Listening tip: Mehldau's snapshot

Like so many people, jazz pianist Brad Mehldau was stuck at home in the spring, which inspired him to write the »Suite: April 2020« – music about a special month.

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.

Brad Mehldau

Suite: April 2020

Brad Mehldau
Brad Mehldau Brad Mehldau © Michael Wilson

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

»We were honoured to play on this very special night! We hope to come back soon«

Entry of the Brad Mehldau Trio in the guest book

Brad Mehldau Gästebuch Brad Mehldau Gästebuch © Philipp Seliger
»We really regret the closure. We had four more tickets for this month.«
Brad Mehldau Publikumsstimmen Brad Mehldau Publikumsstimmen © Philipp Seliger
»I'm attending the concert together with my aunt. There's certainly a bit of a strange atmosphere.«
Brad Mehldau Publikumsstimmen Brad Mehldau Publikumsstimmen © Philipp Seliger
»We're not worried at the moment.«
»We've travelled up especially from the Ruhr area, and we didn't want to miss the concert.«
Brad Mehldau Publikumsstimmen Brad Mehldau Publikumsstimmen © Philipp Seliger
»It feels the same as usual, just with a smaller audience!«
Brad Mehldau Publikumsstimmen Brad Mehldau Publikumsstimmen © Philipp Seliger

Brad Mehldau im Konzert

  • Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Großer Saal
    Brad Mehldau

    Brad Mehldau solo

    Jazz at the Phil

    Past Concert

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