Chopin 2010 website (English) posted an article of overview of media/public reactions to the recital
that Rafał Blechacz gave in Hamburg on Oct.6, 2009.
Chopin 2010 website (Polish)
RAFAŁ BLECHACZ AT LAEISZHALLE, HAMBURG
Rafał Blechacz performed on 6th October at the Großer Saal of the Hamburg Laeiszhalle as part of the "Piano Masters" ("Die Meisterpianisten") series. The concert was organised by the Rudolf Goette Konzert Direktion Pro Arte agency together with the Polish General Consulate, and was a direct prelude to the Chopin Year celebrations in Hamburg.
Rafał Blechacz performed a recital featuring compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach (Italian Concerto, BWV 971), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Sonata in B-flat major, KV 570), Karol Szymanowski (Variation is B-flat minor Op. 3) and Fryderyk Chopin (4 Mazurkas Op. 17, Ballad in A-flat major no. 3 and Polonaise Fantasy in A-flat major Op. 61). The young pianist's first Hamburg performance was excellently received by the audience and his latest record was chosen the album of the week by the listeners of a culture programme broadcast on the North German radio station NDR.
The concert's reviews were published on 8th October by **Die Welt: "Blechacz is one of the greatest hopes of the world of pianism (...), in the future he may become one of the greatest pianists"; and by *Hamburger Abendblatt: "the pianist's power lies in his lyricism and the ability to tell stories by means of music (...), technique is not a problem for him, which he proved performing the murky and magnificent variations by Karol Szymanowski. In Chopin's Polonaise Fantasy he gave the introductory movements a distinctive timbre, while at the end he showcased the heroic rhythm of the polonaise - simply excellent".
The artists was invited to perform in Hamburg in the Chopin Year together with the NDR symphony orchestra.
* Review by Hamburger Abendblatt (German)
English (machine-translated) The English is understandable.
The reviewer is especially impressed by his playing Bach.
** Review by Die Welt (German)
(↓ Sorry for the rough English!)
A young master-pianist in the sincere fight about the art
By Peter Krause
8. Octobers 2009, 04:00 o'clock
His tuxedo loose, the hairdo resembles that of a cloister-brother. And yet this young 24 year-old man is one of the greatest hopes of the world of pianism. Rafał Blechacz on Tuesday rightly opened the pro-art-cycle “the Master Pianists” in the music-hall.
He just looks like a model student; when he sits at the Steinway, he struggles for the art, that Bach and Mozart left to us, about interpreting of each phrase, about finding answers on the questions.
Rafał Blechacz places Bach of "Italian concert in F-major" at the beginning of the evening. And he plays a courageous Bach, whose voice-network he makes braiding audibly. For the dreamy beautiful andante Blechacz almost slows it down to the adagio in order to then tackle the final Presto especially swiftly with sharpened contrast.
Mozart's "Sonata in B flat major KV 570" looks for in the fast movements somewhat casual, and arrested the playing resonant motion types（und dem Spiel tönend bewegter Formen verhaftet）, while in the slow movement unfolds a narrative force that acts afterwards in Karol Szymanowski rushing Variations in B flat minor "compelling.
In the music of his Polish compatriot Rafał Blechacz is not afraid of the pianistic attack, however he denies himself the really extravagant gesture; we amply admire the discipline, culture and articulate interpretive honesty by this controlled (mastered) artist.
For his Chopin, whom he regards all too innocent, we wish that Blechacz might soon experience the vicissitudes (changes) in life directly. Although such aspects are not yet flown in his playing (Wenn auch Letztere noch in sein Spiel einfließen), in the future he may become one of the greatest pianists.
Another review by Thomas K Thornton on Musicweb International (English)
The reviewer says this Hamburg recital was recorded by French-German TV Channel Arte. ←Fantastic!