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Classical Classroom

Classical Classroom, Ep 124: Hélène Grimaud Wades Into The Deep End Of “Water”

Thirsting for some good music? Pianist and Environmentalist, Hélène Grimaud talks about producing her new CD, “Water” in this Music Works episode.


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Hélène Grimaud‘s recent release on Deutsche Grammophon, is a true “concept album.” Flowing with water themed music from the classical repertoire it also bathes us with new musical bridges and transitions from composer and producer, Nitin Sawhney.

Hélène Grimaud, Water
Hélène Grimaud, Water

“What inspired the idea to record this album is really the fascination that so many composers of the 19th and 20th centuries seem to have had with the element of water,” Grimaud states.

In this episode, Hélène and Dacia surf through the music selections, and wade through the details of how a project such as this ebbs and flows. They navigate through the process, from a tiny ripple of an idea to a tsunami of musical expression in the final CD release. They also dive into the ecological importance of conservation and Hélène's goal of streaming awareness for safe, clean water around the world.

With all of the good music on this show, you might need a bigger boat!

Featuring works by nine composers: Berio’s Wasserklavier and includes Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketch II, Fauré’s Barcarolle No.5, Ravel’s Jeux d’eau, “Almería” from Albéniz’s Iberia, Liszt’s Les Jeux d’eau à la Villa d’Este, the first movement of Janáček’s In the Mists, and Debussy’s La cathédrale engloutie.

Audio production by Todd "Trickle" Hulslander with splashing about by Dacia Clay and editing by Mark DiClaudio.