Chopin: 24 Préludes, Op. 28 & Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 35
Like many French players, Julien Brocal is a sensitive and stylish Chopin pianist. His performance of the Préludes has a touching restraint to it; he doesn’t explore extremes of volume, preferring to operate within a pleasingly intimate arena. Echoing his mentor Maria João Pires, he’s a purveyor of poetry rather than drama, and this music suits him perfectly. In the Piano Sonata, with its Funeral March finale, he allows himself a broader palette and the effect is very convincing.