New Album : Reflections, featuring Mompou&Ravel’s music

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’ TheGuardian, *****
‘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 Reflections 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 Vines (1875-1943) is a direct link between the two men. He was the dedicater 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.

Watch here the making of trailer by Kathy Kasic : https://youtu.be/KaEDO0_eHts

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Mompou  / new album  / piano  / Ravel  / recording  / Reflections

By Julien Brocal

“Poetry, spontaneity, restraint and a profound sense of the structure and awareness of sound are rare qualities with which he is gifted”. Maria-João Pires Julien trained under Erik Berchot at the Conservatoire National de Région de Marseille and under Rena Shereshevskaya at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot, where he was unanimously awarded the prestigious performer diploma. Throughout his training Julien has benefited from the support of the Zaleski Foundation, Association Assophie and the Safran Foundation. He has been invited to appear on France Musique by Gaëlle le Gallic and to take part in several festivals in France. From his early childhood he has performed on stage in France and abroad. Julien was spotted in January 2013 by Maria-João Pires during an academy session at the Cité de la musique in Paris, and was subsequently invited to perfect his skills at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium.

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