The composition competition of the Vienna Tonkünstlerverein in 1896 under honorary president Johannes Brahms intended to pro-mote chamber music “which uses at least one wind instrument” and resulted in 18 submissions, twelve of which were selected for five concerts. The first and third placed works of this competition, namely the Clarinet Quartet in E flat major Op. 1 by Walter Rabl (world premiere recording) and the Clarinet Trio in D minor Op. 3 by Alexander Zemlinsky were now recorded for this CD by Christoph Zimper, clarinet, Kristina Suklar, violin, Florian Eggner, cello and Peter Ovtcharov, piano. The proximity to the music of Johannes Brahms is not least influenced by his own chamber music works for clarinet, but can also be seen in numerous stylistic and aesthetic aspects with both Rabl and Zemlinsky.
BBC Music Magazine December 2020
The pairing of Zemlinsky’s autumnal, Brahmsian Trio with the livelier charms of Rabl’s Quartet works a treat. A terrific introduction to two little-known clarinet chamber works.