Schumann at the Hollywood Bowl

Photo © Mat Hennek

Photo © Mat Hennek

Hélène Grimaud’s fearlessness in rethinking classics and creating new phrasings sets her apart, and she has been celebrated for her expressive interpretation of Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto throughout her career. On September 9th, she will perform the concerto with LA Philharmonic under the baton of Marta Gardolińska at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

For more info and tickets visit the Hollywood Bowl website.

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New Album

“The Messenger”


Presenting Hélène Grimaud’s brand-new album ‘The Messenger’ with unique recordings of Mozart and Silvestrov with Camerata Salzburg.

If Silvestrov is a remembrance of things past, Mozart reaches for what yet may come. This music reminds us of one of life’s great possibilities – that of change.

Listen here

“I was always interested in couplings that were not predictable, in unusual combinations, because I feel as if certain pieces – even sometimes pieces by different composers – can shed a special light on to one another.” – Hélène Grimaud

The recording sessions took place at the start of this year at an historic Mozart site in Salzburg, the Great Hall of the University, where Grimaud was joined by the Camerata Salzburg. The album includes three works by Mozart: the unfinished Fantasia in D minor K 397, the famous Piano Concerto in D minor K 466 and the Fantasia in C minor K 475. Grimaud sees his use of the minor as suggestive of “confrontations with fate or destiny”. She now appreciates that there is more to his writing than Apollonian elegance and restraint, noting that it took her “many years of inner cultivation to fully recognise those burning, unpredictable currents rippling beneath the transcendental beauty”. Valentin Silvestrov’s ‘The Messenger – 1996’ offers both a response to and an echo of Mozart’s music – this idea of acknowledging and paying tribute to what has gone before is central to his art as a composer.

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Nothing can silence this song to come

Photo: Mat Hennek

La pandémie que nous vivons est inédite; difficile d’en parler aussi brièvement que de façon juste. J’exprime mon admiration à tous ceux qui sauvent des vies, à tous ceux qui font tenir debout ce qui ne doit pas céder et ma compassion va à tous les malades, à toutes les familles endeuillées, à tous ceux qui ont à lutter contre la maladie, souvent en surcroît d’autres luttes pour vivre.

Si je pense aux compositeurs que j’interprète le plus volontiers, comment ne pas se souvenir de ce qu’ils ont eu à traverser? Bach a été contemporain des guerres de Silésie, Mozart a vécu les débuts de la Révolution française, Beethoven a fait face aux conquêtes napoléoniennes, Brahms a eu entre autres malheurs à endurer la guerre entre l’Autriche et la Prusse, Rachmaninov a pris le chemin de l’exil, Chostakovitch a exprimé ce que fut l’horreur du siège de Leningrad. Tous ces grands compositeurs n’ont pas été absents de leur temps, des temps souvent bien plus violents que le nôtre. Mais tous ont su y faire face. Avec une humanité entière. Ce que nous entendons dans leur musique est l’accord fragile entre la tragédie commune à tous les hommes et à toutes les époques et ce qui vient la sauver, ce qui offre une délivrance.
Notre temps a besoin, à nouveau, d’une “musique plus intense” (Rimbaud) qui dessine un espace où vivre en vérité, d’un temps où aimer par-delà les mille misères présentes.
A l’heure où les prédictions les plus sombres nous assaillent, dans une surenchère parfois douteuse, sachons aussi être très confiants dans les ressources de l’harmonie : elle enjambe toujours les malheurs, elle y répond à un degré supérieur. La musique est une ouverture à l’infini. Rien ne pourra faire taire ce chant à venir. Sachons avoir l’oreille ouverte à ce qui va advenir, peut-être “sur les pattes d’une colombe”.
En toute solidarité,
Hélène Grimaud


The pandemic we are experiencing is unprecedented: it is difficult to talk about it concisely or fairly. My admiration goes to those who save lives, those who hold together all that must not surrender and my compassion to all who are sick, to the families who have lost a loved one, to those who must fight the disease in addition to other struggles in order to survive.
If I think of the composers particularly dear to me, how can I not remember what they had to go through: Bach was a contemporary to the Silesian wars, Mozart lived through the beginnings of the French Revolution, Beethoven faced napoleonic conquests, Brahms had to endure the war between Austria and Prussia, Rachmaninov took the road to exile, Shostakovich expressed the horrors of the siege of Leningrad. All these great composers weren’t shielded from the struggles of their times, – times often much more violent than ours, but all faced it with fortitude and with their humanity intact. What we hear in their music is the fragile and poignant alliance between the tragedy common to all mankind and what comes to rescue and redeem it as a deliverance. Our time needs, once again, a “more intense music” (Rimbaud), to create a space to live in truth, a time to love beyond the many current miseries.
In a time where the darkest predictions assail us, sometimes in a suspect escalation, let’s remember to stay confident in the resources of harmony: to stride over all woes and to answer them on a higher level. Music is an opening onto the infinite. Nothing can silence this song to come. Let’s keep our ears open to what will come take place, perhaps as silently as “on doves’ feet”.
In solidarity,
Hélène Grimaud

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