Hélène Grimaud celebrates Deutsche Grammophon’s 125th birthday with “Credo” (with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir), available on the LP first time since its original release 20 years ago.
Hélène Grimaud is an astonishing artist; her eyes are wide awake, her answers as sharp as a flash, her diction precisely pointed. Now her debut CD on Deutsche Grammophon is available on vinyl for the first time: Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” stands next to Arvo Pärt’s “Credo” from 1968; two works that correspond to each other, as Hélène Grimaud believes. There is also Beethoven’s “Tempest” Sonata and a “Fantasia on an Ostinato” by John Corigliano, a piece the latter wrote for the Van Clifburn Competition in 1985.
It is astonishing how little physicality and touch can be related in a pianist. For Grimaud’s physical delicacy stands in bright contrast to her almost impetuous powerful grip. She knows how to literally bang out the notes and brush them against the grain with almost unruly charm, unleashing forces of sound that particularly hit the note in Beethoven’s “Storm” Sonata. Her use of pedal is cleverly calculated, so there is no chance for melodramatic “sound clouds”, not even in Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy”.