Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Sep 7, 2012

Review of CD Debussy Szymanowski by an audience member (UK)

Talking about Amazon, I visited to see how this CD is dealt with and found the situation normal and very nice reviews given.  One of them which was written by a "top 1000 reviewer" is as follows.

Rafał Blechacz proves to be a remarkable player on this disc. I was not surprised to read that he holds Michelangeli in particular esteem, as his playing initially reminded me of that legend, combining clarity with the most refined sound world, and a fantastic energy, as if the music has been polished like fine silver.

There is a gleam on the tone that is quite addictive, with a special immediacy that is unusual even by today's standards.

Blechacz' approach to Debussy is scrupulous but not at all lacking in feeling; rather, you feel emotion is coming across indirectly, as is appropriate in Debussy's world. I would rank it with the very finest; it won't displace Cecile Ousset or Youri Egorov (in Estampes) whose versions were the first I got to know, but it may well join them.

A particular pleasure of this new disc is the placing of these works alongside Szymanowski, whose star seems to be very much in the ascendant, and deservedly so. The sonata is a thrillingly virtuoso work full of musical interest, occupying a similar place, perhaps, to Brahms' early essays in the form. It is written on a large scale, and sounds mature, but with hindsight you know he would develop his harmonic language to a point quite far from this. Presumably the Prelude and fugue is also quite early; at all events it makes an excellent bridge from the clarity of the Debussy and the high-octane energy of the Sonata.

** I also found a good review on Amazon Japan that is much to the point.  (Hopefully I'll post it here later.)

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