For the 10th anniversary of the Wolf Conservation Center she founded, Hélène Grimaud was so moved by the event that it was almost impossible to look at her face during her piano recital on Bach. She was both present and somewhere else, on the edge of tears.
Sometimes, we tried to look elsewhere to leave her in communion with the music and something even deeper and more invisible. But each time I intensively looked at her, it was not listening to Bach, but living it and sharing all the emotions going through Hélène, even pain.
I was on the same floor as the Steinway was, and so close to the piano that I experimented Bach coming into my feet and making everything and everyone tremble as one : a mystery of incarnation that the pianist created, this very specific moment when you feel you become through music, as Joseph Campbell said : "transparent to transcendance".
I could hear Hélène's breath and the theme she was singing with such givingness : human music as touching as Bach.
Hélène stopped after the Chaconne : standing ovation ; I wonder if we not applaused too early in our emotion, so she said : "technically the program is (not) over ; you don't mind if I'm going on" and she sat down and played until we couldn't breathe anymore.
A forever experiment of bliss.
Here, a little video of Hélène Grimaud's speech before the recital.