Brad Mehldau and the Elbphilharmonie had a special relationship from the outset. In 2017 Mehldau became the first pianist to give a solo recital in the newly-opened Grand Hall. He came back several times, was fêted by audiences and critics alike – and found himself at the centre of another memorable evening on 12 March 2020, when his trio gave the last concert in front of an audience before both concert halls at the Elbphilharmonie had to close for nearly six months because of the Corona pandemic.
»The world that we suddenly all found ourselves in«
The trio was forced to break off its European tour prematurely, and Mehldau and his family withdrew to their home in Amsterdam. The pianist wrote twelve new songs there, which he was soon able to record along with three cover versions in an Amsterdam studio. »The album is a musical snapshot of the world that we suddenly all found ourselves in«, Mehldau explains on the album cover.
Suite: April 2020
Distance between the left and right hand
»I tried to depict on the piano the feelings that many of us share, feelings that are new for everyone. In the song »keeping distance«, for example, I show how two people keep their distance from one another using my left and right hand. They are unnaturally separated from each other, but still remain inexplicably connected. »remembering before all this« expresses the sudden, bittersweet pain in my stomach that hit me several times when I reflected on how things were just a couple of months ago, and how long ago and far away that time now seems.«
For a good cause
With the new album, Mehldau is supporting musicians suffering from the effects of the pandemic: he has donated the proceeds from a limited deluxe vinyl edition to the aid fund of the Jazz Foundation of America, and part of the proceeds from sales of the regular album are also going to the fund.
Brad Mehldau Trio on 12 March 2020 in the Elbphilharmonie :The last concert before the Corona closure: impressions and comments
Entry of the Brad Mehldau Trio in the guest book