Hélène Grimaud has just made a new debut. Not with a brand new work but with a German romantic “war horse“ which she has been gearing up to for quite some time: Brahms Piano Concerto no. 2
The premiere in Amsterdam last Friday was greeted with a rapturous standing ovation as was the performance in Cologne two days later with the Gürzenich Orchestra and conductor Markus Stenz.
Reviewing the concert, the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger paid tribute to “the enormous success” adding “and rightly so with Grimaud’s mindful approach to this monumental work – an approach that was as thoughtful as economic in design. Grimaud played with great lyrical quality, avoiding any demonstration of force or virtuoso bravura” .
The Kölnische Rundschau joined the praise paying tribute to the “wonderful dialogue” between orchestra and piano and Der Telegraaf commented “How different the second piano concerto of Brahms sounded under the hands of the refined pianist Hélène Grimaud … The four-part concerto which Brahms wrote more than twenty years after his first piano concerto, has all the traits of a symphony with an added solo instrument. It doesn’t matter. It is a concerto which you as the listener can deliciously sink into.”
We now look forward to many more Brahms 2 performances to come.