Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Mar 19, 2010

Review of Blechacz NY recital by Jay Nordlinger

Review of Blechacz NY recital on Feb.26, written by Jay Nordlinger as a part of recent artistic activities in NY, posted on CetyArts on March 10.

Original review

A young pianist, a seasoned composer and a performance of ‘La Bohème’

By Jay Nordlinger

Rafal Blechacz is a hotshot pianist, a young Pole. He is 24, though he looks about 16. When I first heard him, he had just turned 23 and looked about 12. He won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2005, age 20. Naturally, his countrymen took pride. There had last been a Polish win in 1975, when Krystian Zimerman was the victor.

On a recent Friday night, Blechacz came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to give a recital. The program he played was a mixed one: some Baroque music, some music of the Classical period, some Romanticism, some French Impressionism. His composers were Bach, Mozart, Chopin and Debussy. This is the sort of program that musicians offer when they are first starting out. They want to show, or are asked to show, what they can do in a variety of genres. As they get older, they tend to narrow down: offering one-composer evenings and the like.

This is a shame, really, because a mixed program can give you a wonderful evening. Think of a multi-course meal, interesting, well-balanced and satisfying.

Blechacz is a satisfying pianist. He has an obvious eagerness about music, a keen desire to play the piano. There is sometimes even a puppyish glee. The audience cannot help responding to this. Blechacz has a good technique and general musical intelligence. He also has some fire, some youthful impetuosity—may he never lose this, as maturation sets in.

There are some problems: Blechacz sometimes falls into boxiness or a mechanical, clattering state. In a Mozart sonata, there were some harsh, out-of-place accents. The music could have used more grace and lilt, a surer sense of line. Also, sound is not a specialty for Blechacz: You would not go to this pianist for beauty of sound. And you need a broader palette of colors truly to convey Debussy.

Reservations aside, Blechacz is a bright, joyful addition to the musical scene. He grins, you grin.
(End of Blechacz's part)

Read Nordlinger's review of Blechacz's recital in Salzburg, 2008.

Nordlinger's observation this time at NY is not always correct, in my view, especially of Blechacz's sound (his writing here is absolutely wrong); the blizzard that affected NY area since previous night may have caused a hubbub in his mindset(?), but I would post this article here 'cause it looks like Nordlinger puts some points popping into his head and overall he likes Blechacz's playing very much.   

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