During his own lifetime, Brahms enjoyed a reputation as an outstanding pianist and a most important composer. It is probably less well-known that he also learned to play the cello and horn as a youngster. His mother seems to have greatly enjoyed her son’s horn playing. It is therefore no great surprise that he started work on the composition of his Horn Trio just a few months after his mother passed away in 1865. He spent the summer of that year at the holiday home of his great supporter and advocate Clara Schumann, near Baden-Baden in the Black Forest, where he could find the peace and inspiration he needed in order to compose. Two years later, he took his friend Albert Dietrich to the spot where the theme of the Horn Trio’s first movement had occurred to him. “I was out walking one morning and when I arrived at this spot the sun started to glow; the theme came to me in an instant.” The first and third movements are to some degree nostalgic in nature and the work as a whole contains a number of references to the composer’s childhood.