Belgian pianist Julien Libeer today launches his partnership with harmonia mundi, releasing a new recording that explores the resonances between JS Bach and Belà Bartók.
Beyond their lifelong interest in keyboard instruments of all types (organ, harpsichord and clavichord in the case of Bach; modern piano as a percussion instrument in the case of Bartók), and common interests such as an enthusiasm for the popular repertoire and pedagogy, hearing the works of these two composers intertwined shows striking similarities between their music.
Julien explains, saying:
“This dialogue between Suites by Bach and Bartok is probably the most instinctive recording program I have ever come up with. There’s no direct aesthetic thread between both composers, so whatever it is that makes this program feel so right to me, it’s happening at a level far deeper than what mere musicology or history can account for. As a listening experience, it points to mysterious links that connect the recent and ever more distant past. In an era dominated by algorithmic playlists and shuffle buttons, this still might be something only an old-fashioned album program can pull off.”
An artist of varied interests, Julien is driven to initiate or collaborate in projects which are rooted in the idea that music, far beyond its aesthetic value, can be a force of change for anyone willing to listen. Julien’s desire to make connections between his personal interests and the outside world is illustrated by his involvement in two projects: as artistic director of Singing Molenbeek, a children’s choir from the infamous Brussels suburb; and in a series of interviews entitled Glass Bead Game Talks, which explore the many developments taking place in the classical music industry.
JS BACH French Suite No. 5 in G major BWV816 BARTÓK Out of Doors Sz. 81 BB89 JS BACH Partita No. 2 in C minor BWV826 BARTÓK Piano Suite BB 70 Sz. 62 Op. 14