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Jan 22, 2011

Rafał Blechacz and Maurizio Pollini

From my archive, a short review of Salzburg recital in 2008 written by Ernst Naredi-Rainer, an Austrian journalist and editor of Kleine Zeitung.

A few days ago I posted the ATV video of Highlights - Das Kulturmagazin where Rafał Blechacz was interviewed alongside with his concert in Vienna and it reminded me of this review simply because it is in Austria.  Actually there were so many reviews written about Blechacz's Salzburg recital in 2008,  I couldn't afford to cover them all on this blog.

Original review on the website of Kleine Zeitung, Aug.17, 2008


Solo concerts: a prodigy and a wise master
Two winners of the Chopin competition performed the last two evenings solo recitals at the Salzburg Festival. 

Winning the Chopin Competition has pushed both pianists in an international career. Italian Maurizio Pollini had won in 1960 as a 18-year-old in Warsaw, and Pole Rafał Blechacz with 20 years in October 2005. Both picked up exclusively Deutsche Grammophon after that. If Pollini had to wait for 13 years the first invitation to the Salzburg Festival, where he has performed almost every summer since 1973, Rafał Blechacz was already entitled this year to celebrate his Salzburg debut. Of course, he played works by Frédéric Chopin, alongside with pieces by Franz Liszt. Both composers were also on the program of Maurizio Pollini. To be exhaustive, apart from the sovereign technique and the ability for sound sensualim, there are similarities  between the two artists..

Foto © AP
Rationalist. Pollini (66); after the forthcoming retirement of Alfred Brendel, the role of the great figure among the world class pianists to play comes; he played three big, dark sonatas from 1836 to 1853 in the Great Festival Hall. In Robert Schumann's Sonata in F minor from his "darkest time", in Chopin's B flat minor Sonata of apathetic and nobly interpreted funeral march, with the simple D-flat major Intermezzo fascinating, and in Franz Liszt's B minor Sonata, he clearly proved to be a rationalist analizing, prone to objectify, who doesn’t cross the boarders to passion.  In a generous mood, he reacted to the cheers with four encores.


(© Felix Broede)
Melancholy. The 23-year-old Rafał Blechacz has a striking affinity to the melancholy of Chopin. His performance seems sensible, almost precocious, but always relaxed, and no distance was made at Morzarteum with enthusiasm for Bach, Liszt and Debussy through the fresh and personal immediacy.




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