It's already fall. As I repeated in this blog, the chamber musics of Brahms fit this season. Especially, the last movement of his Clarinet Quintet is worthy of listening to at quiet night in fall.
It is a variation. The theme appearing on the strings is really touchy. It could not help making you think of your past. The melody will undergo a variety of changes and will be sung by different instrument in each variation. As a cellist, I should recommend listeners to listen carefully to the 3rd variation which cello sings an impressive melody. In the middle, the mood gets warmer, which reminds me of sunshine in winter before it gets stormy. In the next variation, viola sings a music as if it hastened us to the climax. In the coda, the very beginning theme of the 1st movement is recalled in imperfect manner. Following clarinet climbing to the height in a fashion of cadenza, it descends in the motif of the same 1st movement. This variation is quietly closed with a dreary chord. This ending sounds as if Brahms had reflected his life in this music. When I played this piece with friends of mine in my student days, I always felt that way.
The variation is not only a technique in composing music. It rather seems to me like a way of expressing our lives with music. Our lives are a kind of circulation. We live around own center which we, consciously or subconsciously, value on. Even if it appears in different shape, there is a center in our lives. This variation style may express it by music. Brahms has left us great variations as I already mentioned in this blog.