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Hélène Grimaud - Reflection


Release Date: 09/12/2006 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 000690402   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johannes BrahmsClara Wieck SchumannRobert Schumann
Performer:  Hélène GrimaudTruls Otterbech MorkAnne Sofie von Otter
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Who are the most gripping pianists currently performing? Earl Wild, the eminence grise; Martha Argerich and Maurizio Pollini, the eminences not-quite-so-grises; Marc-André Hamelin and Stephen Hough among the 40-somethings. Five or six years ago, I wouldn’t have expected Hélène Grimaud to join the elite. The transition from wunderkind to artistic post-adolescence is a difficult one, and for a while, it seemed as if the enormously talented Grimaud was settling for a comfortable, but not especially striking, career: her Rachmaninoff Second with Ashkenazy, for instance, was assured in technique but unexceptional in interpretive outlook (25:1).

But something seems to have happened since then. Last year’s
Read more Chopin/Rachmaninoff collection revealed a tough, independent-minded pianist of the highest caliber, and this new collection—entitled “Reflection”—is, if anything, even better. The thematic core is “love.” But those looking for easy sentiment should seek elsewhere, for Grimaud sees love as “a revelation understood as feverish,” and the performances here are feverish indeed.

Not that they’re consistently overwrought. Indeed, one of the wonders of this eventful disc is its subtle variety of expression: the play of moods at the end of the second movement of Robert’s Concerto, for instance, the sensitive shift in atmosphere as spring arrives at the end of Clara’s “Er ist gekommen,” the patches of reverie that dot the first movement of the Brahms Sonata. But I think it’s fair to say that, on the whole, impulse trumps contemplation: these works are presented as energetic, boldly articulated, rhythmically vital surges of passion. Even the middle movement of the Concerto, for all its ravishing curves, has strong undercurrents; and I doubt you’ve heard the finale of the Brahms Sonata played more ardently. It is, perhaps, a bit too much to take at one sitting—even given the diversity of medium. But every one of these performances is, on its own, absolutely compelling. It’s hard to believe that this is the same pianist whose previous performance of the Schumann Concerto so disappointed Leslie Gerber.

Grimaud is blessed with exceptional partners—these are something more than mere collaborations, revealing a kind of rare interpretive affinity that matches the rare (if fraught) affinities of the three composers on the disc. Mørk’s churning Brahms is especially thrilling. The sound on my preproduction CD was excellent, too. In a word, treasurable.

FANFARE: Peter J. Rabinowitz
Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 in E minor, Op. 38 by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Hélène Grimaud (Piano), Truls Otterbech Mork (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1862-1865; Austria 
Date of Recording: 05/2005 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 25 Minutes 19 Secs. 
2. Am Strande by Clara Wieck Schumann
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Hélène Grimaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2005 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 
3. Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Hélène Grimaud (Piano)
Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841-1845; Germany 
Date of Recording: 05/2005 
Venue:  Lukas Church, Dresden, Germany 
Length: 31 Minutes 6 Secs. 
4. Lieder (3), Op. 12: no 1, Er ist gekommen by Clara Wieck Schumann
Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano), Hélène Grimaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2005 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 19 Secs. 
5. Lieder (3), Op. 12: no 3, Warum willst du andre fragen? by Clara Wieck Schumann
Performer:  Hélène Grimaud (Piano), Anne Sofie von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/2005 
Venue:  Scoring Stage, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 11 Secs. 
6. Rhapsodies (2) for Piano, Op. 79: no 1 in B minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Hélène Grimaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/2000 
Venue:  Teldex Studios, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 56 Secs. 
7. Rhapsodies (2) for Piano, Op. 79: no 2 in G minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Hélène Grimaud (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1879; Austria 
Date of Recording: 06/2000 
Venue:  Teldex Studios, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 7 Minutes 6 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Beautiful recording January 9, 2014 By Robert C. (New York, NY) See All My Reviews "Heard selections on WQXR and then ordered the CD. All the tracks are most enjoyable. The jewel case arrived cracked but it didn't effect the CD." Report Abuse
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