A review written by Tsutomu Nasuda, for Record Geijutsu (=music, art), November 2013.
Blechacz has returned back to Chopin. And to my surprise, he's changed. He now asserts himself more clearly and has deepened emotional expressions. Probably it is because of the type of repertoire but there is more. Eight years have already passed since he won the Chopin Competition and I guess during this period he's accumulated experiences and matured with age. Personally I loved the way he interpreted Chopin -something fragile, not self-assertive, and still full of lucidity and transparency.
In the latest album of "Polonaises," apparently his Polish soul has been ignited. We can read it from his words quoted on the liner notes. Blechacz says, "Chopin lived in an age which, politically speaking, was extremely difficult to Poland, and this is clearly reflected in his works. It was one of the most powerful sources of inspiration behind his polonaises and mazurkas. The heroic atmosphere of his polonaises stems from this, and his love of his homeland is plain for us to hear. And yet his music is absolutely universal".
In Polonaise No.2 in C minor, Blechacz extracts rough and gloomy atmosphere, and tragic emotions from the piece. The same applies to Polonaise No.5 in F sharp minor. The terrifying theme at the beginning. Then the expression of brilliant sense of exaltation, the song of delight. The contrast of dynamics is striking and dramatic. That he's acquired strength and depth in expression means that he's getting matured as pianist. But I cherish a memory of the interpretation in his early years, too.
Tsutomu Nasuda wrote about Blechacz and interviewed him several times. An example.
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