Pianist Hélène Grimaud is already a seasoned veteran performer at age 43. She entered the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 13 and won first prize in piano performance only three years later. The Classical 90.5 library holds many of Grimaud’s recordings that span her career, with performances from when she was 15, 17 and upward.
Grimaud’s performances have been concentrating on the works of Johannes Brahms for the past year which resulted in a new recording of the two concertos for piano and orchestra (scheduled for release on September 30). Both concertos are expansive works, great in length and huge in scope. The Concerto No.1 in D minor was originally envisioned by the composer as a symphony. He ultimately found the work unsatisfactory in that form and tried it as a double piano sonata. It made its premiere in its final form in 1859.
The second concerto was written 22 years later. Another lengthy work (about 50 minutes), the Concerto in B-flat major was considerably larger than most other concertos written at that time. Unlike its predecessor, this concerto was an immediate success at its premiere.
Ms. Grimaud discusses her new recordings in this promotional video: