Skip to content Skip to footer

Feature: The Violin Channel


Pianist Hélène Grimaud’s New Album, “For Clara” 

by The Violin Channel 

September 8, 2023 

Released on Deutsche Grammophon, the new album concentrates on Grimaud’s long relationship with the music of Schumann & Brahms

French pianist Hélène Grimaud released her new album, “For Clara,” on Deutsche Grammophon. The album features the music of Schumann and Brahms in collaboration with baritone Konstantin Krimmel. Grimaud pairs Schumann’s Kreisleriana Op. 16 with three of Brahms’ Op. 117 Intermezzi and his Lieder und Gesänge Op. 32.

To purchase and listen to the album, click here.

Schumann composed Kreisleriana — a set of eight varied solo pieces — two years before marrying Clara Wieck in the Spring of 1838. The piece reflected how Schumann felt towards Clara — naming the set after Johannes Kreisler, who was a fictional eccentric and unpredictable composer created by writer E.T.A. Hoffmann

In 1853, Brahms met the Schumanns and was immediately welcomed, later becoming Schumann’s protégé. Both Brahms and Schumann admired and respected Clara, with many of their works inspired by her.

Hélène Grimaud and Konstantin Krimmel convey the themes of love, loss, devotion, and disillusionment which are expressed by both words and music — and might in some ways have echoed both composer’s feelings towards Clara.

“I’ve always had a special relationship with the German Romantics,” says Hélène Grimaud. “These are worlds in which I feel I can express what the composer intended.”

Listen to Grimaud perform Schumann’s Kreisleriana Op. 16 below:

Hélène Grimaud – Schumann: Kreisleriana op. 16 – 4. Sehr langsam

Discover full concert performances and operas on STAGE+, the new streaming service from Deutsche Grammophon: Find exclusive signed albums in the Deutsche Grammophon store: On her new album, pianist Hélène Grimaud explores the rich universe of German Romanticism, combining Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana op. 16 with Brahms’ Intermezzi op.

Baritone Konstantin Krimmel — with German-Romanian roots — has toured nationally and internationally, performing recitals at the Kölner Philharmonie, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Heidelberger Frühling, Wigmore Hall, and the Lied Festival. Kimmel is a member of the Bavarian State Opera and has been an exclusive artist of the French label Alpha since 2019.

Hélène Grimaud has been an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2002. Her recordings have been critically acclaimed and awarded numerous accolades, among them the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la musique, Diapason d’Or, Grand Prix du Disque, Record Academy Prize (Tokyo), Midem Classic Award, and the Echo Klassik Award. Her previous album, Silent Songs,” was released in March 2023 and explored Silvestrov’s vocal music with a selection of pieces from the Ukrainian composer’s monumental song cycle of the same name.

Grimaud’s recordings of two further Brahms Intermezzi — Op. 116 No. 2 in A minor andOp. 118 No. 2 in A major — will be issued as e-singles on October 13 and November24 respectively.