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Audio CD, February 10, 2009
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Bach + Brahms Concertos (Piano Ctos Nos. 1 & 2) [2 CD] + Duo (Schumann, Debussy, Shostakovich, Brahms)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


"Hélène Grimaud clearly feels the music she performs very deeply . . . Grimaud lacks nothing in power, intensity or technical finesse . . . one encounters a sense of fantasy . . ." -- Classic FM, London, October 2007

1. Prelude
2. Fugue
3. Prelude
4. Fugue
5. 1. Allegro
6. 2. Adagio
7. 3. Allegro
8. Prelude
9. Fugue
10. Chaconne in D minor
11. Prelude
12. Fugue
13. Prelude & Fugue in A minor BWV 543
14. Prelude
15. Fugue
16. Prelude in E major
17. Prelude in C sharp major BWV 872

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (February 10, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B001NESPH2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,204 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By SantaBBob on February 13, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I have been playing classical piano for over 30 years and these are my comments:

Ms. Grimaud's DG recordings are distinguished by their unique programs. This CD is no exception. The CD opens with two Preludes and Fuges from the Well Tempered Clavier before moving on to the Keyboard Concerto in D Minor and then alternating between further excerpts from the Well-Tempered Clavier and romantic transcriptions of Bach's works, including the stunning Bach-Busoni Chaconne in D Minor.

The advantage of such programming is that the listener is constantly refreshed and interested because each section of the CD is so much different and the pieces linger long in the mind after the CD is over. I know of no one else who puts together CDs like this and this leads perhaps the whole to be more than the sum of the parts - not that the parts are bad!

The piano sounds, as portrayed on the cover, to be a full concert grand. I do not feel the music is therefore "intimate"; this is concert hall Bach not salon or living room Bach - but the piano is very warm and full sounding. Though I have heard criticisms of Grimaud's playing as too harsh, this is certainly not the case in this album.

The D Minor Concerto is technically impeccable, the notes clean and distinct. Her playing of the concerto is a celebration of a piece that is not polyphonic but a glorified continuo to a fairly dramatic keyboard concerto. There is no romantic interpretation however - the outer movements maintain a prcise and fast clip. Following along with the score, Grimaud and the Chamber Orchestra remain perfrectly in sync.

The Chaconne is very romantically played, including some accelerandos and pauses that caught me off guard. Parts of the Chaconne are sunnier then I have ever heard.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 7, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Distinguished pianist Helene Grimaud has finally come around to recording Bach, and, for many, it is definitely a moment that was well worth waiting for. Her interpretations of Bach will not please everyone, especially those who are more comfortable with expressive recordings from the likes of Glenn Gould - whom she does admire greatly - and Simone Dinnerstein. While she professes little interest in period instrument practice, her latest recording features performances that are remarkably limited with respect to her usually expressive qualities, since she treats the modern piano keyboard much in the same manner as she would with the harpsichord, respecting Bach's original intentions by not exploiting the piano's considerably richer sonic qualities. Admittedly for some, this means that hers is a rather routine, quite dull, recording of Bach's keyboard works - including several transcriptions from other instruments - made by such noteworthy successors as Liszt, Busoni and Rachmaninov - but I respectfully disagree. There is much to be quite passionate about in Grimaud's recordings, especially in her delicate performances of selected preludes and fugues from The Well-Tempered Klavier. Indeed, as she, herself notes, in the album's liner notes, there is no right way to perform Bach, except when it is performed in a "...tradition of emotional and intellectual honesty, with the right balance between thought and intuition, between the notes on the page and the pulse of the heart."

Virtually all of the pieces were recorded in August 2008 in a Berlin recording studio. These include not only selected pieces from The Well-Tempered Klavier (No.2 in C minor, No. 4 in C sharp minor (Book 1), No. 6 in D minor, No. 20 in A minor, No.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By RBSProds TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Four and a half OVERALL Stars!! Five Stars for Grimaud!! So much Bach from so many angles by one of the world's greatest pianists!!! Award-winning French virtuoso pianist Hélène Grimaud, in the third decade of her career, adds the works of Johann Sebastian Bach to her recorded repertoire, completing all '3 Bs' (Bach, Beethoven, & Brahms) for her discography. She has performed Bach before, most nobably a live blazing, nuanced Chaconne, which to my mind may in the end be her 'signature piece'. And the performances by this musical dynamo on this CD are just as brilliant, covering five prelude-fugue pairings from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, his Concerto for Harpsichord, Strings, and Continuo No. 1 in D Minor with the vaunted Bremen German Chamber Philharmonic (Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen) orchestra (Ms Grimaud is on piano), and 3 notable transcriptions/re-workings for solo piano by master virtuosos/composers: Liszt's transcription of the Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, Rachmaninov's Preludio based on Bach's Partita for Violin Solo No. 3 in E, and the awesome Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D Minor based on Bach's Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D Minor.

Grimaud puts her individual stamp on the Well Tempered Clavier prelude-fugue couplings, such as the energetic Book 1, "Prelude in C Minor, BWV 847" that is closer to Richter than Gould and Schiff. And the Book 2, Prelude in A Minor, BWV 889, which is conversely closer to Gould than Richter, and the Fugue which is the opposite, is still idiomatic Grimaud. But with all due respect to the prelude and fugue couplings and the Concerto which are marvelous from the Grimaud performance perspective, the pieces that consume my interest are the three aforementioned variations and arrangements by Busoni, Rachmaninov, and Liszt.
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