Lignes Claires – Ravel & Lipatti

Ravel and Lipatti share a mind of extraordinary clarity, a supreme sense of melody, a mastery of polyphony that allows for wonderfully bold harmonies, and a miraculous (or, rather, assiduously wrought) precision in the musical discourse.

In their own fashion and register, they appear to me as luminous beings, which is why I feel they complement one another. This, in turn, is why the title Lignes Claires came so naturally.

Both Ravel and Lipatti were extremely critical for themselves. Ravel compulsively polished his output, and was capable of destroying anything he was not perfectly satisfied with. Lipatti, similarly, could rework a piece for four years before he allowed himself to put it on his concert program. If we, performers, can exercise no moral or aesthetic rights on the heritage of the radiant spirits whose work we manage, we have at least the freedom to be inspired by their attitude. In this sense also, Ravel and Lipatti hold out luminous lines.

— Julien Libeer, from the liner notes


‘Il sent avec une justesse étonnante la diction, le ton si particulier de ces joyaux merveilleusement ouvragés. Un pianiste au jeu finement sensible, d’une précision singulière et animé d’un sens du récit jamais pris en défaut.’

— Diapason *****

What strikes immediately in his playing and interpretation, is the absolute clarity of discourse, the incredibly balanced melodic mastery, and the intelligent, almost intellectual construction of the overall structure. Combine that with a flawless and crisp articulation, an extremely sensitive, almost obsessive attention to the slightest shades in color, and playful rhythmic shifts, and one’s in for a magical listening experience.
The most wonderful thing of all is that Libeer possesses the wonderment of a child: no studied effects, no mannerisms, just an interpretation as fresh as dawn. This is great repertoire, and great class.’

— Klara *****

In comparing [Lipatti and Libeer] to one another, one finds more resemblances than differences. Libeer’s affection for Lipatti is not surprising. They may be children of totally different times, their intentions seem the same, and both Lipatti’s and Libeer’s idiosyncracies as players naturally merge in to one another, as if time’s stood still.
This is a posthumous but no less contemporary encounter between three masters of the keyboard: Lipatti, Ravel and Libeer. It makes this cd into a very special experience. A miracle, actually. Julien Libeer is a pianist of gigantic talent.’

— Opus Klassiek

‘Le Tombeau de Couperin, probably one of the most perfect versions I have ever heard, elegant and menacing like Marcelle Meyer’s version. Julien Libeer is a pianist with full mastery of his style, a playing of great clarity, subtlety and firmness.’

— ArtaMag