In my ears this week, Helene Grimaud’s new album : The Messenger. Hélène Grimaud has created a fascinating pianistic dialogue between Mozart and the Ukrainian-born contemporary composer Valentin Silvestrov.
“The album includes three works by Mozart: the unfinished Fantasia in D minor K 397, the famous Piano Concerto in D minor K 466, and the Fantasia in C minor K 475. They are presented in chronological order of composition and all three are among the relatively small number of works in Mozart’s vast output written in minor keys. Hélène Grimaud noted, “minor keys were suggestive of confrontations with fate or destiny” for Mozart. She said it took her “many years of inner cultivation to fully recognise those burning, unpredictable currents rippling beneath the transcendental beauty. That is when playing this music became a necessity.”
Valentin Silvestrov’s The Messenger (1996) offers both a response to, and an echo of, Mozart’s music – the idea of acknowledging and paying tribute to what has gone before is central to his art as a composer. The Messenger starts with a theme reminiscent of Mozart and, like a messenger, creates a connection between the present and the world that existed before.
On her new album The Messenger Hélène Grimaud is thinking about Time: about the past, the present and the future, and reflecting on herself as an artist, and on a world in flux.” (Source)