad long-short rhythm.  The home key of D major is undermined immediately by the harmonies in the cello and piano.  The cello plays arching plucked arpeggios starting off the beat, beginning on F-sharp minor before moving to D major, supported by piano chords.  G-major and E-minor harmonies follow, all chords belonging to D.  When the skeletal theme turns upward, it retains the leap to a downward step to make it recognizable.  In this measure, the “dominant” of D major is heard, but then there is a strong pivot toward G major, which arrives with the next downbeat.
3:20 [m. 24]--The transformed thematic material continues in G major, now with the “winding continuation” from the third measure presented as a duet between the clarinet and cello over the familiar bell-like piano chords.  The cello’s line resembles the original winding phrase while the clarinet’s counterpoint is more syncopated.  After a measure, the roles of the two instruments are reversed and the key shifts down a step and changes mode, to A minor.  After this measure of role reversal, the clarinet leads to another key change up a step, this time to B minor, “relative” to the home key of D major.
3:35 [m. 26]--Here begins a large “circle of fifths” sequence with a consistent piano pattern.  This consists of low bass notes leaping up to harmonies, and right-hand figures beginning off the beat and resolving to chords.  The clarinet and cello lines in this sequence are played in alternation but are continually varied.  Starting in B minor, the cello begins the alternation with a syncopated note moving down a half-step.  The clarinet then has this same figure a step higher and shifts the key up a fourth to E minor.  There, in the next measure, the cello has a straight descending line beginning off the beat and the clarinet repeats it a fourth higher, leading the key up yet another level, to A minor.  The already hushed volume becomes even quieter.
3:54 [m. 28]--In A minor, the cello now begins on the upbeat leading into an arpeggio starting with a long-short rhythm.  The clarinet presents it a sixth higher.  The harmony continues through the circle of fifths, passing through D, but only as a “dominant” in G.  G is the goal of the whole passage, initially G minor, and another, higher cello figure with the long-short rhythm marks its arrival.  The clarinet responds, now a third lower, the metric orientation placing it on an upbeat.  The exchange of this figure, already twice as long as the preceding two and with a more active chromatic bass, extends the phrase by a measure and adds an extra “fifth” statement from the cello, which eliminates the arpeggio and repeats the “lead-in” figure.
4:22 [m. 31]--Re-transition.  The full arrival on G is delayed by “pre-dominant” harmony, but the change from minor to major becomes clear here.  Over the syncopated “pre-dominant” harmonies in the piano, the clarinet, beginning with an upbeat note, has a descending figure, which is then passed to the cello a fifth lower.  The clarinet then expands its figure with triplet rhythm, and the cello response, now moving to the low register, down a third (tenth) from the clarinet, is a triplet followed by a faster four-note arpeggio in 32nd notes.  In the next measure, the whole sequence of descending figures is moved up a fourth, and the harmony turns to the “dominant” in G major, preparing for the arrival of Theme 1 in that key.
4:40 [m. 33]--Theme 1 (G major).  Unusually, Brahms begins the recapitulation in the “subdominant” key, eliminating the need for the typical changes.  Here, Theme 1 already moved to the “dominant” in the exposition, so now he can move from G major to D major for Theme 2 without major changes.  He also completely cuts the transition passage from 1:13 [m. 9] up to Theme 2.  These first two measures are a full transposition from D to G of the cello statement from 0:38 [m. 5] in all three instruments, with the cello transposed down and the clarinet up.  The piano right hand does not double the clarinet on the first “anticipatory” gesture as it did before, and there are other minor adjustments to the piano figuration.
4:58 [m. 35]--Analogous to 0:55 [m. 7].  The cello has the same winding line as before, but now the clarinet begins with a low note and moves up to octaves in syncopation, the way it had done right before the development section at 3:04 [m. 22].  There are subtle changes to the second measure, most notably an exchange of the original clarinet and cello voices in the harmonized descent, and then the passing of both voices to the piano right hand.  The piano bass has a leaping dotted rhythm.  But there is no change in the harmonic motion.  The original shift from D to A is replaced by a shift from G to D for the second theme.  Brahms also indicates a swelling to forte without a significant decrease in volume or intensity.
5:16 [m. 37]--Theme 2 (D major).  Analogous to 2:04 [m. 15], the transition passage being cut.  The theme is marked espressivo but has more urgency and intensity.  The first measure is played by the clarinet and cello in octaves (previously heard in piano octaves), adding a new upward skip before the chromatic descents.  Instead of the murmuring arpeggios, the piano has urgent, rapid syncopated chords in the right hand against a repeated “pedal point” D in the left hand that expands to a broken octave.  In the second measure, the clarinet takes the melody (previously played by the cello), harmonized by the cello.  The piano’s urgent syncopated chords continue, and its chromatically rising bass leads toward the “dominant.”
5:33 [m. 39]--Analogous to 2:21 [m. 17].  This presentation closely resembles the exposition, with the piano bass beginning the thematic fragment on the “dominant” A.  This time, however, it is harmonized not by its own right hand, but by the cello, the right hand continuing the fast off-beat syncopation in octaves in lieu of the previous “bell-like” alternations.  The clarinet has the former cello imitation beginning off the beat, but it inverts it, arching downward.  The pattern is repeated a step higher on B, as expected, the clarinet changing to the original direction.  Now it is the clarinet, not the cello, that is exposed on the forte line with the large drop.  The cello joins the piano on its rising figures that move to D minor and back to A.
5:50 [m. 41]--Analogous to 2:39 [m. 19].  This measure matches the exposition nearly exactly, with the broken piano octaves harmonized below by the left hand in sixths, along with the cello and clarinet fragments, all over the “pedal point” on A.
5:58 [m. 42]--This begins like 2:47 [m. 20], but it is expanded.  The turn back to D major at the beginning matches the exposition, but the unison clarinet and cello move up a third instead of down a sixth, and they stay together, building rapidly and receding.  The piano’s harmonized broken octaves move to undulations a beat later, and the clarinet and cello, rather than moving toward a colorful cadence, propel the music further, continuing the pattern of motion to notes held over beats.  The piano undulations, supported by dotted rhythms in the bass, change harmony rapidly, eventually suggesting the distant C major.  In the third measure, the clarinet/cello patterns slow down as the harmony moves to G minor, then to the “dominant” A.
6:26 [m. 45]--The coda begins with the arrival of the “dominant” harmony, and its first part is transitional.  The clarinet emerges from a held note into an espressivo downward-arching line in triplet rhythm, which the cello imitates a step higher.  The piano has patterns much like those from the development at 3:35 [m. 26], but its bass remains anchored to A and the harmonies to the “dominant” and home-key “tonic.”  That development passage is also suggested by the clarinet/cello alternation.  A second clarinet/cello sequence over the same harmonies with varied register is slightly more elaborate, reaching a third higher in the clarinet and a fourth higher in the cello before finding its way to the original arching pattern.
6:44 [m. 47]--The clarinet and cello now have a sequence of two-beat exchanges on a syncopated figure starting with an upbeat leading into an upward half-step and a downward octave.  The piano bass remains solidly on A, the harmonies above shifting to areas such as E minor and F-sharp minor, still with the same off-beat patterns in the right hand.  The last cello figure changes the octave to a third and leads into a measure of more continuously flowing, arching one-beat exchanges, still prolonging the “dominant” pedal bass on A in the piano, the harmonies reaching anxiously toward a bass arrival and cadence on D.
7:05 [m. 49]--The D-major cadence finally arrives, and a transformed version of Theme 1 follows, dolce.  After the initial downbeat, the piano bass has fast arpeggios in 32nd notes beginning off the beat.  The right hand, meanwhile, has the familiar “anticipation” figures of the main theme, played in octaves, but they now come before the first note of the theme itself, which is held back half a beat by the clarinet, shortening the initial held note.  The cello has plucked, almost strummed chords in support.  The “off-beat” presentation of the main theme continues in the clarinet, with “chordal” piano anticipations, then dips down an octave on the third gesture.  The cello takes the fourth gesture, low and on the beat, leading to another arrival on D.
7:27 [m. 51]--The cello’s warm D-major cadence here replaces the usual winding continuation of the theme.  The arrival is reiterated as the piano returns to the familiar patterns from earlier in the coda, with a “pedal” bass, now at home on D, and off-beat figures in the right hand leading to harmonies on D and G.  The clarinet joins the cello in unison in the next measure, playing a rising chromatic line with off-beat motion, while the piano, its bass still on a low D, moves to solid syncopated chords prolonging the final cadence.  The clarinet and cello leap and descend to D (a “double neighbor” figure) after the chromatic line.
7:52 [m. 53]--The clarinet and cello reiterate the arrival, then the former slowly outlines a descending D-major arpeggio as the cello supports the piano bass D.  The piano reiterates the D-major chord, slowly leaping up and back down, as if to emphatically affirm the home key, which has been less than pervasive throughout the movement.  The final held piano chord is rolled, with the cello leaping down to a double stop D-A and the clarinet continuing its arpeggio to a low F-sharp.
8:15--END OF MOVEMENT [54 mm.]

3rd Movement: Andante grazioso (Minuet/Waltz and Trio with abbreviated return).  A MAJOR, 3/4 time.

0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1 (a).  The clarinet presents the first gently arching gesture of the waltz theme, beginning on the upbeat.  For two measures, it is accompanied only by plucked cello chords on the downbeat.  The piano does not enter until the third measure, with a descending right-hand arpeggio in octaves, responding to the clarinet against the end of its statement.  The left hand plays a faster arpeggio in contrary motion.  The second half of the phrase has higher-reaching clarinet figures, still with plucked cello chords, and a chromatic inflection leading to the “dominant” harmony, confirmed by a similar piano response.
0:13 [m. 9]--In the responding phrase, the clarinet opens with a short downward-arching gesture, again supported by plucked cello chords.  The piano enters after the first gesture, its right hand in octaves, imitating and harmonizing the clarinet in thirds, its left hand playing another quick rising arpeggio.  The clarinet and piano continue this pattern up one more level, then reiterate the figure, the left-hand arpeggios becoming shorter in a cross-rhythm.  They then descend to complete the phrase, still in thirds, and the cello takes up the bow in a new counterpoint.  The phrase ending points strongly to the “dominant” key, E major.
0:24 [m. 17]--In the third and final phrase, the three instruments have independent lines, still led by the clarinet.  Its figures arch upward, with mild syncopation over bar lines and a chromatic inflection.  The cello has a broader counterpoint, also with chromatic passing tones, and the right hand of the piano largely moves in contrary motion to the clarinet, its left hand playing continual rising arpeggios.  The clarinet reaches a cadence in E major.  It extends the phrase with downward leaps which soon shorten, creating a cross-meter.  The bottom notes contract up against the static top note.  These leaps are offset from and grouped with similar cello figures in syncopation, along with the piano arpeggios split between the hands.
0:35 [m. 25]--Part 2 (a’).  The previous passage has served as a transition back home to A major and the return of the opening theme.  Its first phrase is the same melody as before, but it is now presented by the piano, with the right hand in octaves against rising left-hand arpeggios.  The response of a descending arpeggio formerly played by the piano is now taken by the clarinet, accompanied by plucked cello chords.  The second half of the phrase has the same reversal of roles.
0:47 [m. 33]--The second phrase continues with the role reversal, the piano presenting the first downward-arching gesture, and the clarinet responding and imitating in thirds.  The contour of the figures is changed after the downward gesture, replacing an upward leap and step with a higher upward leap and step down to the same arrival note.  The patterns continue through the third gesture, but where it was reiterated before, it now moves down in the piano while the clarinet leaps up and becomes independent.  The cello, which had been absent, enters here as it had when it first took the bow, and now all three instruments descend in independent lines, leading not to the “dominant” but to its “relative” minor key, C-sharp minor.
1:00 [m. 41]--This phrase corresponds with the third phrase of Part 1, but the primary similarity is the rhythm, with syncopation over bar lines.  Having arrived on C-sharp minor, the piano’s right-hand octaves leap up, then work down twice while the clarinet and cello hold long notes.  A turn toward major in the arching left-hand arpeggios helps establish C-sharp as a “dominant” in the actual goal key, F-sharp minor.  With another arrival on C-sharp, now major, the cello moves to its syncopated leaping figures from the end of Part 1, even using their same rhythmic grouping.  The clarinet drops out, the piano right taking its former shortening and contracting leaps.  The cello and piano arrive fully on F-sharp minor, the “relative” key.
1:12 [m. 49]--Part 3 (b).  In F-sharp minor, the clarinet enters on the upbeat.  It plays an upward questioning gesture from the main waltz theme’s opening, as the piano moves to simple figuration with a bass note followed by leaping thirds split between the hands and a right-hand chord.  This pattern continues for four measures.  The clarinet pauses, then responds with a descent.  The cello enters halfway through the phrase as the clarinet leaps down and resolves up.  The piano figuration continues, adding a thicker harmony to the leaping gestures in the middle of the bar.  The clarinet drops out, and the cello holds a long note as the piano figures move toward an arrival on C-sharp, now the “dominant” harmony.
1:23 [m. 57]--The clarinet makes the same opening upbeat gesture as the last phrase, but now the cello responds to it where there had previously been a pause over the piano figures.  The piano figures begin the same, but then move from their previous pattern, their leaping middle-bar figures including fourths and sixths as well as thirds.  The second clarinet entry is again a descent, but from a higher level, and the cello also responds to that.  Halfway through the phrase, the piano figures change, the bass notes alternating with leaping chords to create a duple cross-meter (a “hemiola”).  The clarinet and cello trade descents, then leaping figures in contrary motion, making a more complete arrival on C-sharp, now minor.
1:33 [m. 65]--The piano takes over, switching to major with a richly harmonized progression, still using the cross-meter “hemiola” in notes leaping from a static bass G-sharp in the left hand.  This piano progression builds in volume before the clarinet and cello enter with a rapturous winding line, playing together in contrary motion.  The second half of the phrase is like the first, but the initial piano progression begins higher.  The clarinet/cello entry is also higher, and along with subtly altered harmonies in the piano, they convert C-sharp major again to the “dominant” harmony.  Their “rapturous” winding line is more active, moving from contrary to parallel motion as both instruments descend to a full arrival on F-sharp minor.
1:45 [m. 73]--Part 4 (b’).  The volume has diminished, and the first four bars of the first phrase are identical to those of the second phrase from Part 3 at 1:23 [m. 57].  The second half is also like the model, including the cross-meter “hemiola” in the piano, but the melodic lines and the harmonies are adjusted to arrive on F-sharp rather than C-sharp.  The contour of the clarinet/cello leaping figures at the end is also subtly altered.
1:55 [m. 81]--The rich piano progression from 1:33 [m. 65] is played in F-sharp major, with the static bass on C-sharp.  The clarinet and cello again enter with their “rapturous” line in contrary motion after a buildup.  The second piano progression deviates from the pattern, and it is supported by the clarinet and cello, who are still in contrary motion.  Syncopation is added to the “hemiola” in the piano left hand, creating more rhythmic instability.  The deviation is more pronounced with the next statement of the “rapturous” line, which is played by the piano right hand in octaves, in contrary motion with the cello while the clarinet holds a high note.  Adjustments are made to avoid the key shift and remain in F-sharp.
2:06 [m. 89]--This final phrase of Part 4 functions as a re-transition.  Still at forte as the piano diminishes, the clarinet and cello in unison present the opening gesture of the waltz theme in F-sharp major.  The piano continues its familiar figuration from Parts 3 and 4.  Now diminishing, the cello changes the waltz gesture to minor.  Finally, the clarinet presents the entire four-bar opening melodic line in F-sharp minor.  The piano figures change to another “hemiola,” now without the faster leaping figures.  Before the clarinet concludes its gesture, the cello enters with a figure from the first phrase of Part 3.  The piano bass moves up by half-step.  An arpeggio on a “diminished seventh” seems to lead toward C-sharp in a one-bar extension.
2:20 [m. 98]--Part 5 (a”).  The piano presents the main theme, like its presentation in Part 2 at 0:35 [m. 25], but there are differences.  The melody in right-hand octaves is the same, but the left-hand arpeggios in the first two bars are shorter, with a rest or a bass note on the last beat.  A full arpeggio is placed in the third measure, when the clarinet has its response.  This is also changed, with a flowing line in eighth notes replacing the previous quarter-note arpeggio.  The second half of the phrase follows the same pattern, but the cello now has the response with the flowing eighth-note line.
2:33 [m. 106]--The clarinet and cello drop out of the continuation, which is left to the piano and functions as a transition into the Trio section.  The piano begins like the original continuation from Part 1 at 0:13 [m. 9], but the arpeggios are now absent, and the left hand imitates the right after one measure, both hands adding block harmony.  The melody itself deviates after two measures, remaining static instead of reaching upward for the next gesture.  It then continues to spin out in a new direction, with forceful chords held over bar lines in another cross-meter “hemiola.”  The left hand imitates the original thematic gesture in bass octaves.  A major is changed to the preparatory “dominant” in D major at the end of the phrase.
TRIO (D major)
2:46 [m. 114]--Part 1 (c).  The Trio section theme is joyously active.  The clarinet presents it, beginning with a three-note upbeat, arching down and back up.  The cello provides support with double stops and some single notes on the first two beats, and the piano plays a low rising octave on A punctuated by a mid-range chord.  The first two measures are repeated as the third and fourth.  The clarinet then expands the final upbeat into two descending figures, the second one lower.  The piano figuration is changed to an “upbeat-downbeat” motion with broken octaves and chords, moving off the bass A, and the cello has single-note rising figures.  The clarinet reaches low, then soars to complete the phrase on the “dominant.”
2:57 [m. 122]--The phrase is given a varied repetition.  The clarinet has the initial upbeat, but the melody is passed to the piano right hand after that, and the clarinet joins the cello in harmony with the accompanying figures on the first two beats of the bar.  The piano left hand still has the rising octaves and punctuating harmonies.  The clarinet takes over the theme again for the last two bars, with the descending figures beginning on upbeats and the phrase-closing gesture that begins low and soars high.  The piano harmonies and cello notes mostly match the first phrase, with thicker “dominant” harmony at the end.
3:09 [m. 130]--The piano becomes melodic, and the clarinet figures more like accompaniment.  The piano has downward-arching figures harmonized in sixths, reminiscent of the main waltz theme, over a bass octave “pedal” on A.  The clarinet leaps down to winding figures, then to a rising arpeggio, all on the “dominant” in D major.  The cello enters at the end of the first four bars with an arching arpeggio.  The four-bar unit is moved up a step, to the “dominant” in E minor, but the piano bass “pedal,” now supported by the cello, does not leave the note A.  A two-bar extension, led into by two-beat meter-crossing cello arpeggios and leaps down from long notes in the clarinet, avoids confirming E minor and shifts back to D.
3:22 [m. 140]--Part 2 (c’).  Returning to the main Trio theme, cutting off a crescendo, the cello is given its turn, beginning again with the three-note upbeat.  The piano accompaniment is changed, with the left hand now leaping down to the low A on the third beat and the right hand playing the supporting figures that the cello had initially played against the clarinet.  The clarinet itself takes over on the descending figures from upbeats, but these are shifted down a fifth to avoid moving to the “dominant,” and they add an upward turn.  The soaring gesture is adjusted in register to a higher octave due to the clarinet’s range not reaching as low as the transposition would otherwise demand.  The phrase now ends with a full closure in D major.
3:34 [m. 148]--This phrase is analogous to 3:09 [m. 130], and at the same harmonic level despite the different arrival point before it.  The cello has the downward-arching figures in sixths, played in double stops.  The piano has the decorative “Trio theme” line.  The clarinet enters in the fourth bar to take over from the piano, echoing the arpeggio (and taking place of the previous arching one in the cello).  With the motion up a step to E minor, the cello still has the melodic figures harmonized in sixths, but the clarinet takes over the winding figures it originally presented.  The piano has the same harmonies, now subordinate to the cello.  The two-bar extension now simply has the clarinet take over an arpeggio from the piano.
3:48 [m. 158]--The Trio theme now has a grand and climactic statement from the piano.  The buildup in the previous phrase is fulfilled.  The piano presentation of the theme not only harmonizes certain notes in thirds or three-note chords, but also has the left hand playing in contrary motion, creating a full and satisfying effect.  The clarinet and cello accompany with the usual two-beat harmonies in each measure, later adding upbeats.  The descending figures are recognizable, even though the piano upbeats leap to them.  The harmonies are more colorful than in the previous statement.  The goal is still an arrival on D, but the piano adds more chromatic chords, including a brief suggestion of E minor, than were present at 3:22 [m. 140].
4:00 [m. 166]--Re-transition.  Suddenly becoming quiet, the cello begins a four-bar lead-in back to the reprise of the main waltz section, moving back to A major.  Its arching line, another “hemiola” crossing a bar line, is taken by the clarinet, harmonized by the cello a third below, in a second statement.  Finally, the piano bass enters in contrary motion.  The cello holds a note as the clarinet and piano move inward on an arpeggio, the piano never leaving the bass clef range.  The final measure is a colorful “diminished seventh” chord, but this wonderfully replaces the chromatic upbeat to the waltz theme.  This upbeat has been on the note B-sharp, a note that is now heard in the cello as part of the full-measure “diminished seventh” upbeat.
4:09 [m. 170]--The reprise is greatly abbreviated, consisting of only one section that corresponds to the various versions of the a material, and it could be called a”’.  None of the three previous statements of this main theme material has ended with an arrival in the home key of A major, but this final one will.  The first phrase is presented by the cello, which has not played it previously, leading in from its B-sharp on the full-measure “diminished seventh” upbeat.  The piano accompanies the cello melody with rising arpeggios, and it also has its original responses with the slower descending arpeggios.
4:21 [m. 178]--This phrase corresponds to 0:13 [m. 9], 0:47 [m. 33], and 2:33 [m. 106], but it is different from all of them.  The clarinet takes over with its original continuation, now accompanied by rising piano arpeggios.  The cello now has the response/imitation in thirds.  The expected upward shift is different in both voices, higher in the clarinet and lower in the “imitating” cello, and they are now in sixths instead of thirds.  The figure is reiterated as expected.  This moment has always swelled in volume before, and now reaches forte, with chords and thirds in the piano right hand against three-note cross-rhythm arpeggios in the left.  The adjustment allows the descent to the arrival point to finally remain at home in A major.
4:33 [m. 186]--This corresponds to the third phrase in Parts 1 and 2 at 0:24 [m. 17] and 1:00 [m. 41].  The cello has the gentle arching lines with notes held over bar lines (previously heard in clarinet or piano).  The piano now supports them rather simply, with chords and pulsing left-hand syncopation on the “dominant” note E.  The clarinet enters to provide the familiar downward leap to the cadence, which is now at home in A major for the first time.  The extension of the phrase is now more of a fading echo.  The leaping figures that had shortened and contracted are replaced by the syncopated arching lines in right-hand piano octaves, reaching ever higher over arching left-hand arpeggios and long descending notes in clarinet and cello.
4:47 [m. 194]--With another, now “plagal” arrival on A, seeming to compensate for the previous lack of cadences in the home key, the piano begins a brief pianissimo coda, marked “Un poco sostenuto.”  The right hand has downward leaps from on high over two measures in slow long-short rhythm, still above arching arpeggios and supported by slow chromatically rising clarinet and cello notes in unison.  The piano then reaches up and descends again in quarter notes, grouped in meter-crossing two-note phrases harmonized on the “subdominant” D major.
4:55 [m. 198]--A second sequence of the same material seems to move from the “dominant” E back to A, but the minor-tinged note F-natural adds color at the outset.  The clarinet and cello separate and help support the cross-meter in the quarter-note descent.  The sequence is then extended by another long-short rhythm, delaying the last arrival on A for another measure.  At that point, the clarinet and cello hold for two measures in harmony on a third as the piano drops out.  They cut off when the piano enters with a high rolled chord.  After resting for two beats, the three instruments have a final held, widely spaced A-major chord, rolled in the piano.  The clarinet has the third, C-sharp, the cello the root A and the fifth E.
5:25--END OF MOVEMENT [206 mm.]

4th Movement: Allegro (Sonata-Allegro form with abbreviated recapitulation).  A MINOR, 2/4 and 6/8 time, often superimposed, with 16 measures of 9/8.

0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The time signature is marked as 2/4 with 6/8 in parentheses.  The “6/8” elements are marked as triplets.  The 6/8 feel is in force at the outset, as the cello presents the opening theme, beginning with an upbeat, leaping up with abandon and then swinging down in a rollicking long-short rhythm.  The piano accompanies with wide arpeggios passed between the hands, also in triplet rhythm and changing to contrary motion after the first measure.  The cello moves down smoothly in the fourth measure.
0:06 [m. 5]--In an example of “metric modulation,” 2/4 asserts itself.  The piano changes to sixteenth-note rhythm, its right hand emerging into a passionate downward-turning figure harmonized in thirds.  This turns upward on the second statement.  The cello continues its melody, with short notes leading into longer ones, moving up, then down.  It still uses long-short rhythm, but the distinction between the triplets and the sixteenth notes is clear, as the melody follows the piano’s new groupings.  After two bars, the passionate downward-turning figures pass to the cello, and the piano returns to an accompaniment role, still clearly in the “straight” 2/4.  The two instruments reach a cadence, overlapping with the following clarinet entry.  
0:11 [m. 9]--The clarinet makes its entry on the upbeat, moving back to the “6/8” triplets.  It presents a version of the melody that fills in the long-short rhythm, playing it in smooth continuous triplets.  The piano follows its lead after the first measure.  The clarinet moves to the long-short rhythm after three bars.
0:17 [m. 13]--As expected, the 2/4 returns, now with the cello entering on the “passionate” downward-turning figures, the clarinet continuing with the short notes leading into longer ones, and the piano supporting the “metric modulation” with sixteenth-note arpeggios leading into chords and leaping gestures.  The cello, after playing the downward and upward version of the ‘turning figure,” passes it to the clarinet for the continuing downward figures.  The harmony and melody of the passage are adjusted, pointing toward “dominant” harmony on E, which arrives and shifts the music from A minor to A major.
0:22 [m. 17]--Transition.  Still in 2/4, the “dominant” arrival immediately moves back to A, but now A major.  There, the piano presents a dolce melody using the previously “passionate” downward-turning figures on the upbeats.  The cello accompanies with upward arpeggios beginning off the beat.  After the piano phrase, the clarinet takes the new melody, the cello continuing with longer quarter-note leaps and the piano playing downward arpeggios.  The clarinet adjusts the melody in the third measure, then plunges down to an arrival on D, the “subdominant” harmony.
0:32 [m. 25]--Suddenly, the cello turns back to the short notes leading into longer ones, its 2/4 gesture from the main theme, then to the downward-turning figures, still in major.  The piano accompanies with its familiar arpeggios and long-short leaping figures.  Abruptly, the clarinet enters in unison with the cello, and they angrily play the downward-turning figures together, turning back to minor.  The piano follows suit with the “angry” turn, playing the short-long figures in full harmony.  It takes the turning figures from the unison instruments, then passes them back, extending the phrase with yearning upward motion, moving toward the “dominant” E and echoed by the clarinet/cello unison pair.
0:43 [m. 34]--The piano’s arrival on E is still a “dominant” harmony at first.  The clarinet and cello drop out, and the piano plunges down with sixteenth-note figures harmonized between the hands and placing strong sforzando accents on the metrically weak last notes of each group, emphasizing the “angry” upbeats.  The downward plunge changes the harmony on E from major to minor and then makes a full modulation to that key in preparation for Theme 2.  As the plunge reaches further down, with the right hand moving into the bass clef range, it comes to an expectant pause on a new “dominant” harmony in E minor.
0:49 [m. 38]--Theme 2 (E minor).  The new theme uses mixed meter, beginning in 6/8, now explicitly marked as such, but only for two bars.  The cello takes the lead, arching up and back down over low piano harmonies.  The meter changes to 9/8, where the cello continues its melody for four measures with distinctive swaying figures in the middle of each.  The piano chords come on the second and third of the three “beats” of the 9/8 measures.  The last two cello gestures are more questioning, cutting off before the last beat.  The cello then turns back to 6/8 for two more bars with an arching gesture leading to a half-close in B minor.  The piano accompaniment is in 2/4, creating the first simultaneous metrical clash.
1:03 [m. 46]--The clarinet takes its turn at the theme, starting with the two measures in 6/8.  The cello enters against its second note, turning the clarinet line around, a so-called canon by inversion.  At the change to 9/8, the cello trails after the clarinet, continuing the canon by inversion.  The piano now has the left hand on the beat with bass notes and the right hand following with octaves or harmonies off the beat.  The second “questioning” gesture reaches higher, changing the goal of the half-close to E minor.  The two bars of 6/8 are now notated as triplets in 2/4 in preparation for the “straight” 2/4 music that will follow.  Ironically, the piano does not clash here, but is also in triplets.  The canon by inversion now finally breaks.
1:17 [m. 54]--The clarinet suddenly emerges into a quick descending 2/4 figure, beginning on a sixteenth-note upbeat.  After a pause, the cello imitates this with the clarinet in harmony above.  Both instruments then play two more of the figures in quick succession, still in harmony and swelling in volume.  The piano also joins here, supporting the motion from the sixteenth-note upbeats with harmonies and bass octaves.  The clarinet and cello plunge down in a scale leading directly into the closing theme, arriving on E minor.
1:22 [m. 58]--Closing theme.  The piano takes over, playing a passionate, energetic idea with long-short figures in the right hand, harmonized in sixths.  The left hand plays rapid arpeggios concluding with wide downward leaps.  The long-short figures quickly turn upward, and another sequence is more richly harmonized, with the descent leading back to the E-minor arrival for the second thematic statement.
1:27 [m. 62]--The clarinet and cello, harmonized in sixths, take their turn at the theme.  The piano accompanies with left-hand figures on the long-short rhythm while the right hand fills in the gaps, creating continuous motion between the hands.  The clarinet and cello change the trajectory of their second sequence, expanding to tenths, moving from E minor back to the home key of A minor, and rushing headlong into the piano’s reprise of Theme 1.
1:31 [m. 66]--Theme 1.  Brahms had used the combined form before in finales, with the reprise of the main theme before the development.  Here it arrives in the home key, scored with the piano taking the lead.  The piano begins the theme even as the clarinet and cello are rushing toward the conclusion of their closing theme statement, having shifted to A minor.  It returns to the 6/8 triplet motion, adding harmony in the right hand with wide octave leaps in the left hand.  These also add harmonies in the second and third measures.  The clarinet and cello round off their conclusion of the closing theme with a downward-arching motion in “straight” 2/4 as the piano begins its statement of the main theme.  They then continue in support.
1:37 [m. 70]--The theme continues with the “straight” 2/4 music corresponding to 0:06 [m. 5].  The melodic short notes leading to longer ones are played in octaves by the piano right hand, its left hand playing quick arpeggios on the downbeats.  The passionate turning figure and its first upward reversal are played by the clarinet and cello in expanded thirds (tenths).  In the continuation, this is reversed, with the downward-turning figures passed to the piano while the clarinet and cello take the short-long melody.  As before, the volume diminishes in preparation for the more smooth and continuous statement of the theme.
1:42 [m. 74]--The cello begins the smooth statement of the theme corresponding to the clarinet presentation at 0:11 [m. 9].  All instruments are now explicitly in 6/8.  The piano accompaniment resembles its patterns there.  The last measure passes the melody to the clarinet, the statement’s original instrument, and everything seems normal, but the statement does not lead into the expected return of the passionate 2/4 music.  Instead, the clarinet’s downbeat in the fourth measure (m. 77), although still part of the thematic statement, begins a notable extended sequence of downward thirds that launches the development “proper.”
1:45 [m. 77]--Development.  The last measure of the thematic statement from the clarinet begins an incredible descending chain of thirds.  There are changes of octave register, but ignoring that, there are 30 straight descending thirds, causing quick key changes.  The 6/8 meter remains in force.  Starting with its second note on the downbeat, the clarinet plays the first six in long-short rhythm.  The piano and cello accompany.  The left hand and the cello play in contrary motion, the left hand on rising octaves, and the right hand responds off the beat.  The piano takes the next eight thirds, beginning on the upbeat with a shift to a high octave.  The clarinet and cello respond on the downbeats.  The key shifts down a third, to F major.
1:51 [m. 81]--The chain of thirds slows down now.  The clarinet continues it for eight more steps but sustains its downbeats until the next upbeat.  The cello harmonizes below in thirds, some of them expanded to tenths.  The piano echoes the clarinet/cello harmonies in both hands, taking part in the continuing chain.  The piano breaks the echo on the clarinet’s last two thirds, which lead to its lowest range.  The key has shifted down another third to D minor, “relative” to the last key, F major.  The piano helps establish this arrival although it has broken from its imitation of the continuing third chain.
1:57 [m. 85]--With another register shift, the piano takes up the chain of thirds, continuing it for its last eight steps and moving back to F major.  In octaves in both hands, it continues the clarinet pattern with upbeats leading to longer notes lasting almost a full measure.  The clarinet and cello, meanwhile, have a series of arching arpeggios marked dolce, harmonized mostly in thirds with occasional fourths.  These arching arpeggios begin off the beat and hold notes over bar lines before changing direction.  They support the change back to F major at the end of the long descending third chain.
2:03 [m. 89]--The piano reiterates its last motion twice.  At the same time, the clarinet and cello, still holding notes over bar lines, reach high and descend, the cello changing to longer, fully syncopated notes.  At the second reiteration, the clarinet reaches even higher while the cello arches back up.  Both instruments then cease their continuous motion and move more slowly with the piano, which makes another third-based key change down to the remote D-flat major.  The volume diminishes even more.  The piano has a pair of harmonized descents, supported by the clarinet and cello in the prevailing pattern of short notes leading to much longer ones.  One more third-based key change leads home to A, but A major.
2:15 [m. 97]--The second extended chain of thirds is presented, this one consisting of 15 straight descending thirds with one register shift as they are passed from the cello to the clarinet.  They are now simply straight upbeat-downbeat motions and very continuous.  The cello plays the first seven, then passes to the clarinet on the eighth.  Against this chain, the piano plays supporting harmonies all on the second half of each measure and held over the bar line, supporting the upbeat-downbeat motion.  The whole chain remains in A major, but at the very end, there is a pivot to the “subdominant” key of D.
2:28 [m. 105]--With a change to the long-absent notated and actual 2/4 meter, the piano emerges into the dolce transition melody from 0:22 [m. 17], in the key of D major.  After two unaccompanied statements of the downward-turning figure, the clarinet and cello enter, playing dolce arching figures in contrary-motion “6/8” triplets against octaves and chords from the piano, changing to D minor.  Abruptly, the key shifts down a step, to C major, where the piano again plays the downward-turning figures.  The clarinet and cello enter again with their arching figures, but they immediately move down to B major.  They extend their 6/8 figures by three measures, pausing over a bar line, changing to B minor, then pausing on the last downbeat.
2:42 [m. 116]--Transition.  The recapitulation resumes with the original transition theme in its original key, as at 0:22 [m. 17].  In their last measure, the clarinet and cello have smoothly moved from B to A.  There are slight differences from the exposition.  In the first four measures, the piano plays alone, with the arpeggios formerly played by the cello in its left hand.  The clarinet takes the continuation as before, and the piano is identical at that point, but the cello notes have changes in register and direction.
2:53 [m. 124]--The cello moves to its shorter notes leading to longer notes, as at 0:32 [m. 25], mostly identical to the previous presentation but with a very subtle change in the order of the downward-turning figures and piano harmonies.  The clarinet enters in unison with the cello, and they present the “angry” turning figures as expected with the full piano harmonies.  All is as before until the turning figures pass to the piano, where they are changed to avoid the motion to the “dominant” and remain in A, now minor.  The one-bar extension is retained, as is the pass back to the clarinet and cello, but the “yearning” upward long-short motion is removed.
3:03 [m. 133]--The piano’s downward-moving figures analogous to 0:43 [m. 34] are shortened by a measure, remain largely at the same level, and are without the strong sforzando accents on the short upbeats.  The key is already in A minor, and there is no transformation from a major “dominant” harmony to the minor key center.  Despite this, the transition into Theme 2 has a similar effect, especially the expectant pause before its entry on the strongly emphasized “dominant” harmony.
3:07 [m. 136]--Theme 2 (A minor), analogous to 0:49 [m. 38].  As in the exposition, it is presented by the cello, now in the home key.  The piano accompaniment is more flowing, in contrast to the previous block chords.  The four measures of 9/8 follow the two in 6/8, as expected.  At the change back to 6/8 that ends the phrase, the piano again has clashing duple figures, but instead of explicitly notating a change to 2/4 in the piano, the figures are notated as “duplets,” an inconsistency with the exposition.
3:21 [m. 144]--Second statement of Theme 2, analogous to 1:03 [m. 46].  The statement largely follows its model, including the canon by inversion, but the melody of the first two 6/8 measures is taken by the piano, not the clarinet.  The clarinet takes over in the 9/8 measures, and the cello takes the canon by inversion, as before.  The piano accompaniment is again more steadily flowing than it was before.  The last two measures here are more correctly notated in 6/8, but this is another inconsistency with the exposition.
3:35 [m. 152]--Quick descending figures in 2/4 building strongly, analogous to 1:17 [m. 54].  Here, the first three measures are played only by the piano, with the left hand moving up in contrary motion against the figures.  The clarinet and cello, which had played the figures before, take over for the descending scale.
3:39 [m. 156]--Closing theme, analogous to 1:22 [m. 58], but the patterns are as at the second statement from 1:27 [m. 62], with the clarinet and cello presenting the theme harmonized in sixths and the piano playing its pattern from that statement, the right hand filling the gaps in the left hand’s long-short figures.  At the end of the statement, the piano’s right hand reaches up to play a high lead-in in octaves, as it will now lead the second statement, a full reversal from the exposition. 
3:44 [m. 160]--The piano statement largely follows the patterns from the first statement at 1:22 [m. 58], though it is here analogous to 1:27 [m. 62].  Instead of sixths, it initially plays the theme in octaves before adding harmonies in the last two measures.  What is unexpected is that the clarinet and cello continue in the first two measures, now playing in unison and harmonizing with the piano, creating the most fully scored statement of the closing theme.  As before, the second statement leads directly into Theme 1, which now begins the coda, and there is even a similar change of key, here to the “subdominant” D minor.
3:49 [m. 164]--The notated meter throughout the coda is 2/4, with many “6/8” triplets.  The clarinet and cello appear to begin Theme 1 in D minor in unison, like the piano had in A minor at 1:31 [m. 66], with the piano playing the same arching figure against it, but there is quick divergence after the first measure, as the instruments plunge down in another scale.  At the same time, the piano begins a statement of the opening Theme 1 gesture in F major, the left hand joining the clarinet and cello on the scale.  In the third measure, the scale figures continue, joined shortly by the piano right hand.  The clarinet and cello begin another imitative statement and move back to A minor against a plunging piano scale, the hands two octaves apart.
3:54 [m. 168]--The piano begins a statement of Theme 1 at its original level, but it is presented in actual 2/4, with sixteenth notes instead of the triplets.  It is doubled by the clarinet as the cello and the left hand continue the scale figure, which arches up.  The theme’s second measure is transformed into an inward-moving arpeggio in contrary motion, which is directly imitated by an outward-moving arpeggio from the clarinet and cello.  This pattern continues in the third measure.  The fourth measure is a new and emphatic A-minor cadence from the piano and cello, which merges with the next phrase.
3:59 [m. 172]--At the cadence, the piano right hand emerges into the figure with short notes leading to longer ones, originally heard from the cello as early as 0:06 [m. 5].  The clarinet and cello, still in unison, have a new and forceful gesture in solid accented quartet notes.  As the piano leads into the familiar downward-turning figures from the main theme, also originally heard at 0:06 [m. 5], now without lower harmony, the clarinet and cello continue their forceful unison gesture, moving to staccato eighth notes and leading to another strong A-minor cadence.
4:04 [m. 176]--The clarinet and cello take over the short notes leading to long notes, and the piano, in full harmony, takes the forceful new gesture.  When the clarinet and cello move to the downward-turning figures, they diverge upward from the earlier piano statement.  The piano does continue to the staccato eighth notes.  The divergence leads to a “diminished seventh” chord in all the instruments, part of it rapidly arpeggiated in a descending six-note group from the piano right hand.  The phrase is extended with the downward-turning figures and the staccato eighth notes moving up, again landing on a “diminished” harmony.
4:11 [m. 182]--The six-note arpeggio is heard in the left hand, ascending against a held right-hand chord.  The right hand and cello continue with the downward-turning gesture as the six-note rising arpeggio is passed to the clarinet.  This lands on yet another “diminished” harmony, but this one is the “leading tone” chord, strongly pulling toward an A-minor arrival.  The arpeggio is again passed from the left hand to the clarinet, the downward-turning figure again in the right hand and cello, all landing on A minor.  The clarinet and cello continue with two and a half measures of the downward-turning figure, beginning against another left-hand arpeggio (now seven notes) and plunging down before an extremely emphatic A-minor arrival.
4:16 [m. 187]--As the clarinet and cello continue their downward plunge on the turning figures, the piano, after pausing during the plunge, plays the opening gesture of Theme 1 in an “augmented” version, with the first four notes expanded in length, the upbeat now taking half of the previous measure.  After this, the piano continues with a version of the new staccato eighth notes leading to the now oft-repeated A-minor cadence, supported strongly by the clarinet and cello, the latter including triple-stop chords.  There are two more reiterations of the A-minor chord, both led into by a bass octave.  The second one is lower in the piano and cello, the leading bass octave reaching to the lowest note of the piano.  It is held with a fermata.
4:33--END OF MOVEMENT [193 mm.]