Rafal Blechacz Discography

FREDERIC CHOPIN

[FREDERIC CHOPIN]

Polonaise No. 1 in C sharp minor Op. 26-1
Polonaise No.2 in E flat minor Op. 26-2
Polonaise No.3 in A major Op. 40-1 “Military”
Polonaise No.4 in C minor Op. 40-2
Polonaise No.5 in F sharp minor Op. 44
Polonaise No.6 in A flat major Op. 53 “Heroic”
Polonaise No.7 in A flat major Op. 61 “Polonaise-Fantasie”

International release Sept. 6, 2013
Deutsche Grammophon website

“He has the requisite power to assert his presence, as Chopin so often does at the start of these pieces, but he also has the breadth of understanding to temper his tonal strength, depth and muscle with tenderness, lyrical warmth and a pianistic palette of both rich and delicate colours.”
(Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph)

“Displaying a brilliantly secure technique, the young Polish pianist is fully up to the challenges of these glittering pieces. He also feels the nostalgia and longing of the music, and hearing him play the Polonaises is like hearing an authentically Viennese performances of a waltz.”
( John Allison, BBC Music Magazine)

“I think we all might agree on a new benchmark with the arrival of this recording from Rafal Blechacz...It is a rare integrale in which every work is as technically successful and musically convincing as all its companions...this is Chopin-playing of the highest order, with recorded piano sound that far surpasses the earlier versions.”
(Editor’s choice, Gramophone, Dec. 2013)

“Temperamental and poetic, the Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz...is in his natural habitat here, playing with crisp rhythm and powerful sound.”
(NYT)

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DEBUSSY SZYMANOWSKI

[ DEBUSSY SZYMANOWSKI ]

Claude Debussy
Pour le piano 1. Prelude 2. Sarabande 3. Toccata

Estampes 1. Pagodes 2. Soiree dans Grenade 3. Jardins sous la pluie
L'Isle joyeuse

Karol Szymanowski
Prelude and Fugue in C sharp minor
Sonata in C minor, Op.8

International release 01 Feb. 2012
Deutsche Grammophon website

This pairing of Debussy and Szymanowski confirms Blechacz is much more than a one-trick pianist; he's an artist of imagination and perception, with a fabulous range of keyboard touch and colour. His performances of Pour le Piano and Estampes are brilliantly characterised, with wit and a clarity of articulation that brings to mind Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli's legendary Debussy playing….. The Syzmanowski works are equally revelatory. The sonata can seem unwieldy, yet Blechacz manages to channel its great extremes of dynamic and texture into a single entity whose logical culmination is the final three-part fugue; again the clarity of the playing is exceptional, but so, too, is the intelligence shaping it. It's a remarkable disc.
(Andrew Clements, The Guardian)

The disc is worth having for the Szymanowski alone, but Blechacz’s Debussy is also a joy of limpid colour and immaculately weighed articulation, encapsulating the character and imagery of the music with a masterly and imaginative touch.
(Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph)

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Rafal Blechacz FREDERIC CHOPIN Piano Concertos Nos. 1 + 2

[ FREDERIC CHOPIN ]

Piano Concertos Nos. 1 + 2
Rafal Blechacz
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Jerzy Semkow
International Release 05 Oct. 2009

Deutsche Grammophon website ≫

“In this recording, Blechacz understands Chopin's love for Poland, and feels his romantic longing. He doesn't sound like he's imitating anyone else's take on Chopin's sentiments. It requires both integrity and intelligence…
…..Blechacz plays with an unfettered fluency. It gives his Chopin sincerity and directness, without any of the fussiness that comes from overworking the nuances or overindulging the intimacy. And you can be sure that the beauty of the hushed heartache that Blechacz achieves in the second concerto's slow movement will, over time, become even more magical in its tenderness.”
(Cathy Fuller, NPR)

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Rafal Blechacz HAYDN: Piano Sonata Hob. XVI:52

sonatas - haydn, mozart, beethoven

HAYDN: Piano Sonata Hob. XVI:52
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata op. 2 No. 2
MOZART: Piano Sonata KV 311
International Release 10 Oct. 2008

Deutsche Grammohpon website ≫

“Textural transparency, expressive economy, creative inspiration, high humour and strategically placed silences characterise these three Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart sonatas, as well as Rafał Blechacz's splendid, beautifully recorded interpretations. While he clearly enjoys his virtuosity, the pianist almost always directs his fingers towards musical ends . . . [Mozart]: The first movement's unexpected twists and turns and the Rondeau finale's rests couldn't be more effectively placed in time, while the central Andantino's vocal eloquence and dramatic touches organically fuse in Blechacz's intelligent hands. In short, Blechacz's . . . solo release . . . is by far his strongest yet.”
(Record Review / Jed Distler, Gramophone (London) / 01 November 2008)

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Rafal Blechacz FREDERIC CHOPIN The Complete Preludes

[ FREDERIC CHOPIN ]

The Complete Preludes
2 Nocturnes op. 62
International Release 01 Oct

Deutsche Grammophon website ≫

Blechacz is a superlative pianist but an even finer musician, and this is playing of exceptional clarity and expressive beauty. Everything Blechacz does seems natural and organic, and his ability to phrase Chopin's long lines with an inner sense of time and space is a constant joy. Blechacz brings an aristocratic refinement and elegance to the Preludes, in both the lyrical pieces (Nos. 4, 6 and 15) and those with swathes of notes (Nos 3, 8 and 10) His classical approach is a pole apart . . . Blechacz's playing exudes subtlety and musical insight . . . Blechacz again reveals his expressive ease in the two Nocturnes Op. 62, where his blend of classical restraint and Romantic vulnerability is magical. The sound throughout is as vivid and natural as the playing.
(Record Review / Tim Parry, BBC Music Magazine (London) / 01 December 2007)

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Rafal BlechaczRafal BlechaczRafal Blechaczthe 15th International Fryderyk
Chopin Piano Competition
(Japanese versions)

the 15th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition

Preludes op.28 No.7 in A major, No.8 in F sharp minor, No.9 in E major, No.10 in C sharp minor, No.11 in B major, No.12 in G sharp minor
Nocturne in B major op.62 No.1
Etude in A flat major op.10 No.10
Waltzes op.64 No.1 in D flat major, No.2 in C sharp minor, No.3 in A flat major
Barcarolle in F sharp major op.60
Polonaise in A flat major op.53
Mazurkas op.56 No.1 in B major, No.2 in C major, No.3 in C minor
Sonata in B minor op.58

Concerto in E minor op.11
Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Antoni Wit-conductor

Concert by laureates

Announcement of the performance by Rafal Blechacz,
the winner of the 15th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition

Mazurkas op.56 No.1 in B major, No.2 in C major, No.3 in C minor
Polonaise in A flat major op.53
Waltzes op.64 No.2 in C sharp minor, No.1 in D flat major
Mazurka in B flat major op.17 No.1

Claude Debussy, Prelude “Clair de Lune”

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Rafal Blechacz HAYDN: Piano Sonata Hob. XVI:52

Piano Recital

Robert Schumann, piano sonata No.2 in G minor
Franz Liszt, Concert Etudes
Claude Debussy, Suite bergamasque
Karol Szmanowski, Variations in B flat minor op.3
Chopin, Polonaise op.53

...the sound is adequate and Blechacz is clearly a talent to watch, one that could well move beyond the limited world of competition success.
...But his greatest success is on native ground when he turns to Szymanowski's early and opulent Variations, and never more so than in the final Allegro con fuoco** (where Szymanowski takes his cue from Brahms's Handel and Paganini Variations), passing on its virtuoso glory with unabashed energy and enthusiasm.
(Bryce Morrison, Gramophone Magazine, January 2006)

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“Piano Recital” is a recording in April 2005, six months before the Chopin Competition.
All the pieces on the disc Sonata No.2 in G minor by R. Schumann, Suite Bergamasque by C. Debussy, Variations in B flat minor by K. Szymanowski are genuine music without any exaggeration.
“Chopin Competition Live I & II” are documentary about a young man of pure heart indifferent to vanity or ambition, depicting the very moving story that he eventually reached the very top.
How his music was captivating audience’s hearts can be felt.
(Akiyasu Fukushima, Japanese critic, November 2009)

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