Review written by Julia Gaß of Blechacz recital in Dortmund on June 12.
Original review (German)
Blechacz at Dortmund Konzerthaus
Rafał Blechacz inspired the piano festival
It is a rarity indeed so that so many outstanding young pianists aged 20-25, would set the trend to grand stages. All perform Chopin this year. However, only few of them play as well as Rafał Blechacz.
This 24-year old Pole has been called ”Mr. Chopin”, ever since he disqualified his competitors at the Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw five years ago. Last Friday he was a special guest to the piano festival Klavier-Festival Ruhr in Konzerthaus in Dortmund. He kept Chopin for the second part of the concert, whereas in the first one he proved how energetically and in tune he could play Bach (1. Partita) as well as demonstrated that it is possible to perform Debussy (Suite Pour le piano) impressively with a big, clear beat if you display such a fantastic technique like his and the audience keeps up with your fast pace.
Blechacz 's Mozart was still missing a bit of soul, which the 24-year-old has for playing Chopin. The Sonata No. 17 sounded perfect, but much more dispassionate than his Chopin. And in order to honour his fellow-countryman, Blechacz chose certainly not the easiest compositions. In Scherzo in B minor op.20 he revealed Chopin as Polish Liszt, applying literally presto con fuoco and making kind of windstorm heard across the concert hall.
Coloratura on the Piano Keys
Chopin performance by Blechacz sparkles, once glittering, once twinkling, like coloratura singing emitting from the keys. Apart from its thunderous character and pressure, it also had Ballade in A flat major narrative depth. One has to display extraordinary skills at this age in the first place, in order to discover so many expression nuances in such tiny musical forms as Mazurkas. Blechacz is a perfectioninst and in Chopin case this is also true about art of expression. In the last Chopin piano composition Polonaise-Fantaisie, the Pole set the door ajar to the world of expression with resonant tone, a similarity to which can be found only in Rubinstein or another Polish winner of the Frederick Chopin Piano Competition, Krystian Zimerman. This young Chopin performer of the highest class was awarded with a standing ovation.
Read another review written by Julia Gaß of Blechacz recital in Dortmund on Oct.30, 2008.