[ Rubicon / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 23 March 2018
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Julien Brocal's debut album of Chopin Preludes and the 2nd Sonata was praised by critics when released last year. 'A protégé of Maria Joao Pires, Julien Brocal has a lot to live up to, and this disc the first for both him and the new label Rubicon - does so beautifully' Guardian, *****
'You can hear the qualities Pires admires in his playing, there is a kind of meditative poetry to the Op. 28 Preludes, wrapt stillness, restraint and intensity and they emerge as an absorbing set making sense as a whole. […] An impressive Chopin recital debut for this protege of Maria João Pires, triumphantly vindicating her faith in Brocal, and the faith of this brand- new label Rubicon, something you shouldn't have to cross to hear Chopin playing of this quality' BBC Radio 3 Record Review
This is great Chopin, transparent and warm at the same time, fabulously played in both the left and the right, dosed with masterful touch and filled with an inexpressible longing for something that is impossible and yet lets it materialise somehow. In short, we are in the unfathomable realm of a Lipatti, Pollini, Blechacz … sometimes even Cortot.' OpusKlassiek
'Spellbinding Chopin' BBC Music Magazine - Instrumental choice double 5 star rating
Julien's new album takes us to the border country between Spain and France - the Basque region and the two great pianist composers from that area, Spaniard Frederico Mompou and Frenchman Maurice Ravel. The two composers never met but it is unlikely the shy, somewhat timid Mompou would have enjoyed the more flamboyant Ravel's company. In many respects the two men were like the moon (Mompou) and the sun (Ravel) - shadows and light. However, their music works very well together in recital and they mirror one another very well. The great Catalonian pianist Riccardo Viňes (1875-1943) is a direct link between the two men. He was the dedicatee of Ravel's 'Miroirs' and of Mompou's 'Charmes'. Julien Brocal plays the Istomin - Horowitz Steinway CD18, and the recording was made at the Tippet Rise Art Center, Montana.
"Brocal is a musician of distinction whose imaginative, intelligent and cultivated piano-playing is at once seductive and authoritative. In fact, the perfection and maturity of his Ravel is little short of astonishing...The same fine ear and sensitive touch, in combination with a superb sense of timing, bring the two Mompou sets to life." Gramophone Editor's Choice May 2018
MOMPOU: Paisajes, Charmes
RAVEL: Miroirs, Sonatine