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Notes and Editorial Reviews
The playing of the young pianist Hélène Grimaud has been described as “fire and ice, passion and reason all in one" (Le Monde de la Musique); “coiled energy eventuating in unbridled excitement" (New York Times);“superlative technique.. .she unfailingly delivers original inflected conceptions of the music" (Financial Times). But she is not only an extraordinary pianist - she is also an extraordinary woman, consumed by two loves in life: music and wolves. With her partner, photographer J. Henry Fair, she has founded a Wolf Conservation Centre at her home in South Salem, New York.
Grimaud came to music because it was the last resort of her parents, university professors in the South of France. “I was
so easily bored. I was a distraction in the classroom. They tried martial arts, they tried sports. Then someone suggested music." Music cured her boredom and her facility for playing the piano proved to be astonishing. By the age of thirteen she was accepted by a unanimous vote into the Paris Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique. In 1985 she was awarded first prize in Jacques Rouvier’s class and was invited to participate in masterclasses given by Gyorgy Sander, Leon Fleisher and Jorge Bolet, who said of her, “It has been a long time, a very long time, since I have met a natural talent of such quality and musical sensibility." Her concert career took off in 1987 and now she performs with major orchestras around the world as well as being in demand for recital appearances. In February 2000 she was named ‘Soloist of the Year’ by ‘Les Victoires de la musique’. Still in her early thirties, she is arguably one of the very top pianists of her generation. To be spontaneous, not to be afraid of taking risks and always to play as though it is the first time is Helene Grimaud’s maxim. This encounter with Grimaud captures the essence of a musician and woman who is full of surprises. Refreshingly open and engaging, she gives an insight into her life and her music and is seen at work in Europe, performing, rehearsing and recording. At home in upstate New York her passion for wolves and her concern to educate people about these top predators is evident as she introduces her charges. There are extensive performance extracts featuring Helene Grimaud as a concert soloist, a chamber musician and in recital, playing music by Rachmaninov, Bach/Busoni, Beethoven Brahms and Schumann.
MUSICAL EXTRACTS include Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2; Rachmaninov: Corelli Variations;Bach/Busoni: Chaconne in D minor; Rachmaninov: Etude tableau No.1 in F minor; Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat; Schumann: Piano Quintet; Brahms: Piano Concerto No.1; Gershwin: Piano Concerto; Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4; Brahms: Violin Sonata No.3
Subtitles: German, French
Works on This Recording
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Very interesting journey to fullfillment March 14, 2014
By Kenneth G. (Grand Rapids, MI) See All My Reviews
"Until November 2013 I didn't know Helene Grimaud existed. To put this in perspective I have listened to and loved classical music for most of my 74 years. I found her on a search of You Tube to find a video of my favorite piano concerto the Brahms 1st. I found a video that was as great read of the score by Michael Gielen and a powerful and passionate performance by Ms. Grimaud. While on that search I came across the video I'm reviewing. This video provides a bio of Helene Grimaud who besides being a world class pianist is also very active in wolf conservancy. This video is really worth purchasing as it provided answers to all I wanted to know about a very unique women. She has a special attachment with the 1st piano concerto of Brahms since the first time she played it and wouldn't want to live life without it. As a measure of this attachment one can go to her website and see that during 2014 she has played that concerto more than a dozen times already this year."