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Helene Grimaud - Water / Sinfini Music review

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Water might be a familiar recital theme, but thank to some creative musical choices it comes up fresh and fascinating in Hélène Grimaud's new album. Even if music inspired by water is anything but a new topic for a piano recital, Hélène Grimaud's approach to it is pleasingly innovative. The idea, it seems, is to build a very personal recital out of this much-loved French pianist's passion for nature in its many forms, and on many levels it succeeds.

Famous watery works – including Ravel's Jeux d'eau, Liszt's Jeux d'eaux à la Villa d'Este and Debussy's La cathédrale engloutie, which forms a magnificent conclusion – are interspersed with seven beautifully atmospheric electronic transition pieces created by Nitin Sawhney, binding everything together into a compelling conceptual whole. Recorded live in concert at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, the performance often benefits from an extra sense of concert adrenaline.