A mini review of CD Debussy Szymanowski, by The Buffalo News, Oct. 21.
Debussy and Szymanowski, Piano music performed by pianist Rafal Blechacz (Deutsche Grammophon). You never know where the first-rate Debussy pianists will come from. But you can guess. Angela Hewitt proved recently that as devoted as she can possibly be, her Debussy is simply not on the level of her Bach and Beethoven. Here, though, is a young Polish pianist who admires the recorded Debussy of Michelangeli, Cortot and Gieseking and sounds it. He fully conveys the deep Debussyan poetry of “Pour Le Piano,” “Estampes,” and “L’Isle Joyeuse,” which means that he’s at least halfway there with what the notes here call “the existential poetry” of Szymanowski’s long-lined Prelude and Fugue in C-Sharp Minor and the expressive size of his huge (five movement), powerful C-Minor Sonata Op.8. Until now, Blechacz has given us Chopin, Haydn and Beethoven. This opens up new intellectual and poetic vistas for an enormously accomplished young pianist.