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Nov 26, 2009

Review of Blechacz new CD (South Africa)

Review posted on the site of Classic fM, South African radio station, on November 26.
↓ Copy of the review


CHOPIN – RAFAL BLECHACZ
The Piano Concertos
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Jerzy Semkow – Conductor
Deutsche Grammophon CD 00289 8088

“Blechacz’s approach was supple and stayed poised and focused even in the heat of the first movement’s development. There is nothing contrived about his playing; he seems utterly instinctive, with a wonderfully natural sense of rubato through the long-spun phrases of the slow movement, and exuberance kept perfectly in check in the finale.” The Guardian, London (review of the E minor Concerto)

“The perfect musician to perform the young Chopin’s works…”
Gazeta Wyborcza Poland.

After the tremendous success of the previous two albums (Chopin – The Complete Preludes and Sonatas – Haydn, Mozart & Beethoven) Blechacz decided to celebrate the coming year of Chopin in 2010 (the 200th anniversary of his birth) by the recording of both Piano Concertos. By now, it is fairly well accepted that Poland has not produced a pianist of this stature since the times of Artur Rubinstein and as a Chopin specialist he is already in a class of his own.

Chopin was only 19 years of age when he composed the two concertos, it was during a happy time in his life when he was still living in Warsaw with family and friends. Both the opening movements are full of energy and youthful vigour, while the closing movements are optimistic and full of joy. In both concertos the lyrical second movements are the heart and soul of the works demanding taxing expressive abilities.

This is a marvellous recording/ performance with no trace of vanity or showmanship – everything is in the service of the music. If anything Blechacz’s sensitivity and clarity is akin to that of Chopin himself.


by Mike Ford
  

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