GRIMAUD Reflection von Otter Salonen 4775719

. . . a vibrant new CD . . .

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. Sumptuously presented . . . and recorded . . . 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. The cadenza is a full-blooded as even the most ardent lover of the Concerto could wish . . . this is certainly among the most highly charged of Schumann piano concerto recordings. 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. Grimaud ends with Brahms's . . . two Op 79 Rhapsodies, playing with thrilling immediacy in the first and a welcome grandeur in the second . . . This is an exceptional disc, highlighting a young pianist who, imperiously and audaciously, lives for the moment.

Love is the "leitmotiv". Very classy.

The disc finds the French pianist at her visionary best. It opens with a passionate yet unsentimental performance of Schumann's Piano Concerto conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen that ranks among the finest ever recorded. Anne Sofie von Otter is the soloist
in a turbulent group of Clara's songs, while Truls Mork joins Grimaud for a powerful version of Brahms's First Cello Sonata. The album closes with Grimaud playing Brahms's Op 79 Rhapsodies, another overwhelming performance that captures the composer's shattering isolation as well as his deep affection for his best friend's wife. A truly great achievement, this is unmissable.

. . . all is well. Grimaud's playing in the concerto is impulsive, basking in rubato. One thinks of Martha Argerich -- fitting enough in a piece with such a passionate, headlong trajectory. The succulent sounds of the Staatskapelle Dresden, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, dovetail pretty well, and are captured in Dresden's Lukaskirche in an attractive, warm acoustic.

Grimaud's tribute to the mutual love between Robert and Clara Schumann and Brahms is a delight. Starting in beguiling fashion with a warm, reflective account of Mr Schumann's Piano Concerto . . . Anne Sofie von Otter sings Clara's Liebesfrühling Lieder, she and Grimaud are equal partners, each firing the other's inspiration.

. . . 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. The cadenza is as full-blooded as even the most ardent lover of the Concerto could wish . . . this is certainly among the most highly charged of Schumann piano concerto recordings. 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. Grimaud ends with Brahms's brief return to his early drama and heroics in his two op. 79 Rhapsodies, playing with thrilling immediacy in the first and a welcome grandeur in the second. But before that she joins Truls Mork 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. This is an exceptional disc, highlighting a young pianist who, imperiously and audaciously, lives for the moment.

Hélène Grimaud delivers Schumann with natural virtuosity

. . . 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 . . . all credit to Salonen for his part in that . . . This new disc also has three beautiful renditions of three very impressive songs by Clara Schumann . . . this new release is definite worth the investment for the Schumanns.

Two marvellous songs by Clara Schumann setting poems by Rückert are sung with resonant commitment by Anne Sofie von Otter, and very stirring they are too . . . The Brahms E minor Cello Sonata is a work that has been recorded by generations of great cellists and pianists, but this new performance by Truls Mork and Grimaud is particularly rich in passion and drive. The first movement is very impressive . . . The second movement is done as a slightly gawky rustic dance and works extremely well as such. The finale can be less successful in the hands of two less completely committed artists, but here it is compelling, with the dialogue between the two instrumentalists creating truly stirring results. Grimaud is someone whose Brahms-playing has been long admired . . . and she and Mork have a real sense of Brahmsian phrasing . . . an exceptional performance . . .

A fiery yet sensitive account of Schumann's piano concerto . . . With the Norwegian cellist Truls Mork. Grimaud trenchantly delivers the Brahms E minor sonata, then rounds the disc off grandly with Brahms's formidable B minor and G minor rhapsodies.

This fresh approach -- feisty and emphatic yet with no lack of introspection and heartfelt expression -- is welcome . . . The recording is vivid and fulsome . . . two settings of Rückert (alternately passionate and intimate) and then one to words by Wilhelm Gerhard brings another ardent outpouring. Anne Sofie von Otter delivers typical identification and Grimaud is demonstrative and sensitive by turns . . . the reproduction given to Truls Mork whose depth of tone and intense phrasing makes much of Brahms's E minor Sonata for cello and piano: the duo designation is deliberate, for Mork and Grimaud are a true partnership in this strongly emotional interpretation, perfectly balanced; sparks fly.

. . . a passionate take on Robert Schumann's piano concerto followed by some sweet songs by Clara Schumann and Brahm's E Minor Cello Sonata and muscular Rhapsodies. Grimaud is accompanied by a set of excellent guests . . . The group has collaborated on a bright, enjoyable disc . . .

. . . the almost 80-minute program is varied and fascinating. Robert's popular, stunning A minor Piano Concerto is played by Grimaud with romantic abandon but little sentiment; when it is showy, it comes from the music itself and is not an affectation. The first movement is filled with poetic vs. dramatic contrasts; there is a subtle but noble transition on piano and winds from the gently presented second movement to the springy, dramatically energetic third. Esa-Pekka Salonen is the remarkable conductor of the superb Staatskapelle Dresden . . . Brahms's Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in E minor is given a strong but lyrical and well-balanced reading by Grimaud and cellist Truls Mørk; both play with passion. Brahms's two Rhapsodies for piano complete the program; Grimaud gathers the darkness of the second and gives a fervent performance. What a beautiful CD!

. . . the performance here achieves a nearly ecstatic identification with the composer's own lofty expressive ideals. Esa-Pekka Salonen's meticulous direction of the Dresden Staatskapelle creates a perfect foil for Grimaud; there's a fine balance between surging passion and formal discipline, between the two sides of Schumann's personality -- Florestan and Eusebius, as he called them. Three ravishing songs by Clara Schumann follow, sung by Anne Sofie von Otter with a rapt lyricism matching Grimaud's . . . As played with full, dark tone by Truls Mork, with Grimaud as a true partner, not just an accompanist, Brahms's First Cello Sonata supplies a melancholy introversion to contrast with Schumann's effusiveness. And when the spotlight finally shines solely on Grimaud in Brahms's Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79, the pianist's palpable emotional and physical involvement makes for a glorious summation of the album's journey -- and even of the entire Romantic century that spawned this rich variety of music.

Everybody is in top form, especially in Clara's songs, which have never sounded more distinguished.

. . . the success of the performances is unquestionable . . . Grimaud brings her characteristic electricity to every moment she touches, but finds strange, demonic highlights in the concerto¿s potentially innocuous second movement. She also accompanies Truls Mork with large, billowing gestrues in the Brahms cello sonata, better revealing its youthful ardor and melancholy. Everybody is in top form, especially in Clara¿s songs, which have never sounded more distingushed.

On her new recording, "Reflection," Hélène Grimaud carefully considers the music of Robert and Clara Schumann and their faithful friend, Johannes Brahms. She explores how their unique relationship resonates in their music, and through her heart-felt performance she gives us every reason to explore that intimate connection as well.

Clara Schumann's composing is represented by three fascinatingly tuneful songs, sung with a burning, womanly grace by Anne Sofie von Otter. Brahms' First Cello Sonata ¿ one of the masterpieces of Romanticism ¿ comes across almost feverishly in the hands of Truls Mork and Grimaud, a rush of sound as pure feeling. Grimaud's way with the ebb and flow of Brahms' Two Rhapsodies (Op. 79) is characteristically headlong, concerned more with incisive poetry than surface prettiness. Grimaud has made the ideal sort of classical album, in which technique blurs seamlessly into emotion.

. . . Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto -- which he wrote for his wife, Clara -- is the big item here, a perpetual concert favorite that Grimaud manages to give a freshly intense sound . . . The orchestral playing, from the dark-hued Dresden ensemble, could hardly be richer. Clara Schumann's composing is represented by three fascinatingly tuneful songs, sung with a burning, womanly grace by Anne Sofie von Otter. Brahms' First Cello Sonata -- one of the masterpieces of Romanticism -- comes across almost feverishly in the hands of Truls Mork and Grimaud, a rush of sound as pure feeling. Grimaud's way with the ebb and flow of Brahms' Two Rhapsodies (Op. 79) is characteristically headlong, concerned more with incisive poetry than surface prettiness. Grimaud has made the ideal sort of classical album, in which technique blurs seamlessly into emotion.

Ms. Grimaud is clean, sweeping, and often rippling . . . Mr. Salonen makes a stylish, sensible partner . . . Following the concerto, Ms. Grimaud plays three songs of Clara Schumann. That is, she accompanies Anne Sofie von Otter, the great Swedish mezzo, in them. Ms. von Otter sings with her usual intelligence, tastefulness, and beauty. Ms. Grimaud does well too, contributing the stormy, rhapsodic playing that she's especially good at. Next? A Brahms cello-and-piano sonata, in which Ms. Grimaud is joined by the impressive Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk. They make a good duo, producing strong, heartfelt, technically attentive Brahms . . . Last, Ms. Grimaud plays the two Brahms Rhapsodies, Op. 79. I have said that she can play rhapsodically -- and there's plenty of opportunity for that in rhapsodies. This is an unusual album -- and a commendable one . . .

This is an unusual album ¿ and a commendable one . . .

. . . 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 . . . 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 . . . every one of these performances is, on its own, absolutely compelling . . . Grimaud is blessed with exceptional partners . . . Mørk's churning Brahms is especially thrilling. The sound on my pre-production CD was excellent, too. In a word, treasurable.

. . . the almost 80-minute program is varied and fascinating. Robert's popular, stunning A minor Piano Concerto is played by Grimaud with romantic abandon but little sentiment . . . The first movement is filled with poetic vs. dramatic contrasts; there is a subtle but noble transition on piano and winds from the gently presented second movement to the springy, dramatically energetic third. Esa-Pekka Salonen is the remarkable conductor of the superb Staatskapelle Dresden . . . Brahms's Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in E minor is given a strong but lyrical and well-balanced reading by Grimaud and cellist Truls Mørk; both play with passion. Grimaud . . . gives a fervent performance. What a beautiful CD!

In the past few years . . . she's turned into one of the most challenging keyboard artists of her generation . . . the disc exhibits her playing, with its fusion of detail and impulse, at its most magnetic.

Kraftvoll und stürmisch -- Hélène Grimaud auf ihrer neuen CD . . . "Reflection" markiert eine neue Stufe in Grimauds pianistischer Entwicklung . . . Das wird schon in den ersten Takten deutlich: Mit sicherer Hand lässt die Pianistin die Eingangsakkorde des ersten Satzes in den Raum donnern, aus denen sie dann eine empfindsame musikalische Erzählung fortspinnt. Die emotionalen Höhen und Tiefen dieses vielleicht romantischsten aller Klavierkonzerte werden von Grimaud leidenschaftlich und einfühlend ausgelotet. Im Andantino noch graziös, bisweilen kokett, erreicht ihre Interpretationskunst im furiosen Finale bislang unerkannte Höhen und macht den legendären Aufnahmen etwa Lipattis oder Brendels Konkurrenz. Wenn sie das euphorische, angriffslustige Hauptmotiv pathetisch, mit souveräner Technik in die ersterbende Stille des zweiten Satzes schmettert und dann durchvariiert, merkt man: Diese Frau lebt mit, ja in der Musik.

Ihr Musizieren klingt jetzt, ohne zu nivellieren, wie aus einem Guss. Es entwickelt sich frei und organisch, die Musik wird farbig, differenziert und unforciert dargelegt . . . eine sensibel vielschichtige und sympatisch eigenständige Interpretation des wahrlich nicht leicht aufzuführenden Werkes. Die folgenden drei Clara-Schumann-Lieder, die frühe Cellosonate op. 38 und die beiden Rhapsodien op. 79 von Brahms runden das Bild glänzend genug ab. Insgesamt eine Veröffentlichung, die durch die Verbindung der zeitlos gültigen Tugend stilgerechten Musizierens mit einem unkonventionellen Programm erfreulich aus dem Angebot herausragt.

Da wird einfach prächtig musiziert.

Roberts Klavierkonzert spielt Hélène Grimaud mit derselben jugendbewegten Emphase wie vor zehn Jahren unter David Zinman, doch in den Temposchüben organischer und dank der besseren Klangqualität mit reicherer Farbpalette. Die dialogischen Momente mit dem Orchester sind schön ausgehört, und Esa-Pekka Salonen dirigiert die Dresdner Staatskapelle sehr anpassungsfähig . . . Grimaud geht mit einem an Martha Argerich erinnernden, manchmal schon wütigen Engagement zur Sache . . .

Hélène Grimaud und ihre Musizierpartner gestalten grosszügig und veweben die Stimmen mit Verve.

Sie selbst, das ist ihr Spiel, ein Spiel voller Poesie, das sich in schönster Weise in ihrer neuen CD "Reflection" manifestiert . . . In allen Einspielungen gehen Energie und Empfindsamkeit Hand in Hand.

Ihr Musizieren entwickelt sich frei und organisch, die Musik wird farbig und unforciert dargelegt. Durch ihren natürlichen Spielimpuls gelingt es Grimaud sogar, im Einklang mit der ungezwungen korrespondierenden Dresdner Staatskapelle unter Esa-Pekka Salonen alle alteingeschliffenen Routine-Gesten vergessen zu machen . . . eine sensibel vielschichtige und sympathisch eigenständige Interpretation . . . [Die drei Clara-Schumann-Lieder, die Cellosonate und die beiden Rhapsodien von Brahms] runden das Bild glänzend genug ab. Insgesamt eine Veröffentlichung, die durch die Verbindung der zeitlos gültigen Tugend stilgerechten Musizierens mit einem unkonventionellen Programm erfreulich aus dem Angebot herausragt.

Elle signe une version à la fois épurée et effervescente du Concerto pour piano de Schumann, et la Sonate pour violoncelle no 1 de Brahms. Des émotions pures qui disent l'attraction des corps et le désir d'adhérer au monde.

On devine une intelligence hors normes, presque agaçante . . . Hélène Grimaud s'y dévoile en effet beaucoup plus que de coutume. Plus libre, plus sensible, plus expressive, plus tendre, plus chaleureuse . . . la pianiste aux loups qui pensait la moindre note se laisse enfin porter par l'émotion de la musique. On succombe.

La sortie d'un nouveau Grimaud est un événement . . . Un Concerto rendu à son jaillissement, ses couleurs de printemps, ses phrasés chambriste, mais également a sa profondeur, sa poésie de l'ineffable. L'osmose d'un orchestre souple et rayonnant avec une candeur mozartienne, d'un chef méticuleux et puissamment musical, et d'une soliste connectée à l'univers. Pour compléter cette nouvelle démonstration de piano souverain d'articulation, Grimaud a choisi des "lieder" de Clara Schumann, chanté par la mezzo suédoise Anne Sofie von Otter, puis une sonate et deux rhapsodies de Brahms, ave le violoncelliste norvégien Truls Mork.

. . . Grimaud busca ante todo una interpretación nítida, en la que establece un diálogo transparente con las diversas secciones de la orquesta, a las que Salonen pone de relieve con exquisita progresión, logrando un clímax poético constante . . . El timbre luminoso de Von Otter, la naturalidad de su emisión y su cuidado fraseo procuran una interpretación primorosa

... Anne Sofie von Otter ... liederista siempre refinada y elegante. ... unas rapsodias Op. 79 en la que Grimaud está en su elemento, poderosa, vehemente y dominadora, haciéndonos recordar a su admirada Marta Argerich; ... una prueba más de la eminente categoría brahmsiana de esta pianista.