Hélène Grimaud - The Messenger
The recording sessions took place at the start of this year at an historic Mozart site in Salzburg, the Great Hall of the University, where Grimaud was joined by the Camerata Salzburg. 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. Presented in chronological order of composition, not only is each piece more structurally and dramatically complex than the one before, but all three are among the relatively small number of works in Mozart’s vast output written in minor keys. Grimaud sees his use of the minor as suggestive of “confrontations with fate or destiny”. She now appreciates that there is more to his writing than Apollonian elegance and restraint, noting that it took her “many years of inner cultivation to fully recognise those burning, unpredictable currents rippling beneath the transcendental beauty”.
Valentin Silvestrov’s The Messenger – 1996 offers both a response to and an echo of Mozart’s music – this idea of acknowledging and paying tribute to what has gone before is central to his art as a composer. As musicologist Dorothea Redepenning has noted, the Ukrainian’s music takes the stylistic materials of earlier periods and places them in a fresh context, renewing them through twentieth-century compositional procedures.