A Letter to Clara – With Hélène Grimaud
A reflection on love and music
Thank you for your understanding.
Jerzy May — Narrator
Elsa Hanewinkel — Clara Schumann
Volker J. Ringe — Robert Schumann
Sebastian Mirow — Johannes Brahms
Hélène Grimaud — Pianist
Albrecht Mayer — Oboist
Anne Sofie von Otter — Mezzo-soprano
Truls Mørk — Cellist
Esa-Pekka Salonen — Conductor
Michael Gielen — Conductor
Join brilliant French pianist Hélène Grimaud for a captivating journey into the life, loves, and music-making of Clara Schumann. Benedict Mirow’s exquisite documentary film sensitively knits together interviews with Grimaud and her colleagues, excerpts from Grimaud’s performances of works by Clara and Robert Schumann and Brahms, and dramatic readings of the three artists’ letters to one another.
Clara Schumann: virtuoso pianist and talented composer, beloved wife to Robert Schumann, and close confidant of Johannes Brahms. A touring superstar in an age when women were expected to keep out of the limelight, Clara’s long and complicated life—particularly well documented because countless numbers of well-preserved letters—has fascinated generations of musicians and music-lovers. A virtuoso pianist herself, Hélène Grimaud takes the time in this documentary to offer her own reflections on Clara. Her words are complimented by her performances of excerpts from Schumann's Romances Op. 94 with Albrecht Mayer and Piano Concerto in A Minor with the Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Johannes Brahms’s Cello Sonata No. 2 with Truls Mørk, and Lieder by Clara Schumann herself with Anne Sofie von Otter.