Search - Johannes Brahms, Clara Wieck Schumann, Robert Schumann :: Reflection

Johannes Brahms, Clara Wieck Schumann, Robert Schumann
Genres: Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Titled Reflection, this CD program examines one of classical music's most fascinating triangles: the love between Robert Schumann and his wife, Clara, and their friend Johannes Brahms, who loved them both. There is music b...  more »


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All Artists: Johannes Brahms, Clara Wieck Schumann, Robert Schumann, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Dresden Staatskapelle, Anne Sofie von Otter, Hélène Grimaud
Title: Reflection
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 9/12/2006
Genres: Pop, Classical
Styles: Vocal Pop, Chamber Music, Forms & Genres, Concertos, Historical Periods, Classical (c.1770-1830), Instruments, Strings
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 028947757191

Titled Reflection, this CD program examines one of classical music's most fascinating triangles: the love between Robert Schumann and his wife, Clara, and their friend Johannes Brahms, who loved them both. There is music by all three composers here, and the almost 80-minute program is varied and fascinating. Robert's popular, stunning A minor Piano Concerto is played by Grimaud with romantic abandon but little sentiment; when it is showy, it comes from the music itself and is not an affectation. The first movement is filled with poetic vs. dramatic contrasts; there is a subtle but noble transition on piano and winds from the gently presented second movement to the springy, dramatically energetic third. Esa-Pekka Salonen is the remarkable conductor of the superb Staatskapelle Dresden. Grimaud then joins with mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter in three songs by Clara. Two, with texts by Rückert, are poems to connubial love and the third, "Am Strande," was composed as a gift for Robert's 40th birthday. Brahms's Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in E minor is given a strong but lyrical and well-balanced reading by Grimaud and cellist Truls Mørk; both play with passion. Brahms's two Rhapsodies for piano complete the program; Grimaud gathers the darkness of the second and gives a fervent performance. What a beautiful CD! --Robert Levine

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CD Reviews

Steven M. Ziolkowski | New York, NY, United States | 09/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I think this CD is, as is always the case with Helene Grimaud, thoughtful. As with her other recent thematic offerings, I appreciate the effort in putting together something more than an unrelated selection of pieces. In this case, we have a program which reveals in musical form the relationship between the Schumanns and Brahms -- a story I recently read about in the Brahms' biography by Jan Swafford, which in turn greatly piqued my interest in this album. The performances are, all around, very moving and the sound well balanced between instruments (and, in the case of the lieder, vocalist). Bravo, Ms. Grimaud, for another wonderful effort!"
Understanding the Intricacies of the Schumann/Brahms Love Tr
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Whispers, poems, and pages have been floating around for years about the strangely romantic triangle that bound the composers Robert Schumann, Clara Wieck Schumann and Johannes Brahms - secrets that will be forever the purview of intuitive writers and philosophers and historians. This very intelligent and tender CD REFLECTION is one way of examining the closeness of these three remarkable and very human artists. And it is a complete success, musically and thoughtfully.

Incorporating some the finest artists available today this CD is the brainchild of the remarkable Hélène Grimaud, a pianist who not only is a remarkably fine artist but who also looks for more in her musical thoughts than merely the notes on the score. She offers here a collaboration with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Dresden Staatskapelle in an elegant and wistful performance of Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor, rich in subtleties and deeply felt melodic line.

Grimaud then partners with Anne Sofie von Otter in three songs by Clara Schumann: 'Er is gekommen in Sturm und Regen', 'Warum willst du and're fragen?', and 'Am Strande' - songs that give both artists the opportunity to remind us how gifted Clara was with song writing.

The third member of this remembered and honored triad is Johannes Brahms and his 'Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in E minor' is performed with passion and grand scale by Grimaud and the gifted cellist Truls Mørk. Grimaud then closes the recital with Brahms' 'Rhapsodies for Piano Nos. 1 (B minor) and 2 (G minor)', sublime works that not only serve as a fitting closure to this thoughtful program but that also leave us with the desire for more Brahms from Hélène Grimaud! This is a very special recording, well produced technically, and one with which we are left with the feeling that both the Schumanns and Brahms would have warmly applauded. Highly recommended as one of the important issues of the year. Grady Harp, December 06
Cool and cleaar-eyed in the romantics
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 10/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"From the opening performance of the Schumann Paino Concerto, you would peg Helene Grimaud as a cool modernist with a light French touch. She is joined by Salonen, himself a musician who takes a chilly view of the Romantics (when he conducts them at all). Together, they produce a very unsentimental but sensitive reading that happens to be in exceptionally good sound. The ability of engineers to capture the actual sound of a concert grand piano is improving every day. The Staatskapelle Dresden plays elegantly. If you want a Schumann A minor that's almost chaste but very well articulated, Grimaud's is a perfect choice.

She then goes on to prove herself a bit of a chameleon in the three lieder by Clara Schumann, with their restless accompaniment that often overshadow the vical part. Equally turbulent are the two Brahms Rhapsodies, although I think Grimaud strains a bit to sound individual. We're back to neutral territory in the Brahms cello sonata #1 with Turls Monk, in which both soloists are highly controlled and, if not cool, not abandoned by any means.

In all, an imaginative program shows off several sides of this mercurial artist. I'm not sure I really know who the real Helene Grimaud is, but her pianism is certainly appealing."