BRUCE LIU RELEASES HIS DEBUT STUDIO ALBUM
The pianist explores the colourful sound-worlds of three very different composers to create an album of great contrast and charm
Waves: Music by Rameau · Ravel · Alkan traverses 200 years of French keyboard music
Bruce Liu will be hosting an album Listening Party on Monday 6th November at 5pm CET
“The pianist's highly cultivated, fine-tuned, even elaborate tone is as pointed as it is delicate - and easily qualifies the 2021 Warsaw Chopin Competition winner to be considered one of the most interesting pianists of the next generation. Brilliant, without a doubt.”
“The stunning disc is the one of a true prince of the piano.”
3 NOVEMBER 2023 (TORONTO, ON) — Victory at the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition in October 2021 turned Bruce Liu into a worldwide sensation. Deutsche Grammophon’s live album of his competition recordings was released to rave reviews the following month, and the Canadian-Chinese pianist became an exclusive DG artist in March 2022. He released a series of Rameau and Chopin singles in 2022, and an acclaimed interpretation of J.S. Bach’s French Suite No. 5 in April this year (“[a] carefully conceived and superbly played reading” ClassicalMusic.com). As a result, he has already amassed over 30 million streams across all platforms.
Liu now releases his much-anticipated debut studio album, its repertoire spanning two centuries of French keyboard music and including two works new to the DG catalogue. Waves: Music by Rameau · Ravel · Alkan, featuring liner notes by Gramophone’s Editor-in-Chief, James Jolly, is available globally in all formats including digitally, on CD and vinyl (2 LPs), and as a signed limited-edition deluxe version. Currently in the midst of a sold-out tour of Japan and China, Bruce Liu marks the release of his debut studio album with a music video premiere of the rarely performed Barcarolle by Alkan and a virtual listening party including live Q&A on Monday 6th November at 5PM CET. Bruce Liu will also take part in Deutsche Grammophon’s 125 birthday concert on 6th December, where he will be joined at the Konzerthaus Berlin by five fellow DG artists as part of a new generation of world-class musicians.
Live audiences can enjoy the instinctive music-making captured on Waves at venues around the globe, with Miroirs and music by Rameau forming part of this exciting pianist’s recital repertoire for the 2023-24 season including forthcoming concerts at the Paris Philharmonie, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and New York City's Lincoln Center, as he makes an eagerly-awaited New York Philharmonic debut.
Since winning the Chopin Competition Bruce Liu has become renowned for his breathtaking, charismatic live performances. Recording an entire studio album therefore posed a different challenge, but one he has relished. “For me, it’s in a studio that you can really make your own puzzle,” he explains. “It’s like making a piece of art, putting everything together.”
The Paris-born pianist has taken a historical approach to his repertoire choices, focusing on three French composers who played a part in the evolution of keyboard music between the 18th and early 20th centuries. From the extensive output of Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) he plays excerpts from the Pièces de clavessin and Nouvelles suites de pièces de clavecin, including programmatic works such as La poule and Les sauvages, as well as dance movements. Rameau was of course writing before the invention of the piano, and Liu has spent time studying with harpsichordists to refine the subtleties of his interpretations.
A celebrity in his own day, virtuoso pianist Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-88) wrote almost exclusively for his own instrument. Liu discovered his fiendishly difficult music when he was a student and was keen to introduce it to a wider audience. Both the exuberant Le festin d’Ésope and the peaceful Barcarolle are new additions to DG’s catalogue.
From the 20th century, Liu has chosen Miroirs by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). Several of the suite’s five movements reflect the nature theme that runs through this album, whose title picks up both on this – notably Alkan’s Barcarolle and Ravel’s “Une barque sur l’océan” – and on Liu’s spontaneous style: “The sea is always changing,” he notes. “And my approach to the music I play is never fixed.”
Bruce Liu – forthcoming engagements:
03 & 04 Nov 2023 | National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, China
18 & 19 Nov 2023 | National Theater & Concert Hall, Taipei, Taiwan
23 & 24 Nov 2023 | Victoria Theatre & Concert Hall, Singapur, Singapore
28 Nov 2023 | Philharmonie de Paris, Paris, France
01 Dec 2023 | Philharmonic, Szczecin, Poland
03 Dec 2023 | Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany
04 Dec 2023 | Auditorio Principe Felipe, Oviedo, Spain
06 Dec 2023 | *DG125 GALA CONCERT* | Konzerthaus, Berlin, Germany
07 Dec 2023 | Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands
10 Dec 2023 | Philharmonie, Essen, Germany
12 Dec 2023 | Stanisólaw Moniuszko Music Academy, Gdansk, Poland