A very nice review leading us back to merits of this disc and this performance.
The winner of the 2005 International Chopin Competition, Rafał Blechacz has affirmed his undoubted talent in the world as a specialist of music by Chopin, ratified in 2006 by the splendid recording of the "Preludes" and in 2009 two concertos for piano and orchestra. Yet the talent of this twenty-seven-year-old Pole does not stop at a tribute to his illustrious countryman, rather he enters, with this recording, in the land totally different in the concept of the musical material, in sonority.
Blechacz compares two musical universes: the impressionism of Debussy, for which he takes as reference point the interpretations of Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, and expressionism of Karol Szymanowski, Polish composer unjustly little visited.
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150 years after the birth of Claude Debussy, Blechacz makes a great tribute to the French composer, highlighting the legacy of classic form, in the three parts of "Pour le piano", no coincidence in bearing evocative titles of the suites of Bach (Prelude, Sarabande and Toccata) and the peculiarities of his language full of descriptive elements and coloristic skills as in "Estampes". Debussy by Blechacz is undoubtedly a Debussy of impressions, of refinement of sound, experimentation, harmonic research, and pianistic colors. The pianist confirms a rare technical mastery of the instrument, ability and control that guarantee the performance of infinite shades that Debussy thought for his passages. The exoticism of "Pagodes", the Iberian character of "Soirée dans Grenade", the whirling musical rainstorm and fun of "Jardins sous la pluie", the charm and suggestions of "L'Isle Joyeuse", filtered through the sensibility Rafał Blechacz, they are returned to us by the enthusiasm in cascades of notes, crystalline and transparent in their accuracy, but also in intense poetry made through studious dynamics with rigorous and perfect balance.
From the kaleidoscopic world of Debussy to the poetics, of already almost existentialist matrix of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski, here it is addressed by his two juvenile works, where the influence of the compatriot Chopin, but also of Liszt or Scriabin is perceivable. A lyrical universe, suffering, deprived of linearity in expression of inwardness in trouble. Dark and rigorous the attack by Blechacz on the "Prelude and Fugue in C-Sharp Minor", eclectic and generous in his "Sonata in C Minor"; the alternation of forte/piano renders justice to the instrument in the first place and to the sizable chiaroscuro of the work by Szymanowski in the second place. Rafał Blechacz reveals the rare quality of being able to be "inside the music", free from possible sins of interpretative orthodoxy, skilled in the weaving of a dense musical language full of nuances, a pianism intended as a natural extension of a personality that is not limited to reading the score, but he seeks the deepest meaning supported by vivid imagination and by unstoppable creativity.