GRIMAUD Credo

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HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD · Credo

CORIGLIANO: Fantasia on an ostinato
BEETHOVEN: Klaviersonate
Piano Sonata No. 17 op. 31 No. 2
»Der Sturm · The Tempest«
Fantasie für Klavier, Chor und
Orchester op. 80
PÄRT: Credo
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen
Int. Release 02 Jan. 2004
1 CD / Download
0289 471 7692 3 CD DDD GH
Blu-ray Audio:


Track List

John Corigliano (1938 - )
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
Piano Sonata No.17 in D minor, Op.31 No.2 -"Tempest"

Hélène Grimaud

Fantasia For Piano, Chorus And Orchestra In C Minor, Op.80

Arvo Pärt (1935 - )
Hélène Grimaud, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Swedish Radio Choir

Total Playing Time 1:08:21

Credo: . . . a very audacious choice of works . . . a conceptual musical journey . . .

A conversation with pianist Hélène Grimaud goes in many directions -- all of them fascinating . . . So it's no surprise that her first DG release, "Credo" -- which brings together sublime performances of Corigliano, Beethoven and Pärt -- creates a stimulating dialogue.

. . . rarely do major record companies allow an artist to put together as varied and stirring a menu of music as . . . the pianist Hélène Grimaud has for her debut . . . brillant performances, by turns improvisational and tastefully expressive.

. . . this is a thought-provoking and profoundly moving project.

Her favour finds expression in articulate, visionary performance . . . with Esa-Pekka Salonen electrifyingly conducting . . .

. . . young Grimaud seems destined for a big career. Her debut DG disc also shows that taste and good management can still covercome the odds of a dismal marketplace. Grimaud has further chosen an uncommonly interesting program, and surrounded herself with accomplished performers and technicians to ensure success . . . I know I will be returning to "Credo" with pleasure. The total effect is more than the sum of the individual parts. It is beautiful and meaningful music, cleverly organized.

The pianist HÉLÈNE GRIMAUD must be the first to be widely known for her conversation efforts on behalf of wolves. But one glance at her striking album "Credo" and the grey beauties quickly slip from your mind.

. . . striking debut . . .

Grimaud probes the 'Tempest' Sonata with such acuity that the outer movements are transformed from a blaze of angst-fuelled intensity into arresting statements of modernity, and the "Choral Fantasy" emerges sounding like the masterpiece that, on paper, it certainly isn't . . . Grimaud's Beethoven cries out to be heard.

The excellent, realistic sound does not betray the presence of an audience in the two choral works, enhancing a disc that Grimaud ought to follow up . . .

An auspicious DG début.

. . . a dazzling debut . . . there is no question about the pianist's supremacy . . . This beautifully conceived and performed CD certainly offers musical salvation to anyone with the good taste to purchase it.

Hélène Grimaud's inquiring mind and creative programme-building bode well for a fruitful partnership with DG . . . I don't think I've ever heard a disc like this before: breathtakingly original as a programme, and stunning musically. It has to be five stars all round. This is programe planning raised to the level of high art, and all superbly performed and recorded. If only more concerts were like this!

. . . the programme reveals an imaginative conceptual thread for which both the pianist, Hélène Grimaud . . ., and her supportive record company, Deutsche Grammophon, deserve congratulations . . . An individual disc that blazes with conviction.

This is an odd but strangely compelling CD.

. . . marvellous CD . . .

With "Credo" she offers a rich and engrossing recital program in which each component meaningfully touches on and amplifies aspects of the others.

A stimulating and mind-opening recording.

Her sincerity is beyond question, as is Grimaud's virtuosity and musicianship in this uncommonly thoughtful program . . . Her light touch and improvisatory style is fully in synch with Beethoven's extemporized introduction . . . Arvo Pärt's "Credo" is a perfect coupling, not only because of the similar transcendent spirituality . . . Grimaud finds a wide array of colors and expressive subtlety in John Corigliano's minimalist "Fantasia on an Ostinato" . . . all performances on this imaginative disc have wondrous transparency and great sonic impact.

. . . original and exciting, realized with fleet fingers, luminous sonorities and a quirky, highly personal intelligence.

Grimaud plays . . . with luminous tone, subtle pedal effects and a wide dynamic range . . . gives a lithe account of the "Tempest" sonata with some interesting details of articulation and there's a spirited performance of the Choral Fantasy. Grimaud really projects the sense of on-the-spot improvisation in the piano's long introduction.

Her energy in the opening allegros is ferocious yet controlled. These two Beethoven performances are quite outstanding; indeed I cannot think of others I would rather listen to.

The piano-playing is fine and strong, and Grimaud uses the best-sounding Steinway I've heard in a long time . . . it is serious Beethoven-playing, and the steady account of the finale is entirely convincing and unsettling in Grimaud's hands. It's a gentle reminder of how far Beethoven, like Prospero, stands above the rest, and made me want to revisit the other 31 sonatas right away. Let's have a "Diabelli" from Grimaud, too. The Corigliano solo Fantasia from 1985 appears, thanks to the Beethoven connection, based as it is on the second movement of the Seventh Symphony. Grimaud's sustained passion connects its static textures with sections of both accompanying Beethoven works, and with the Pärt and its fulsome conclusion . . . the presentation of the "Choral Fantasy", words and music in a tumult of Romantic ecstasy, is compelling. On balance, if the concert appeals, this disc is worth the money . . . that makes a refreshing, imaginative change from meat-and-potatoes piano recitals. Grimaud and Co. tuck you into bed nicely at the sweet close of the Pärt, turn out the lights, and let you dream of better times.

Grimaud . . . spielt Klassik mit der Offenheit und dem Risiko als wäre sie Jazz oder
russisches Roulette. Mit großer Freiheit und dem Mut zur eigenen Stimmung . . . In ihren Händen tobt . . . der Kontrast zwischen virtuoser Partiturtreue und künstlerischer Radikalität . . . sie besticht . . . durch ihr Spiel, das aufregend frisch und herrlich unideologisch ist. Ihre interpretatorische Offenheit erinnert an Glenn Gould.
Daran, wie er die Grenze zwischen Partitur und Intuition auslotete. Wie alles anders und
trotzdem richtig klingen kann.

Es ist, als wehte ein Geist, eine einzige Aura, durch die vier Stücke, ja, als seien sie förmlich einem gemeinsamen Schicksal geschuldet. Denn ob John Corigliano in seiner Fantasia on an Ostinato von 1985 nun auf den zweiten Satz von Beethovens Siebter abhebt, ob Beethoven selbst sich bei Shakespeare vergewissert (was der Sturm-Sonate nicht ganz zu Unrecht ihren Namen gab), ob er in seiner Chorfantasie ein gattungstechnisches Ungeheuer wie die eigene Neunte vorwegnimmt oder ob Arvo Pärt in seinem Credo für Klavier, gemischten Chor und Orchester (1968) gar wortwörtlich das erste Präludium aus dem Wohltemperierten Klavier zitiert -- jedes scheint hier buchstäblich mit jedem vernetzt. Und, wichtiger noch: Es gibt immer einen "heiligen" Kern, etwas, an das kein -- kompositorisches oder tatsächliches -- Chaos je zu rühren vermag. ... Die Passagen der Ruhe vor oder nach dem "Sturm" im Kopfsatz der Beethoven-Sonate trudeln somnambul vor sich hin, als sänke hier in wenigen Takten das ganze Menschheitsgedächtnis auf den Meeresgrund; das Allegretto wiederum tritt in äußerster Atemlosigkeit die Flucht nach vorn an -- um nichts anderes zu finden als ein Perpetuum mobile, das Glück im Rausch der Bewegung. Und das in Pärts konvulsivische Empörungen implantierte Bach-Präludium schließlich grüßt wie aus einem gläsernen Särglein, so schön, so rein, so unendlich vergangen. Da hält man die Augen gerne noch etwas länger geschlossen.

Grimaud überzeugt durch ihr fein artikuliertes, lebendiges Spiel, den glasklaren Anschlag sowie durch die Gabe, Musik zu erzählen und den Hörer in eine andere Welt zu entführen.

Alles oder nichts: das sensationelle CD-Programm der Pianistin Hélène Grimaud... Auch spielerisch sucht sie das Bekenntnis, lässt niemals die Materialität des Instruments außer Acht, stürzt sich bereitwillig kopfüber ins Innere und in jede Stille. Die Phasen der Ruhe vor und nach dem Sturm im Kopfsatz der Beethoven-Sonate etwa, sie trudeln somnambul vor sich hin, zeitlos, schwerelos, als sänke hier in wenigen Takten das ganze Abendland auf den Meeresgrund. Das Allegretto wiederum tritt in höchster Atemlosigkeit die Flucht nach vorne an -- um nicht anderes zu finden als ein funkelndes Perpetuum mobile, das Glück im Rausch der eigenen Bewegung. Und das in Pärts konvulsivischen Empörungen gleichsam implantierte Bach-Präludium schließlich winkt wie aus einem gläsernen Särglein -- so schön, so rein, so unantastbar ewig. Ein grandioser Trost. Und ein grandios modernes, authentisches Spiel. Bisweilen erinnern Grimauds hörbare Atmer gar an Glenn Gould.

Die Grimaud entwirft ein expressives Spiel mit der Erinnerung: atemberaubend.

Eine an- und aufregende CD.

... ihr energisches, fein austariertes Klavierspiel hat feste Konturen. So spielt sie die Fantasie Coriglianos, die das Ostinato aus dem Andante von Beethovens Siebenter umkreist und weiterdenkt, mit ebenso wachem Verstand und klanglicher "delicatezza" wie Beethovens "Sturm"-Sonate. Grimaud arbeitet mit stählerner Hand deren rhythmische Obsessivität heraus, modelliert im Adagio den meditativen Gesang und weiß im Finale die jagende Bewegung dämonisch zu steigern. Überraschend viel expressive Leidenschaft bringt sie auf für die kuriose, selten aufgeführte, weil unterschätzte Chorfantasie Beethovens.

"Credo" ist ein erstaunliches, ganz und gar wunderbares Album... Hénène Grimauds muskulösem, dabei immer gelenkigem Klavierspiel haftet nichts prätentiös Protzendes an, doch verliert sich auch nicht in der Regenwolkenschwere tiefschöner Gedanken, Zum mitreißenden Schwung, der diese schwergewichtigen Werke immer wieder neu antreibt, tragen die energisch agierenden Klangkörper des Schwedischen Rundfunks unter der Leitung von Esa-Pekka Salonen überzeugend bei. So gerät die Aufnahme nie in Gefahr, in die Abgründigkeit des allzu Langdurchdachten und demonstrativ Gutgemeinten zu rutschen und daheim im Regal in der Ecke des Schwerfällig-Interessanten zu landen, in die man Platten stellt, die man dann nie wieder hört. Im Gegenteil. Diese CD macht vielmehr Lust darauf, die Zufallstaste zu drücken und die Kompositionen -- bei Beethoven sogar die einzelnen Sätze -- in unvorhersehbarer Reihenfolge miteinander korresponideren zu lassen. Auch dabei werden sie sich gewiß gut verstehen.

Erstens ist die Französin eine exzellente Beethoven-Pianistin, zweitens hat diese CD ein spannungsvolles Programm: "Credo" . . . Grimauds keinesfalls verzärteltes, sondern geschmeidig kraftvolles, in sich versammeltes Beethovenspiel präludiert, verbindet sich mit Holzbläsern; die nacheinander "aufgeblendeten" Szenen -- Klavier/Chor/ Instrumental-Passagen/Orchester -- bekommen charismatische Tiefe . . . Eine ungewöhnliche CD einer ungewöhnlichen Künstlerin in jeder Hinsicht.

Avec son disque "Credo", elle relie Beethoven et Arvo Pärt dans un même souffle sacré. Dans les deux cas: une passion absolue pour la vie.

Ce disque est en fait un parcours musical conceptuel, fait pour le disque et bénéficiant de l'enchaînement immédiat et naturel de pièces pour piano seul et pour piano et orchestre... Ce programme ressemble à une réjouissante mauvaise herbe poussée en pleine Berezina. Hélène Grimaud est certes un «nom», autant en Europe et aux Etats-Unis qu'au Japon.

Translation: This disc has been conceived as a musical excursion, well served by the cogent and natural sequence of pieces for piano solo and for piano with orchestra. The programme is like a delightful weed sprouting in the midst of Berezina. Hélène Grimaud is certainly a "name", as much in Europe and the US as in Japan.

La «Fantaisie pour piano, choeur et orchestre» est d'un même émail: la pianiste anime sans fallir les inextricables formulares de son solo d'introduction; la clarté de ses échanges avec l'orchestre sculpte l'une des meilleures lectures modernes. [...] Au-delà de la présence de l'artiste et de sa nature musicale, c'est bien l'intelligence qui a présidé à l'elaboration de ce programme, et la réussite éclatante de sa realisation, qui justifient l'acquisition de cet enregistrement et sa place dans nos discothèques.

. . . l'album est à connaître absolument pur une formidable "Tempête", le meilleur Beethoven de Grimaud à ce jour . . .

Hélène Grimaud, una mujer cuya humanidad la hace accesible y próxima, que reflexiona profundamente algunas de sus respuestas, pero que en ningßun momento da sentido trascendente a ellas.

... Grimaud demuestra lo que ya ha quedado probado a lo largo de todo el disco, que es una gran pianista.

. . . es una pianista que puede llegar a ser excepcional, si logra . . . Grimaud merece ser escuchada con atención en este disco tan valiente y comprometido.

Cd van de maand . . . Grimaud's spel laat je immers nimmer onberoerd. Het is expressief en buitengewoon kleurrijk.

De Franse pianiste Hélène Grimaud heeft van "Credo", haar CD-debuut bij DG een bijzonder document proberen te maken. En dat is haar gelukt: de kwaliteit van haar eigen spel en de inbreng van haar collega's -- het Zweeds Radio Symfonieorkest en koor en dirigent Esa-Pekka Salonen -- zorgen ervoor dat het beluisteren van deze cd een boeiende ervaring is.

Grimaud speelt het belangrijkste werk, de Beethoven-sonate, superieur en met urgentie: indringend, expressief en kleurgevoelig. En de stap voor stap naar een climax toewerkende Koorfantasie laten Grimaud en Salonen organisch groeien naar de stralende afsluiting.

Ik ken geen overtuigender opname. Koop daarom deze CD, ook voor de fantastisch gespeelde solostukken.

"Credo" . . . is de titel van deze cd, ontleend aan het werk van Arvo Pärt dat er op staat. Tegelijk slaat dat opschrift op het uitgesproken positieve, krachtige karakter van alle composities die we hier horen. Dat geldt zeker voor Beethoven . . . door Hélène Grimaud met een geweldig elan en een superieure helderheid wordt gespeeld, ongeveer zoals Clara Haskil dat deed.

De Franse pianiste Hélène Grimaud is een fenomeen in de heedendaagse muziekwereld.

Dat is misschien ook wel de beste luisterhouding voor Arvo Pärts "Credo" . . . Grimaud presenteert het werk in de onalledaagse combinatie met Beethovens Sturmsonate en Chorfantasie. Prachtig.

    Credo - Hélène Grimaud interviewed by Michael Church

MC: Apart from the quality of your playing, you are famous for two things: for having that unusual capacity known as synaesthesia - hearing in colour - and for your involvement with wolves. Tell me first about synaesthesia. How did you become aware of it?
HG: It was when I was eleven, and working on the F sharp major Prelude from the first book of Bach's Well-tempered Clavier - I perceived something that was very bright, between red and orange, very warm and vivid: an almost shapeless stain, rather like what you would see in the recording control-room if the image of sound were projected on a screen. But as numbers had always had colours for me - two was yellow, four was red, five was green - and as I have always found music evocative, I didn't regard this as unusual. It was more the idea of colour than colour itself. Certain pieces always project me into a particular colour-world. Sometimes it's a result of the tonality - C minor is black, and D minor, the key that has always been closest to me, being the most dramatic and poignant is blue.

MC: Could you relate this to the works on the disc?
HG: The Choral Fantasy is a spiral of black, green, red, and yellow; the "Tempest" Sonata is definitely black and blue; the Corigliano is mostly red; and the Credo is an alternation of black and green.

MC: Okay, a colour-coded CD. But what's the musical rationale? And whose idea was it?
HG: The idea was absolutely mine. I've sometimes turned down interesting dates, simply because the programme request did not resonate with me. So I'm glad and grateful that Deutsche Grammophon has agreed to trust me, to go ahead with this seemingly bizarre disc. But to me it's all underpinned by the theory of Universalism, which is the quintessence of German Romanticism, above all as expressed by the visionary poet Novalis.

MC: How did you build the programme?
HG: The centre of gravity was Beethoven's Choral Fantasy. I was once asked to play it, together with his Fourth Concerto and some other things, in a recreation of the original programme in which Beethoven premièred it, and I learned it reluctantly. But in the process it just grew on me, and I became riddled with guilt for having once not given it proper consideration. Awkward and clumsy as it is, its spirit, and its reflection of humanity's Promethean struggle, is so exhilarating, transcendent, and touching - I felt I owed it amends.

MC: So what came next?
HG: The question was, what should I balance that work with? The obvious thing was a Beethoven concerto, but I wasn't keen to couple it with that. I needed to find something which would stand as The Other to it, so I put the project to one side till something happened, as it always does. And what eventually happened was that I was talking to Arvo Pärt in Berlin about the possibility of his writing a piano concerto for me, and he began pulling out scores and put Credo into my hands. I was instantly intrigued by the fact that he'd based it on a Bach prelude, whose music is for me the sacred ground on which all subsequent music stands. I was also perplexed by the black passages in the score, where players were free to improvise. I realized there was a lot that could be done with that section: there had to be a sort of matrix. The section symbolizes chaos, but it clearly couldn't be chaotically improvised. It had to have a mathematical pattern, a framework.

MC: You've turned this piece into something very personal. It sounds to me as though you have recomposed it.
HG: I wouldn't say that. I just wanted to be free without obscuring the work's message.

MC: And what is that?
HG: That blind obedience to any ideology, nation or religion is evil and ultimately destructive. This was exactly the coupling the Choral Fantasy had been waiting for.

MC: So what came next?
HG: These two works suggested to me the German Romantic idea of oneness, the connectedness of things through their sacredness. Reflecting on this, I decided to add the "Tempest" sonata.

MC: Why? Was it because, like the Pärt, it too was about the taming of fury?
HG: You've put your finger on it. Negative instincts transcended by acceptance, by reconciliation. This was some of the first programme music ever written, and it feels amazingly contemporary as a result.

MC: But whence the Corigliano? That has charm, but it sounds to me like a test piece.
HG: Right, it was one, for the Van Cliburn Competition. But what grabbed me was the start of the phantasmagoric section, after the theme from Beethoven's Seventh Symphony comes in, where the hands intertwine. Suddenly it's as mysterious as Pärt's Credo. And here was another variation by a living composer on a work by one of the greatest from the past. And at the same time, here was another embodiment of the concept that everything is one.

MC: What originally made you fall in love with the piano?
HG: As a child I had a huge surplus of energy. My parents thought it was just physical energy - but it was actually mental and emotional. These days people talk about children having an attention deficit disorder. Well, I was the opposite of that - I was way too focused. My parents tried to channel this in many directions, but music was the one that grabbed me. It appeared to me as a bottomless pit, which I would never finish exploring.

MC: Not a mountain? That's a very strange analogy!
HG: No, it chimes with my childhood. When I was very young I used to put myself to sleep by squeezing my eyelids so tight that I'd get a seam of strange colours and a very strong sense of vastness. So for me, those moments became a void full of colours and otherness, and I loved toppling over the edge into it. When I started playing music, I had the same sensation.

MC: And how did you come to get involved with wolves?
HG: The first wolf I met was in Florida. I was walking my friend's dog in the middle of the night, and I saw this pair of silhouettes, a man with an animal which was apparently canine but not a dog. We talked. The animal was obviously interested in me although extremely shy. We met again a month later, and by then she'd started to roll over for me. It was the aura she exuded that intrigued me - it was the sense of mystery, of meeting a free spirit trapped in the net of human dominion.

MC: As a lifelong rebel, did you identify with her?
HG: Not consciously (laughs). Who knows? A sympathy perhaps. But I began to visit her regularly, and I started learning about wolves. One thing led to another and - very much like my relationship with music - what started as a passion then became a mission, which brings an irresistible burden of responsibility.

MC: Why are wolves so important?
HG: Wolves epitomize the challenges of our relationship to nature and are therefore a keystone for larger conservation efforts. Wolves play a vital role in the environment; they are engineers of biodiversity in their ecosystem, which is most of the northern hemisphere. In an effort to make a difference, I hit on the project I am now helping to run near my home in New York - an education centre where wolves live, and where groups of children come to learn about wolves and the environment. Education is the only long-term hope for conservation, and as with classical music, the best way to ensure survival is to reach children. We owe them as complete a wilderness out there as possible, because it will have a tremendous impact on the quality of life of generations to come. Humanity's health and well-being will depend on our ability to be good stewards of the earth.

MC: It sounds as though you've created your own community.
HG: My problem was always that I never felt I belonged anywhere.

MC: How French do you feel these days?
HG: I'm still a French citizen, but I never felt French to begin with. My family's origins are diverse - Italian, Corsican, German, and North African. Somehow it never felt like coming home when I went back to Aix-en-Provence. On the other hand, I've always felt at home in Germany, and with the German musical repertoire. I moved to the US and am no longer tormented by where I come from, or where I belong. I feel I could move anywhere now, and it would not matter any more.

MC: You once said that meeting Martha Argerich made you feel less like a musical extra-terrestrial.
HG: It did. At the Paris Conservatoire we often used the Alfred Cortot editions, which had very precise fingering and pedal markings, and I felt all that had nothing to do with me. I change my fingering, depending on which hall I'm in, and which piano I'm playing, and my pedalling depends on the acoustic. The Cortot editions were about extracting difficulties, and dealing with them surgically and antiseptically out of context. To me that was an absurdity. Like the horse obsessing on the obstacle, and freezing at the jump: you create new problems that way. You should concentrate on such musical question as: Where does this passage come from? What does it mean? Where is it going? And when I met Martha Argerich, I found she saw some things the same way. I felt liberated.

    Background information about Pärt, Beethoven and Corigliano

Arvo Pärt: Credo
Composed in 1968, Credo came at that pivotal moment in Pärt's development when he was renouncing his early serialism in favour of the graceful religious austerity for which he is now best known. In its subversion of one musical system by another, the piece is still provocative, but at the time of its première the provocation was political, as its avowal of Christianity was viewed as inimical to Estonia's communist regime.

Arvo Pärt says of this work: "In the 1960s I became so fascinated by that central idea of Christianity 'Love your enemies' that it gave birth to my composition Credo. The work comprises two musically opposing, colliding worlds: one serial and aleatoric, the other an arrangement of a prelude by Bach.

What I wanted to show through the work's unfolding - inexorable like a chain reaction - is how the postulate 'An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth', harmless as it may seem in its initial stage, only gradually displays the full destructive dimensions of its true face: an escalation of power that, like an avalanche, eventually comes up against its own limits. What at first we perceive as human justice finally turns into its opposite. 'Do not resist one who is evil' . . . 'Love your enemies' - there is nothing more radical and enigmatic than these words of Christ, which nearly burst the bounds of our reason. And yet . . ."

Beethoven: Choral Fantasy op. 80
The piano's crashing opening chords herald what seems for the first three minutes like a solo work. Then comes a tentative dialogue with the lower strings, after which - equally tentatively - the woodwind enter. Human voices arrive almost as an afterthought. This was a fantasy indeed, written at such speed that the musicians got their parts with the ink wet. As the piano reworks the simple musical ideas on which the whole edifice is based, we get a strong whiff of what Beethoven's celebrated improvisations must have been like. In 1808 he'd earned little, and his friends encouraged him to put on a four-hour concert of his own works in order to refill his coffers. But this late addition was no mere space-filler: bringing order out of chaos, moving from darkness to light, and prefiguring the final theme of his Ninth Symphony, it reflects Beethoven's genius at full tilt.

Beethoven: Sonata in D minor, op. 31 no. 2 "The Tempest"
Beethoven himself didn't give this work its name - according to his early biographer Schindler, the composer declared that the work could be understood by reading Shakespeare's play - but from the moment the first theme breaks free from the cavernous opening chord, it certainly is tempestuous. That chord seems to pose a question, to which - after a long journey through darkly dramatic landscapes - the last notes come like an answer. This sonata was one of three composed in the village of Heiligenstadt in 1802, at a time when Beethoven was growing deaf, and in near-suicidal despair. Here he was at his most heroic: on the one hand, his "Heiligenstadt Testament" confided his woes to posterity (while concealing them from his contemporaries); on the other, he was creating masterpieces of coiled energy like this.

John Corigliano: Fantasia on an Ostinato
As one of the American composers finding a way forward without abjuring tonality, Corigliano is blazing a fascinating trail. In this work from 1985 his aim has been "to combine the attractive aspects of minimalism with a convincing structure and emotional expression". The foundation is the famous theme of the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, with Corigliano exploiting the repeated rhythmic motive as well as the harmonic pattern.
Michael Church

    Hélène Grimaud - A Biographical Timeline

Music is about emotional communication. Give it a try, and don't think you have taken the wrong road when perhaps you just have not gone far enough. After all, what is to come does not need to be discovered so much as invented.
(Hélène Grimaud)

1978 Begins playing the piano; studies with Jacqueline Courtin at the conservatory in her hometown of Aix-en-Provence in the south of France.
1982 Madame Courtin recommends that she continue her studies at the Paris Conservatoire and, after hearing Hélène play (Schumann's Papillons, the first movement of Beethoven's "Waldstein" Sonata and Fauré's Fifth Barcarolle), Pierre Barbizet at the conservatory in Marseille offers to prepare her for the entrance exams that October and November.
Still only twelve years old, playing, among other works, the first movements of Chopin's Second and Third Sonatas, she is accepted by the Paris Conservatoire.
Begins studies there two days a week with Jacques Rouvier, for whom she had also played that summer while studying at Les Arcs in the French Alps. For the rest of each week she lives at home with her parents in Aix and continues her studies with Barbizet in Marseille.
Her other teachers in Paris include Geneviève Joy for chamber music and Christian Ivaldi for sight-reading.
1985 Wins premier prix in piano at the Conservatoire.
In July, immediately after graduating, records Rachmaninov's Sonata No. 2 and the complete Etudes-Tableaux op. 33.
In the autumn, pursues post-graduate studies with Rouvier at the Conservatoire (troisième cycle, which is open only to select former winners of the premier prix)
1986 Goes to Moscow for three weeks as a contestant in the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition; on her return that summer plays at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.
Wins Grand Prix du disque for her Rachmaninov recording.
1987 Lessons with Leon Fleisher in Paris.
Makes Paris début recital (programme includes Schumann's Kreisleriana and Liszt's "Dante" Sonata); a week later performs Liszt's E flat major Concerto with the Orchestre de Paris at the invitation of Daniel Barenboim.
Appears at MIDEM in Cannes and at the piano festival of La Roque d'Anthéron
in the south of France, where the pianist Jorge Bolet tells her in front of the audience:"It has been a long time since I last encountered such an extraordinary talent." («Je n'ai pas rencontré un talent aussi extraordinaire depuis longtemps.»)
1988 First performs for the pianist Dmitri Bashkirov, who becomes an important influence on her playing.
1988/89 Recital in Paris, appearances with the Monte Carlo Orchestra under Lawrence Foster, in Switzerland under Eliahu Inbal, in Tokyo and Osaka as part of a tour of Japan, with the New American Chamber Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra under Myung-Whun Chung, the Bavarian State Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch and at the Lockenhaus Festival at the invitation of Gidon Kremer, with whom she performs - Kremer and Martha Argerich become further important influences in her career.
1990 Début with the Cleveland Orchestra, followed by appearances in New York with conductor Gerard Schwarz (Mostly Mozart Festival and New York Chamber Symphony), as well as with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore, and Seattle Symphony Orchestras, and soon with other leading orchestras in North America and Europe.
1991 Settles in the USA; makes her New York recital début at the Metropolitan Museum. In Europe she makes her début with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Temirkanov performing Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. In Leipzig she performs Schumann's Piano Concerto with the Gewandhaus Orchestra.
1993 Tours Germany with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under Neeme Järvi.
1994 Tours Germany with Semyon Bychkov and the Orchestre de Paris performing the Ravel Concerto in G. Performs in Munich with Kurt Sanderling and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4. In America she performs in Baltimore, at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, and at the Hollywood Bowl under Blomstedt.
1995 Makes her début with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado performing Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2.
1996 Highly successful tour of Spain with Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra in May
During the summer she performs with the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra led by Claudio Abbado at the Lucerne and Pesaro Festivals and returns to the Mostly Mozart Festival
Her recording of Brahms's Klavierstücke opp. 116-19 is praised by the Gramophone reviewer: "Throughout, Grimaud's playing is sensitive, thoughtful, and compelling. Her phrasing breathes with a natural fluency and her tone is always attractive . . . Both in the pieces of searching tenderness and in the more forthright numbers these performances always convey a powerful interpretative conviction that commands enormous respect."
1997 Performs and records Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Kurt Sanderling and the Berlin Staatskapelle. This recording goes on to win the 1999 Cannes Classical Recording of the Year.
1998/99 New York Philharmonic début in February with Beethoven's Fourth Concerto under Kurt Masur as well as appearances with the Orchestre de Paris, the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras.
Her summer season includes appearances at Aspen, Caramoor, the Hollywood Bowl (Beethoven's Fourth Concerto with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic), the Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest, and the Cincinnati Symphony's Riverbend Festival as well as concerts with the San Francisco Symphony.
1999 Pursuing her other deep commitment beside music, Grimaud and the photographer J.Henry Fair establish the Wolf Conservation Center, a private, non-profit-making educational facility in South Salem (Westchester County, NY), to promote conservation of this threatened species through education, providing a natural-habitat sanctuary for captive wolves and supporting the reintroduction of wolves in suitable, federally designated areas.
1999/2000 Débuts with the Boston Symphony (Mozart) and the Philadelphia Orchestra (Ravel) as well as recitals in San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Vancouver.
International engagements include a tour of Germany and Austria with Neeme Järvi and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and concerts with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Israel Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony under Kurt Sanderling, with whom she also appeared in Denmark.
Reviewing the live recording of her performance of Beethoven's Fourth Concerto with Masur and the New York Philharmonic, Richard Osborne writes in Gramophone: ". . . faced with playing of this order of dynamism and force of will, the critic's role as disinterested arbiter is pretty well redundant".
2000 Tour of the Czech Republic; in autumn she is the soloist (along with Martha Argerich) in a European festival tour made by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. Performs Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Berliner Philharmoniker and David Zinman and gives a solo recital in the Berlin Philharmonie which is filmed for TV broadcast.
2001/02 Makes her début in Amsterdam with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly playing Ravel's Concerto in G. Plays Beethoven's Fourth Concerto in Pittsburgh with André Previn and with Jeffrey Tate in Stockholm. Performs the same work in Paris and at the London Proms with the Orchestre de Paris and Christoph Eschenbach (the latter concert is filmed and broadcast internationally). In Paris she also performs chamber music with members of the Orchestre de Paris and Christoph Eschenbach, with whom she plays Schumann's Bilder aus Osten op. 66. Gives critically acclaimed recitals in Cologne and Zurich, and at the Rheingau Music Festival, among others.
Her Rachmaninov recording (Piano Concerto No. 2 with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, Etudes-Tableaux etc.) is hailed by the critics, with the German Neue Zeitschrift für Musik calling it "one of the most extraordinary recordings of this past year".
2002 Hélène Grimaud signs an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon.
2002/03 Performs Brahms's First Concerto with Riccardo Chailly and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Tours with the Czech Philharmonic and Ashkenazy, giving concerts in Europe (Prague, Amsterdam, London, Paris) and Japan. Performs world première of new work by Arvo Pärt at London's Tate Modern and in the same week joins Christoph von Dohnányi and the Philharmonia for two concerts at the Royal Festival Hall in London for "a fiery yet poetic account of Schumann's Piano Concerto" (The Times).
Joins the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie and Jukka-Pekka Saraste on a European tour, followed immediately by further European concerts with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under Chung (in Munich, Bregenz, and Vienna) and with the European Union Youth Orchestra under Ashkenazy (in Warsaw, Prague, and Budapest).
Returns to the UK for appearances at the London Proms and the Edinburgh Festival.
2003/04 Hélène Grimaud records Arvo Pärt's Credo in the composer's presence for Deutsche Grammophon; the recording also features Corigliano's Fantasia on an Ostinato and Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy" and "Tempest" Sonata (international release: January 2004). Highlights of the upcoming season include a tour with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, including concerts in Frankfurt, Cologne, and London in October 2003 performing Bartók's Piano Concerto No.3. Performances of the same work will be given in Munich with the Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera, followed by recitals in Brussels, Lucerne, and Lisbon.
2004 Commences with performances of Beethoven's Fourth Concerto in San Francisco, with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting, and a US tour with the Russian National Orchestra, playing Bartók's Third Concerto. Grimaud performs Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto for the first time in concert in Berlin in April 2004, with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Edo de Waart, and again four times in May in Japan with Chung and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Recitals in Vienna, Ludwigsburg, Amsterdam, and in duo with Truls Mørk in Paris. She will also play the Haakola Piano Concerto with Jukka-Pekka Saraste and the BBC Symphony at the Barbican in a weekend of concerts with a Finnish theme.

    Esa-Pekka Salonen - Biography

Born in Helsinki in 1958, ESA-PEKKA SALONEN studied horn with Holger Fransman, conducting with Jorma Panula and composition with Einojuhani Rautavaara at the Sibelius Academy. In 1977, he co-founded the Finnish avant-garde Ears Open collective and became its conductor. His highly successful début with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1979 led to conducting engagements all across Scandinavia, including an acclaimed production of Berg's Wozzeck at Stockholm's Royal Opera.

Salonen's international breakthrough came in 1983 in London conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra in Mahler's Third Symphony, and two years later he was simultaneously appointed music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra (remaining until 1995) and principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia (until 1994) and the Oslo Philharmonic (until 1989). Since 1992 he has been music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with whom he has appeared throughout Europe and Japan, including residencies at the 1992 Salzburg Festival and at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 1996.

Salonen has achieved international renown as a champion of new music by contemporary composers including John Adams and his compatriots Magnus Lindberg and Kaija Saariaho, as well as an outstanding interpreter of the music of Bartók, Dallapiccola, Debussy, Lutos³awski, Mahler, Messiaen, Nielsen, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Stravinsky, and Takemitsu. As a composer he is recognized as an important voice in contemporary music, whose works have been described as "brilliant, humorous, and combining avant-garde daring with immediate impact" (The Guardian).

In 2003, the year in which Esa-Pekka Salonen signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, his conducting engagements include the inaugural concerts of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's new Walt Disney Hall in October as well as appearances with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Orchestre de Paris, the Kirov Orchestra at St. Petersburg's White Nights Festival, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Edinburgh Festival.