Monday, January 23, 2012

Helene Grimaud: Mozart

"She had just come back from Bologna, where she had recorded two Mozart piano concertos, with Claudio Abbado and the Orchestra Mozart. Abbado is one of her longtime supporters, and he has conducted her many times over the years. ... This time, however, there was a dispute. According to Grimaud, the taping of the two concertos, the Nineteenth and the Twenty-third, went well; but the next day, when the orchestra had disbanded and Abbado and Grimaud were in the 'patch' session—fixing blemishes on the recording—he asked her to perform a cadenza that Mozart had written for the Twenty-third. During the recording of that concerto, they had taped Grimaud playing one by Ferruccio Busoni, the late-nineteenth-century composer. Grimaud had first heard the Busoni cadenza on an old Vladimir Horowitz recording, with Carlo Maria Giulini conducting. 'I told myself, "When I play the concerto, that’s the cadenza I will play,"' she said to me. At the patch session, Grimaud sight-read and played the Mozart—'to humor' Abbado, she said. Two weeks later, Abbado, having listened to the recording of the two versions, decided that they should use the Mozart. ... Grimaud refused to back down. 'I simply said no,' she said. Soon afterward, Abbado had Grimaud uninvited from the Lucerne Festival, which she was set to open, in August. ... Grimaud didn’t just demur over the cadenza; she fought back. She enlisted the soprano who had sung in Bologna, Mojca Erdmann, and paired her with another ensemble, the Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra, with whom Grimaud had performed the concertos earlier in the year" (D.T. Max, "Profiles," New Yorker, 11/7/11).
View catalog record here!