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Aug 14, 2012

Beethoven piano sonata No.7 in D major played by Rafał Blechacz

Beethoven's piano sonata No. 7 in D major op. 10-3, second movement "Largo e mesto" is one of the most impressive items related to Blechacz in my memory to date this year in writing this blog.  Here I'll post a part of the review of his recital at Sala della Filarmonica in Trento, on March 2, the first time that he played this piece in public if I remember correctly.  The original review is copyright-protected so this is only about the first half of the program: Bach and Beethoven.

Original review

Rafał Blechacz, the sublime soul of the piano…..the rare and valuable combination of rigor, thoughtfulness and passion of the extraordinary exponent of the entire piano repertoire, with a natural predilection for the illustrious countryman Fryderik Chopin enters into music, talking through Partita No.3 in A minor by Bach: Cartesian cleanliness, clarity of notes and phrasing, purity of form. Music for just music. The extraordinary technical ability of Blechacz makes listening to the complex polyphony of Bach simple, giving a clear and intelligible speech, in which the alternating voices follow faithfully the geometry of form, but from his inside springs out the rarefied expression, an almost dramaturgical lyricism that hovers in space and time. The fluid fingering, the freshness with which he redraws the most lyrical moment on the keyboard, the prodigious technique allow him to face with rigor the authors of the classical period, restoring them with surprising maturity and the Sonata Op. N3 10 of L.v. Beethoven becomes the revelation of the unseizable.

The Presto begins with the great passage in octaves, broken arpeggios, “hammered” chords put emphasis on the brilliant technique that prevails throughout the main theme. But the slow tempo Largo e mesto, one of the most intensely expressive pages of the entire sonata by Beethoven, falls on us as a poignant lyricism, impalpable, silent poetry of infinite and ungovernable pathos that finds its exact compositional yield in the most perfect construction. The tension dissolves with the short Menuetto. The Finale and Rondo is linked to the initial Tempo, a coloratura, ranging in medium and high registers and Blechacz renders choreography of gesture in the movement of sound.
(End of excerpt)
Trento Cathedral and Piazza Duomo











This is an excerpt from the recital review in Stuttgart on April 27.

The entire review

In Beethoven's Sonata No. 7 in D major, Op 10/3, it is above all in the Largo e mesto, where Blechacz’s singular talent is obvious. He brings the metaphysical dimension of this movement to this poignant expression throughout it, by renouncing the conventional espressivo maneuver, with which slow movements are usually charged. Blechacz trusts only the expression of the notes and text.

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And from the review of the recital at Salle Pleyel, on June 12.

The entire review

Hence this Bach colored, almost sensual, where every theoretical research in the writing becomes means of expression. An important partition in the works of Beethoven on this form, just preceding the Pathetique, Sonata No. 7 in D major op. 10 No. 3 is not the best known or most frequently played.  Very fine passage, moving in many places, especially his ample Largo, it is in variable mood, with moments of great nostalgia and other moments of lightness against almost peasante rhythms. Touching always miraculous, Blechacz slides into this conversation with diabolical skill, handling drama and seduction with the same ease, using in particular the complex architecture of the slow movement to touch us, as he will make it at the time in the Sonata in B Minor by Chopin.

Japanese

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