Review of Rafał Blechacz’s recital at Teatro Victoria Eugenia, San Sebastián, Spain on August 27, posted on diariovasco.com four hours after the recital ended.
Original review (Spanish)
The best of la Quincena (the Fortnight): Rafał Blechacz
By MARÍA JOSÉ CANO
|Blechacz at Victoria Eugenia, San Sebastián,|
August 27, 2010
Not filled. They do not know what they missed. Best of la Quincena (the Fortnight), for the unexpected and quality. Neither Valery Gergiev, nor Mikhail Pletnev, nor Elisabeth Leonskaja.
Rafał Blechacz. Remember his name, because surely in a few years we'll manage to bring him back to Donostia (San Sebastian).
Rafał Blechacz belongs to that very reduced circle of artists who do not seem to be of this world. With only 25 years, he possesses all the qualities that can be requested from the best performer and more. Yesterday it was made very clear in Victoria Eugenia that the beauty of his sound seemed to have modified even its acoustics. Blechacz demonstrated that he is not a virtuous machine that gives all the notes in time and place, but rather he has the amazing ability to catch you with his music from the moment he begins to play.
And he gives the same no matter what he does: he transforms everything into art, in a speech built on a unique sonority that also combines logic and passion. The phrasing, the cult of silence or the necessary breathing became natural in him to the extent that his posture at the piano looked like an extension of the piano itself. He made everything work in the service of music.
The first part of his performance allowed us to observe the incredible maturity of the pianist who was able to talk to you one on one with a highly technical and thematic Szymanowski. The 'Sonata in C minor', with an initial 'Allegro moderato' full of complications, was the culmination of two other known works that Blechacz was able to link with a very proper intentionality. The 'Prelude and Fugue in C sharp minor', also by the Polish author verified the evident ability of the interpreter to show those sonorous plains with the absolute clarity. This 'Fugue' and also what appeared in the aforementioned 'Sonata' were a lesson of consistency carried out by the wise hands that actually did what they wanted to do on the keyboard. ‘L'isle joyeuse (The Island of Pleasure)’ by Debussy was fresh, appropriate in style and extremely convincing.
And still there remained the Chopin who has brought Blechacz to the best auditoriums in the world. The two 'Polonaises' and four 'Mazurkas' were true divertimentos in his capable hands and in his mature thought. The 'Ballad', which ended his recital, was a passionate, almost savage gift full of expressiveness and good taste. Unforgettable.