From Le Monde as of July 25, a review of Rafał Blechacz's recital at La Roque d'Antheron (July 23).
The Pole Rafał Blechacz plays Chopin a la Polonaise
Rafał Blechacz arrived on the stage as if he were a little late for an appointment. He barely lost time in bowing to the public and very quickly began an attack on Partita No. 3 in A minor BWV 827 by Bach. The “attack” is not an appropriate word: the piano by Rafał Blechacz, while incisive it may be, is not a predator of keyboard. This is a piano that cultivates a touch of harpsichord in Bach, a fluidity a la drypoint, a flush velvet. His speech is precise and refined. He creates links between strong harmonic presence and the stretched threads of melodies. An art of polyphonic canvas.
.....He has been above all regularly programmed in major halls of France, after outperforming in 2005 at age of 20 at the prestigious Chopin Competition in Warsaw (the 15th of the event), which decided careers of Maurizio Pollini (1960) or Martha Argerich (1965).
A side story delineated.
Sonata No. 7, op. 10, No. 3 by Beethoven is not often played, far from it. With its Mozart-like air, his clear articulation, the inflections of "pre-Chopin style" of his "Largo e mesto", the neat "Menuetto" and the humor of his final "Rondo", it is ideal for the authorized fingers (fingers of oath) of Rafał Blechacz.
Ballade No. 1 op. 23, Polonaise op. 26 No. 1 and No. 2: Rafał Blechacz is to his country soon after the intermission. He plays Chopin as Poles understand: without mannerism or affectation, but without athletic achievement. Unfolding weights, measures, landscapes, intentions. A mosaic of chiseled colors, a succession of events which sometimes give the music a side story....
(End of excerpt)
**You can hear some fragments of his playing Bach Partita No.3 from his recital in Wels, Austria this spring.
**It looks like the review has been partially published and it requires registration for the full access to the article of Le Monde.
Konzertdirektion Schmid reports on Blechacz's winning the ECHO Klassik 2012 on its monthly report.
"Rafał Blechacz receives the award in the category “Soloist recording of the year (20th/21st century) / piano” for his recording of Debussy and Szymanowski piano works. The album was released by Deutsche Grammophon in February of 2012. Reactions from the press have been impressive: “Suddenly music sounds completely pure again, wholly authentic; the message of the music comes from its innermost parts […]” (Die Zeit, March 15, 2012)."
→Blechacz receiving ECHO Klassik 2012