Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Dec 30, 2009

Chopin Complete Preludes by Blechacz on Silvester

As an advance celebration of 2010 Chopin Year, let me present a review of Rafał Blechacz’s CD “Chopin Complete Preludes” written by Jan de Kruijff posted on Musicalifeiten.
This is one of the reviews that one of Blechacz music lovers Jan in the Netherlands gave me recently.
Many thanks to Jan!!

Original review (Dutch)


Twenty years ago Professor Zurawlew, the founder of the Warsaw Chopin Competition in 1927, was asked who is his favorite winner so far.

Without hesitation he answered immediately: Martha Argerich.

If the professor is still alive he must adjust his opinion when the 22-year-old compatriot Blechacz was crowned in 2005 competition and also was loaded with three other prizes for the best interpretation of mazurkas, polonaise and the first piano concerto?

Recently, he convinced Amsterdam listeners that he can be phenomenal in live performance.
On this permanent CD he continued further.
There are a few pre-recordings of the 24 Preludes op. 28 but their subsequent offspring (by Blechacz) excels them in a perfect combination of spirited virtuosity and exciting musical insight.

The young man has the technical armor to do what he wants with the music.

Whether it is the dark melancholy of No. 2 or the lightning turmoil of No 16 (by Alfred Cortot it was once called "The road to abyss"), to mention only two extremes.

Listen especially to the inner storm that rages in No 12 and poetic internalization of No 15 also each decoration is beautiful.

Every note sounds fresh as if he just invented.

This is the kind of performance of Chopin which you often look for frequently in vain today: personal but without intrusive perverseness (stubbornness).

So listen to the delicateness, secrets and proportions of a large part of Chopin's kaleidoscopic changing and sometimes sassy music pages to be expressed.

It is these sharp interpretative contrasts which make this performance surprisingly striking.

His approach seems unpredictable, but there is a strong concept behind, which gradually shows its validity.

The breathless listener can reach afterwards rest at two very poetically proposed Nocturnes.

What more can you ask? In an hour playing a demanding listener still would have wanted a proud Polonaise - and preferably No. 7 in As, the Polonaise-Fantaisie - as an encore.

Of course, Argerich (DG 415.836-2) is not downgraded. Isn't it a surprising coincidence that DG has further Askenase (477.524-2) with Pogorelić (429.227-2) and Pollini (413.796-2) holding many trump cards in hands in regard to the Preludes?
(End of review)

The review was written shortly after Blechacz's playing recital for Meesterpianisten in Amsterdam on October 7, 2007.

May I listen to Preludes op.28 that he played there?
Listen to Preludes op.28, played by Blechacz on Oct.7, 2007 at Concertgebouw.
Preludes begin at 1:41.
I'll keep this KRO link until the end Silvester (Dec.31). (←done.)

I wish you a Happy Happy Chopin Year♪     

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