London Philharmonic/Jaap van Zweden/Rafał Blechacz

Royal Festival Hall - Londyn

(…) outstanding performance of the Chopin from the 26-year-old Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz. We and the LPO were lucky to get him. Blechacz has been developing an impressive career since he swept the board at the 2005 Chopin Competition (…).

The elements that made the Chopin such a pleasure were his tactful assertion of ‘soloist’s rights’ – this is not a concerto for first among equals – the definition of his playing and the clarity of his wide-ranging sound. On the back of these, other aspects of his impressive, non-showy technique and a natural, pragmatic musicianship fell into place – an unmannered feel for rubato, a tensile litheness powering the velvety lyricism and irrepressible, fluid decorations, and an infectious generosity of style and personality. He was very impressive, as was Jaap van Zweden in infusing the conventional orchestration with an unusual degree of breadth and colour. Blechacz’s encore, Chopin’s last, unfinished Mazurka, was a delight.

/Londyn, 26.10.2011 Peter Reed/