Now this is a small sensation: MDG is presenting Hélène Grimaud’s early recordings for the DENON label from 1985 to 1992 in a double album including great romantic repertoire by Brahms and Schumann. These recordings now once again available after many years, reveal an artistic personality who achieved perfection at an early age and for whom the label “child prodigy” very evidently would be an understatement.
Grimaud came to DENON after she had demonstratively turned her back on the Paris Conservatory. The recording of a Chopin piano concert organized privately in her native Aix-enProvence found its way to Japan and immediately won over the label’s managers. During her seven years with DENON, she recorded five CDs, all of them with a most highly demanding repertoire.
This program features the Sonatas Nos. 2 and 3 by Johannes Brahms, his Piano Pieces op. 118 and Schumann’s Kreisleriana op. 16. How interesting to hear these keyworks of romantic repertoire under the fingers of this young and extraordinary gifted artist at the beginning of her career.
Grimaud evidently knows no technical limits. However, this pianist who has continued to be extremely successful, acclaimed, and celebrated over the years also knows how to move her audiences, to captivate them, and to make their sympathetic strings resonate. This spectacular special edition impressively reminds us that in this respect things were not any different three and a half decades ago.