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Hélène Grimaud - Reflection

Album Summary

>Schumann, Robert : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54
>Schumann, Clara W. : Songs (3) from poems of Rückert, for voice & piano, Op. 12
>Schumann, Clara W. : Am Strande ("Traurig schau ich von der Klippe"), for voice & piano
>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 in E minor, Op. 38
>Brahms, Johannes : Rhapsodies (2) for piano, Op. 79
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"This is Grimaud's second go-around with the Schumann Concerto. Her Erato recording (11727, July/Aug 1996) is still available, though I am not familiar with it. This recording is notable for her mature, knowledgeable balance between the virtuosity and lyricism that make this work a perennial favorite (over 60 reviews listed in the ARG index). Salonen and his Dresden musicians make an excellent team with the soloist. I should note the excellent playing of the woodwinds, especially the oboe solos. Time was that you couldn't get the Schumann Concerto without getting the Grieg Concerto. It is still a popular combination, but with the capability of substantially more time on a CD than an LP, we are more often treated to significantly more music along with the Schumann. Rarely are the additional works as inventively chosen and as well played as here. The fascinating notes to this record make much of the relationship between the Schumanns and Brahms, bringing to light many interesting facts. I was unaware that Clara Schumann's early Concerto in A minor supplied Robert with some material for his concerto. Also, her songs recorded here were originally published with some of Robert's, without identifying who wrote which. Brahms actually lived in the Schumann house and looked after the children and finances while Clara was on tour after Robert's death. Grimaud's versatility is emphasized in this release. Working with two exceptionally fine musicians in Von Otter and Mork, she shows us another side of her pianism that will undoubtedly be much sought after in the years to come. I have many recordings of Clara Schumann's songs, and the only one on the same high level as these are the Barbara Bonney (London 452898, Sept/Oct 1997). In fact, I prefer Von Otter's warm beautiful mezzo voice in these songs. The first Brahms Cello Sonata by itself, rather than coupled with the other one, allows it to shine on its own. The robust romantic passion and skillful musical interplay exhibited by these two artists almost requires that they eventually record the second sonata as well. While recorded competition in the Brahms is exceptionally high, this will not disappoint. Ending with the Brahms Rhapsodies brings us back to the artistry of the primary musician here. I am reminded of the concert programs of the late 1800s, especially some of Liszt's, where this kind of varied musical offering was regularly presented to the public. I find it a refreshing change from the norm."-ARG

bbc.co.uk - Andrew McGregor
If you've heard this lovely work [the Concerto] once too often in a merely average performance, then drink deeply at Grimaud's spring, for you'll leave refreshed...not an overblown romantic gesture, and no cloying sentimentality; instead a strong, straightforward reading where every note seems just so, yet without feeling calculated.

BBC Music Magazine
... even if her Schumann Concerto had come out on its own... I'd still strongly recommend it. From her first two forte chords it is clear this is going to be something special. Every single phrase, change of mood or colour, sounds as though it has been lovingly rediscovered.

Gramophone Magazine
Hélène Grimaud presents us with a second lovingly themed gift, this time mirroring the entwined love of Robert and Clara Schumann and their adored protégé, Johannes Brahms. Grimaud's performance of Robert's Piano Concerto is a superbly bracing riposte to more indulgent and sentimental readings. Brilliantly partnered by Esa-Pekka Salonen, who conducts with all the joy of first discovery, she launches the work with fierce authority before playing the principal theme with a rare sense of its expressivo and affetuoso character. She is no less bold and impassioned partnering Anne Sofie von Otter, an ideal match for a singer whose intensity and vision leave you in no doubt that Clara was a more-than-gifted composer as well as a great pianist. ...joins Truls Mørk in the E minor Cello Sonata, where you get an almost palpable sense of the artists lifting each other to heights they might find hard to achieve alone. Few performances on record have a more robust eloquence and fervour.



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Works Details

>Schumann, Robert : Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54
  • Performer: Hélène Grimaud (Piano)
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Ensemble: Dresden Staatskapelle
  • Running Time: 31 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1841

>Schumann, Clara W. : Songs (3) from poems of Rückert, for voice & piano, Op. 12 :: "Er ist gekommen" Op. 12 no 2
  • Performers: Hélène Grimaud (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 06/08/1841

>Schumann, Clara W. : Songs (3) from poems of Rückert, for voice & piano, Op. 12 :: "Warum willst du and're fragen" Op. 12 N
  • Performers: Hélène Grimaud (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 06/08/1841

>Schumann, Clara W. : Am Strande ("Traurig schau ich von der Klippe"), for voice & piano
  • Performers: Hélène Grimaud (Piano); Anne von Otter (Mezzo Soprano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 12/1840

>Brahms, Johannes : Sonata for Cello and Piano no 1 in E minor, Op. 38
  • Performers: Hélène Grimaud (Piano); Truls Truls Mork (Cello)
  • Running Time: 25 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1862-1865

>Brahms, Johannes : Rhapsodies (2) for piano, Op. 79
  • Performer: Hélène Grimaud (Piano)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1879