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Dec 27, 2009

Review of Blechacz Chopin Concerti CD (Germany)

Review of Rafał Blechacz's CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" written by Thomas Gehrig,
posted on Klassik.com (German) on December 25.






The present recording is already a trendsetting hint for understanding the forthcoming Chopin year 2010, released by the Deutsche Grammophon.

The “classical” double plays of both of piano concertos by the "shooting star" Rafał Blechacz , who played four years ago as the winner of the traditional Warsaw Chopin Competition in the pianistic spotlight.

No one has achieved it in the past, illustrated by the fact that in any case only every five years delivered competition, in 1990 and 1995 no first prize was awarded so the podium remained vacant for 15 years.

On the other side, names like Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich or Krystian Zimerman show that this award already meant the springboard many times for an international career.

At least with his previous two plates Blechacz could justify his absolute victory - more than that: He proved himself not only as a worthy champion of Chopin, but enthusiastic following with interpretations of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven sonatas.

For the first time, the young Pole now is listened to with orchestra on this CD; he is accompanied by the venerable Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, under the direction of his countryman Jerzy Semkow.

Straightforward, unpretentious, technically brilliant, fluent and musically extremely penetrating - with these qualities one could characterize Blechacz’s playing most accurately.

Show posturing and medial external representation are to him - in contrast to other representative younger generation of pianists - strange, and what also distinguishes him from others is that he almost always make lyrical and cantabile nerves meet accurately with all virtuosity.

A difference is also present on the two concertos, in contrast to the second, the first is a live recording.
Already in the first movement, Blechacz's rapid scales and arpeggios bubbled with ease and break sound-cascades in bright, colorfully shining light. Rarely, one can hear such a beaming unison, each phrase has profile with him, the musical tension is constantly maintained.

Unfortunately, the orchestra or the conductor Semkow does not quite as confident as the soloist. Towards the end of 'Maestoso' of the second concerto, the strings carry off the tempo quite unfortunately, and otherwise is missed in all the tonal homogeneity of the dynamic impulse one way or another, and the romantic spark does not really want to jump.

That one can nevertheless be enthusiastic about the CD is consequently Blechacz' merit, that brings the coals again and again from fire with noble pianissimo, glassy attack precision and distinctive articulation and accents.

How does he do, remains his secret. But after his great triumph of the competition, he landed with his new album, the third most convincing point victory in series and thus has definitely left the danger zone of the merely promising talent.

Rather, he now moves on almost alarmingly certainly laid pianistic scene for his era.






Organizing for America posted a profile of Rafał Blechacz on its website on December 25.
Organizing for America was founded as "organization to Obama for America", the movement that elected President Obama by empowering communities across the country to bring about the agenda of change.

Blechacz's profile was posted by Lech Alex Bajanon on the organization's "Polish Americans for Barack Obama community blog page",
titled "Rafał Blechacz, the new Chopin Of Poland".  

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