This is without question the best recording that Hélène Grimaud has made for DG. The opening "Emperor" gushes forth like a sparkling fountain, at a freshly invigorating basic tempo. Give credit to Vladimir Jurowski for his excellent collaboration, and to a Staatskapelle Dresden that really stays on top of its collective toes. Grimaud even manages to make something special out of those upward scales that so often signal the pianist's entrances and exits. Only in the slow movement does she indulge in a touch of the preciosity that mars some of her more recent efforts, but it's a fleeting memory at best, and the finale goes with all of the joyful enthusiasm that anyone could ask.
If anything, the sonataRead more is even finer. I have to confess I was a bit worried here: late Beethoven encourages so many pianists to do strange things in the name of "profundity" and "transcendence" and other impressive terms, and to put it kindly, Grimaud can be a bit spacey in this respect. To her credit, she simply plays really well, stylishly but with plenty of poetry too. The inner movements are particularly memorable: an alla Marcia full of rhythmic point and a truly cantabile adagio whose "affetto" never degenerates into mannerism. Grimaud potentially is one of the finest pianists in the business, and let's hope this release signals for her a new level of maturity and artistic depth. The sonics, by the way, are also very good, with Grimaud's piano particularly well-caught, and not too much performance noise. Impressive! [10/16/2007]
Concerto for Piano no 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 "Emperor"by Ludwig van Beethoven Performer:
Hélène Grimaud (Piano)
Period: Classical Written: 1809; Vienna, Austria Date of Recording: 12/2006 Venue: St. Luke's Church, Dresden, Germany Length: 38 Minutes 14 Secs.
Sonata for Piano no 28 in A major, Op. 101by Ludwig van Beethoven Performer:
Hélène Grimaud (Piano)
Period: Classical Written: 1816; Vienna, Austria Date of Recording: 07/2007 Venue: Siemens Villa, Berlin, Germany Length: 20 Minutes 58 Secs.
Average Customer Review: ( 3 Customer Reviews )
Glorious op.101August 18, 2013By Peter T. (Bethesda, MD)See All My Reviews"There is a glorious performance of the op.101 Sonata on this CD and the performance of the "Emperor" concerto is not much behind it. This CD seems to have anchored into my CD player. Buy it, marvel at it !"Report Abuse
The BestDecember 6, 2012By Bruce B. (Bloomington, MN)See All My Reviews"This is the best rendition of Beethoven's fifth concerto I have ever heard."Report Abuse
At Last!December 3, 2012By John Crosthwaite (Pinawa, MB)See All My Reviews"At last I've heard Beethoven's Emperor as I've always wanted to! You can almost feel the sparks flying out of Helene Grimaud's fingers as she flawlessly masters the Allegro and Rondo movements, subdued only by the feeling of intense beauty that she conveys in the sublime Adagio movement that separates the two. I may as well donate the other two versions that I have in my possession to some charity; it would seem improbable that I will ever again listen to their renditions, which are in every way inferior to Grimaud's. The recording is crystal clear, bright and brilliant. This is Beethoven piano at its finest and purest."Report Abuse