Rafał Blechacz – thrillingly direct and fiercely engaged


Wigmore Hall, London

On a rare UK visit, the Polish pianist confirmed what an outstanding artist he is.

(…) In fact it was – thrillingly direct and fiercely engaged, this was the first time in my experience of hearing Blechacz live that he confirmed what an outstanding artist he is.

He began with Mozart: a distinctly brisk, unsentimental account of the A minor Rondo K511 led straight into the piano sonata in the same key, K310, delivered just as forthrightly. Then came Beethoven’s A major Sonata Op 101, presented in bold, primary keyboard colours, but full of crisply observed details, which seemed to bind this sometimes elusive sonata together more tightly and cogently than ever before.

But it was the second half that showed Blechacz at his very best. Schumann’s G minor Sonata Op 22, which scarcely ever pauses for breath, was negotiated with astonishing technical brilliance and supreme dynamic control, and then contrasted with deeply introspective Chopin, the four mazurkas of Op 24, each a perfectly conceived study in aching, forlorn pastels. And there was more Chopin to end, a rampaging account of the last of the polonaises, Op 53 in A flat, which bristled with intent and challenge in every note.

/London, The Guardian 22.01.2022 Andrew Clements/