Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Nov 20, 2010

Review of Rafał Blechacz's Chopin concerto with NDR orchestra, Hamburg


The review of the concert on Nov.18, was posted on on Nov.20.

Original review (German)

Urbańsk 's baton evoked Penderecki’s unheard sounds

It was polyphonic, shocking, desperate wails, Krzysztof Urbańsk drew out of the NDR Symphony Orchestra. Krzysztof Penderecki's piece "Threnody - the victims of Hiroshima for 52 strings lasts for only eight minutes and a half, but it contains all the hopelessness of the world in the face of the first atomic bomb dropped on a populated city. Urbański, the young Polish rising star, conducted from memory, precise and oratorical, and he finds suggestive gestures that evoke Penderecki to the outrageous sounds. The music hits in the heart.

(© Felix Broede)
Very special as well, when he and Rafał Blechacz interpreted Chopin's Piano Concerto in E minor: the orchestra was taken back and more on the search of the poetic lines after the pithy counterpoint to the soloist. And the piano part that was played out perfectly accurate, virtuosic, transparent, modeling sound for sound. All the enthusiasm aroused Blechacz in the audience, who then demanded two encores from him: This Chopin was pure every romanticism; many topics often suddenly stood side by side with each other, as if searching for fractions instead of connections.
So, the impression of a brilliantly completed piano exercise remained over a wide stretch into little varied dynamics that touched the core soul of the work only at some rare moments.

Then in the end Stravinsky's third concert suite from his ballet "The Firebird". Urbańsk and the NDR Symphony Orchestra delighted in the fine fabric of Russian melodies and distressing finesses, with which Stravinsky breaks it open and places in scenes. Very neatly played, but from the baton something was missing to present the sound experiments of the composer in a way that they would be urged as the beginning of a revolutionary upheaval in his ear.

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