This is a derivative from previous post. Excerpts from the reviews on Rafał Blechacz's album Debussy Szymanowski published in UK in Feb.-April this year. (courtesy Presto Classical, UK) I added a link to the full text of each review, already posted on this blog.
Every time I found a new review, it made me happy. When I saw The Guardian's review with perfect score, in particular, I was breathless with excitement. I remember when, where and how I read the article, then tried to post it, doing a lot of typos, then talking about it with my acquaintances.
“[the Szymanowski is] interpreted by Blechacz in a way that brings out its ripe personal voice and responds to its dramatic breadth of architecture...The disc is worth having for the Szymanowski alone, but Blechacz’s Debussy is also a joy of limpid colour and immaculately weighed articulation, encapsulating the character and imagery of the music with a masterly and imaginative touch.” The Telegraph, 17th February 2012 *****
“He's virtuosic on Debussy's "Pour le Piano", whisking us up and down the keyboard yet allowing pre-echoes of Gershwin to creep in to its more dramatic chordings; his "Pagodes" is weightlessly evocative. There's an almost existential yearning about Szymanowski's "Prelude & Fugue in C sharp minor", while "Sonata in C minor" is complex and involving.” The Independent, 17th February 2012 ****
“this pairing of Debussy and Szymanowski confirms Blechacz is much more than a one-trick pianist; he's an artist of imagination and perception, with a fabulous range of keyboard touch and colour. There's nothing obvious or ostentatious about his playing, either...the clarity of the playing is exceptional, but so, too, is the intelligence shaping it. It's a remarkable disc.” The Guardian, 1st March 2012 *****
“Blechacz’s Debussy is little short of miraculous, revelling in the luminous textures and tintinnabulating chinoiserie of Pagodes, from Estampes, the Lisztian flourishes of Jardins sous la pluie and the Gallic sensuality of La Soirée dans Grenade and L’Isle joyeuse. This is an unforgettable disc from one of the pianistic giants of our time.” Sunday Times, 11th March 2012
“This is breathtaking...There is never any doubt that there is a personality shaping the music and he has no fear about following his interpretative instinct on the day the microphones happen to be capturing it for posterity...Blechacz paints with the keyboard without sacrificing any clarity.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2012 ****
“I thought this was going to be a a disc of two halves. In fact, it is more of a continuous journey - and a most rewarding, artfully conceived one it is, too...I love Blechacz's crisp articulation and lightly pedalled bustle in the outer movements of Pour le piano...Blechacz's [Szymanowski] has the edge on [the competition] as much for his fierce emotional engagement with the music as for the superior sound quality.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2012
“His Debussy is transparent, pure, yet not lacking in depth, driven with impetus and excitement. The real finds here, however, are the two early works by Karol Szymanowski...virtuoso pianism at full stretch.” The Observer, 29th April 2012