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Helene Grimaud's water-themed program at Koerner Hall / Toronto Star

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Hélène Grimaud water-themed program at Toronto's Koerner Hall Sunday was worthy of two encores for the intriguing pianist. Covering works of Berio, Takemitsu, Fauré, Ravel, Albéniz, Liszt and Debussy, each piece meant to represent elements of water.

First half highlights included - Grimaud plunging into Luciano Berio's peaceful "Wasserklavier III" (Water Piano). Without pause was Takemitsu's impressionistic "Rain Tree Sketch II" - a work composed in the memory of Olivier Messiaen (1992). Grimaud showed no signs of the bends, and pulled out high timbres evocative of raindrops and early morning dews. Deeper still, the rubato artist dove down to Fauré's stylized boat song, "Barcarolle No. 5 in F-sharp minor, Op. 66" and hitting the ocean floor with Ravel's 1901 "Jeux d'eau."

After the intermission, the French pianist returned with the score that put Brahms on the musical map: "Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp minor."  Koerner Hall rose with two ovations and Grimaud obliged with two encores: Debussy's "Pour les Arpèges Composés," and "Poissons d'Or" ("Goldfish").  READ THE FULL Toronto Star ARTICLE