L’Obscur est un Chemin: Complete Piano Works of Rodolphe Bruneau-Boulmier | Odradek Records ODRCD314

L’Obscur est un Chemin: Complete Piano Works of Rodolphe Bruneau-Boulmier


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Label: Odradek Records

Cat No: ODRCD314

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 16th February 2015



French pianist Geoffroy Couteau presents the music of Rodolphe Bruneau-Boulmier, a young and vibrant Parisian composer whose music is immediately appealing and who enchants his listeners with his immersive soundscapes.

Bruneau-Boulmier’s pieces range from the meditative and serene to turbulent and occasionally even violent. Frequent references to literary themes offer openings to his ineffable and poetic imagination. Most of all, one is taken in by a pervasive sense of nostalgia. Bells, sometimes promising joy, sometimes sounding like a knell, punctuate the journey.

Geoffroy Couteau, who has collaborated with the composer since 2010, offers a sensitive and intimate performance of these works, here presented for the first time on disc. He is joined by world-renowned pianist François-Frédéric Guy, who makes a guest appearance on the four-hand piece ‘El Borge’.

The title of the fourth work, ‘Dark is a Way’, sets the tone and the theme of the album: it is a path which takes us from something like the sombre 'gibet' of Ravel’s ‘Gaspard’, and delivers us to, if not an absolute transcendence, at least a wise sense of calm acceptance with recurring rays of hope.

Praising his debut recording dedicated to Brahms, Geoffroy Couteau was described as a “fearless” pianist by Le Monde de la Musique, which compared the young artist’s interpretation to piano giants such as Gilels, Katchen, Lupu, Kempff and Serkin. Regularly exalted in the press among his emerging generation of pianists, his last CD, devoted to Chopin and Scriabin, also garnered enthusiastic critical acclaim.

Born in 1982, Rodolphe Bruneau-Boulmier could still be considered as a 'young composer' at the time of this recording. Nicolas Southon comments: “Even in these early works he was able to create a very personal musical universe, while not trying to hide his musical roots. One can find at times traces of Debussy, Ravel, Henri Dutilleux, Philippe Hersant, Maurice Ohana and Pierre Boulez. His music is incontestably French, by virtue of its refinement, its quest for a certain euphony, its extremely well crafted writing, its self-restrained lyricism and its skilful ability to make an acoustic space come into being.”

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