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Dec 22, 2011

Review of Rafał Blechacz playing Chopin at Salle Pleyel

This is a review of the concert at Salle Pleyel, Paris, on November 11, when Rafał Blechacz played Chopin's concerto in F minor with Sinfonia Varsovia directed by Grzegorz Nowak.

Original review on ConcertoNet.com
written by Didier van Moere


Let me pick up the 2nd half of the review where the author writes about Blechacz and Chopin's concerto.

(Excerpt)
The orchestra of the Second Concerto by Chopin, so often confined to a condescending accompaniment, was standing out in relief, where one recognized the hand of the master accustomed to the theater. The orchestra deserves the winner of the Chopin Competition in 2005, now twenty-six years, who has continued to mature and expand his repertoire. Here one remembers Rafał Blechacz’s CD led by Jerzy Semkow (see review by ConcertoNet.com), with Maestoso which the young pianist gave his proper weight, of freshness, clarity and precision recalling that Chopin diligently revisited his Bach and his Mozart. The performance remains yet very concentrated, doesn't have anything superficial; something reminding us of a certain Polish tradition, illustrated by Rubinstein or by Zimerman, as opposed to the fanciful liberties of Paderewski. This is how one should play the concertos of Chopin, without anticipating the great maturity. The Larghetto happily recalls the passion of the musician for the bel canto, with the right amount of dramatization in the recitativo in the middle part. The final Allegro vivace has the bouncing lightness of some mazurkas.

Superb Polonaise in A flat as first encore, notable by the mastery of the left hand in the persistence of the octaves, free of all patriotic exaltation, rendered the music as Szymanowski wanted it. Poetic Mazurka in A minor, finally, pure sound, without escalation in nostalgia.

Without doubt, Rafał Blechacz will be one of the great pianists of tomorrow.

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