Already in the variations about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Lison Dormaiy KV 264, the Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz presented his skills: perfect fluency and a gift for conjuring up feelings so naturally. Greater demands are stated by the Piano Sonata c-moll Op.8 No. 1, in which Karol Szymanowski presented all his virtues at the beginning of his career as a composer. A lot of virtuosity, many dynamic culminations – these were not hidden by Blechacz. Between particular ”outbursts” he created the islands of reflexion though, he provided Menuet with a clear sound like a bell and emphasized impressionistic layers, which can be found in the introduction to the final, among others. The work of Szymanowski was preceded by Claude Debussy’s creation L’isle joyeuse, composed also in the year 1904, given vivid colours by Blechacz. A distinct rhythm in the second part of this composition also provided a foretaste of Polonaises which appeared after the break.
Thus Blechacz reached Frederick Chopin at this concert. The first prize at the Warsaw Chopin Competition in 2005 opened the door for him to grand concert halls and assured a contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Absolutely deservedly. Rafał Blechacz is full of energy but he also fascinates with noble elegance, his virtuosity is incredibly confident, but he doesn’t ignore melancholy either. Especially impressive were his Ballades Op. 23 and 38 interpretations full of expression, where he proved to be a master of subtle rubato. In the first of both Polonaises Op. 26 he carefully inspirited all feelings; in the middle of another Polonaise he created his own poetry with which he filled four Mazurkas Op. 41.
/Zürich, Tonhalle 09.11.2011 Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Jürg Huber/