In 2008, Hélène Grimaud recorded a highly acclaimed album entirely dedicated to Bach, and most notably his Concerto BWV 1052. "Why does Bach music touches everyone and speaks to everyone?" the pianist wondered, while trying to discover the secret of his music's universal power. "Bach is the Bible," she explained in 2008 to a journalist of L'Express, "I know it since my childhood, when I started playing his works every day, like so many other pianists. Except for Shakespeare, no artist has been able to bring out such deep and intimate emotions like he did. Bach offers something that helps us getting closer to what is true in life, as if his music was the music conscience itself, its reassurance and its promise."
Today she performs Bach accompanied by the chamber orchestra of the Bavarian radio. In order to open a dialogue with the Brandenburg concertos' composer, she chose two works for orchestra and piano by the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, who presents his own music as metaphorical: music after music. Der Bote (1996) is a simple work for strings and piano; Zwei Dialoguen mit Nachwort (2002) is dedicated to Arvo Pärt. In a second part, the Kammerorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk will perform the Serenade for strings by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák.
Photo: © Mat Hennek/DG
Verbier Festival 2010
Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Gulbenkian Choir