CD: Schumann: Piano Concerto; Clara Schumann: Songs; Brahms: Cello Sonata No 1; Rhapsodies

(Deutsche Grammophon)

Subtitled Reflection, Hélène Grimaud's latest album, carefully programmed as always, is a meditation on the nature of love as embodied in the triadic relationship between Schumann, his wife Clara, and Brahms, whose love for both of them was the dominant influence on his life and work. The disc finds the French pianist at her visionary best.

It opens with a passionate yet unsentimental performance of Schumann's Piano Concerto conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen that ranks among the finest ever recorded. Anne Sofie von Otter is the soloist in a turbulent group of Clara's songs, while Truls Mork joins Grimaud for a powerful version of Brahms's First Cello Sonata. The album closes with Grimaud playing Brahms's Op 79 Rhapsodies, another overwhelming performance that captures the composer's shattering isolation as well as his deep affection for his best friend's wife. A truly great achievement, this is unmissable.


Tim Ashley

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Elgar: Violin Concerto | Classical review
This recording is the first using the very special 1741 Guarnerius del Gesu violin that once belonged to Fritz Kreisler, writes Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

28, Jan, 2010 @11:05 PM

Strauss: An Alpine Symphony/Four Last Songs; Harteros/Staatskapelle Dresden/Luisi


Tim Ashley

11, Jan, 2008 @11:56 PM

Article image
CD: Elina Garanca: Aria Cantilena


Tim Ashley

16, Feb, 2007 @12:05 AM

Article image
CD: Schumann: Cello Concerto; Brahms: Serenade No 1

(Deutsche Grammophon)

Andrew Clements

05, Apr, 2007 @11:00 PM

Brahms: Violin Concerto; Double Concerto; Repin/ Mork/ Leipzig Gewandhaus/ Chailly

Will doubtless prove controversial in some quarters

Tim Ashley

13, Feb, 2009 @12:04 AM

Brahms: Piano Concerto No 1 – review
Christian Thielemann is not an obvious collaborator for a musician of Maurizio Pollini's temperament, yet in practice the partnership works remarkably well, writes Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

02, Feb, 2012 @10:31 PM

Dresden Staatskapelle - review
It is the glorious glow of their sound that announces the orchestra's remarkable heritage, writes Rian Evans

Rian Evans

16, May, 2011 @5:06 PM

Dresden Staatskapelle/Haitink, Royal Albert Hall, London

Royal Albert Hall, London

Tom Service

06, Sep, 2004 @10:59 PM

Clara Schumann: Complete Songs: Craxton/Djeddikar

Despite the intrinsic interest of these songs, getting through the disc becomes a real trial, says Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

23, Jan, 2009 @12:06 AM

Schumann: Piano Concerto; Dvorák: Piano Concerto: Helmchen/Strasbourg PO/Albrecht

Martin Helmchen's ­elegant playing has the measure of its considerable technical challenges, but it never quite ­convinces, says Andrew Clements

Andrew Clements

04, Dec, 2009 @12:01 AM