STANDARD: ALLBrahms wrote chamber music throughout his life so it provides a special insight into his musical character and development. Sometimes afraid of comparison with Beethoven he often avoided competing with the earlier composer’s favourite genres, notably the string quartet. Amongst Brahms’s most beautiful early chamber works are his string sextets, and later ones his glorious string quintets. He found his stride first with the ambitious B major piano trio which he revised considerably later in life. He also commuted some symphonic ambitions into such works as the piano quintet. He ended his chamber output with four reflective works for clarinet and other instruments. This course will track Brahms’s development as a chamber music composer, putting all the works in context and exploring some works in detail.