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Helene Grimaud & BSO play Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 / Boston Classical Review

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Helene Grimaud performed Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra Tuesday night. The composer's Second Piano Concerto and Third Symphony date from the early 1880s at a time when Brahms became the more private and thoughtful figure captured in the second photograph. As a composer, Brahms had come into his own, and these works are filled with contemplative lines and introspective musical statements. Both pieces were heard Tuesday night at Symphony Hall, where Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra continued their traversal of Brahms' complete piano concertos and symphonies. 

The Second Concerto is expansive in scale, largely lacking the impetuous virtuosity of the First. Instead, the work shows Brahms at his delicate finest and brims with mellifluous lines and melodic tenderness. French pianist Hélène Grimaud, who performed as soloist Tuesday night, has called the piece "an elaborate memoir" of Brahms' innermost thoughts. Grimaud is a pianist of extremes. She possesses a sturdy technique and soft, elegant touch where the music calls for it. Yet she isn't afraid to attack the keyboard and draw forceful statements in the fuller sections of the piece. 

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