(…) His insightful and technically formidable accounts of works by Bach, Beethoven and Chopin made clear why, at 31, Mr. Blechacz is one of the major artists of his generation. And there was something charming about watching this slender young man as he dropped his arms into bursts of thick chords.
Mr. Blechacz came to international attention in 2014 for winning the Gilmore Artist Award, bestowed every four years on a pianist whose work has been evaluated in secret by a team of traveling judges. He is the most recent name on the impressive roster of seven Gilmore winners, including Kirill Gerstein, Piotr Anderszewski and Leif Ove Andsnes.
After an elegant performance of Beethoven’s episodic Rondo in G (Op. 51, No. 2), in which Mr. Blechacz relished this sly piece’s ventures into wildness, he turned to that composer’s monumental early Sonata in C major (Op. 2, No. 3). In this work, you hear a young composer determined to simultaneously honor and upend the Viennese Classical sonata heritage. Mr. Blechacz dispatched the brawny passages of octaves, chords and dizzying runs in the first movement, and then drew out the wistfulness of the Adagio, with its unquiet currents lurking below. Some audience members giggled out loud during the amusing moments of the impish scherzo and spiraling finale.
After intermission, Mr. Blechacz turned to Chopin, whose works have been central to his career. He conveyed the daring flights of imagination in the Fantaisie in F minor, yet revealed the subtle structure that holds the work together. His melting sound lifted the yearning melody of the sublime Nocturne in F sharp minor (Op. 48, No. 2). He ended with a fearless performance of the Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor (Op. 35, “Funeral March”). His approach to the first movement emphasized the unbridled turbulence of this dark, intense music. The flinty sound he summoned in the most fraught passages certainly conveyed its hurtling angst.
/The New York Times 27.03.2017, Anthony Tommasini/