Grimaud's transparently good Chopin

Hélène Grimaud's sense of restraint suits Chopin's Parisian side, but Rachmaninov's Piano Sonata No.2 lacks an edge

Composer: Rachmaninov, Chopin
Repertoire: Piano Sonata No.2; Berceuse; Barcarolle (Chopin); Piano Sonata No.2 ( Rachmaninov)
Artists: Hélène Grimaud (piano)
Rating: 4/5 
Genre: Instrumental
Label: DG 477 5325

Hélène Grimaud clearly aims for a Gallic sense of restraint, decorum and transparency in her playing. Which is rather wonderful in the Piano Sonata No.2 by Chopin (who, after all, was a Parisian at heart): her powerful performance brings out the classical roots of Chopin’s romanticism, and it works beautifully. But, despite her muscular attack, her approach feels a little more scholarly in the Rachmaninov. It’s a highly enjoyable performance, but just lacks an edge of danger sometimes.  

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