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Pianist Rafal Blechacz plays Debussy & Szymanowski

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : Pour le piano, suite for piano, L. 95
>Debussy, Claude : Estampes (3) for Piano
>Debussy, Claude : L'isle joyeuse
>Szymanowski, Karol : Prelude and Fugue for Piano in C sharp minor
>Szymanowski, Karol : Sonata for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 8, M8
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The Guardian
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. There's nothing obvious or ostentatious about his playing, either... the clarity of the playing is exceptional, but so, too, is the intelligence shaping it. It's a remarkable disc.

BBC Music Magazine
This is breathtaking... There is never any doubt that there is a personality shaping the music and he has no fear about following his interpretative instinct on the day the microphones happen to be capturing it for posterity... Blechacz paints with the keyboard without sacrificing any clarity.

Sunday Times
Blechacz's Debussy is little short of miraculous, revelling in the luminous textures and tintinnabulating chinoiserie of Pagodes, from Estampes, the Lisztian flourishes of Jardins sous la pluie and the Gallic sensuality of La SoirTe dans Grenade and L'Isle joyeuse. This is an unforgettable disc from one of the pianistic giants of our time.

The Independent
He's virtuosic on Debussy's "Pour le Piano", whisking us up and down the keyboard yet allowing pre-echoes of Gershwin to creep in to its more dramatic chordings; his "Pagodes" is weightlessly evocative. There's an almost existential yearning about Szymanowski's "Prelude & Fugue in C sharp minor", while "Sonata in C minor" is complex and involving.

The Telegraph
[The Szymanowski is] interpreted by Blechacz in a way that brings out its ripe personal voice and responds to its dramatic breadth of architecture... 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.

Gramophone Magazine
I thought this was going to be a a disc of two halves. In fact, it is more of a continuous journey - and a most rewarding, artfully conceived one it is, too...I love Blechacz's crisp articulation and lightly pedalled bustle in the outer movements of Pour le piano...Blechacz's [Szymanowski] has the edge on [the competition] as much for his fierce emotional engagement with the music as for the superior sound quality.

Rafal Blechacz is one of DG's best-selling young artists - his stunning albums have sold more than 160,000 units worldwide.

And Rafal Blechacz is by talents, proclivity, and nationality the perfect choice to record works by his fellow Pole, Szymanowski.

And therefore to record Debussy, too - whose presence in Szymanowski's musical DNA looms large.

Arguably the greatest Polish composer since Chopin, Szymanowski was also influenced by Ravel, Scriabin, and Strauss.

For the first time on record Rafal Blechacz plays Szymanowski's reverie - inducing music - a revelation to those unfamiliar with it.

Debussy's Impressionist soundscapes (also new to Rafal Blechacz's discography) - including Pour le piano and Estampes - are a natural fit for a Chopin expert such as he.

The bonus digital-track is Debussy's nonpareil Clair de lune.

Rafal Blechacz is one of DG's best-selling young artists - his stunning albums have sold more than 160,000 units worldwide.

And Rafal Blechacz is by talents, proclivity, and nationality the perfect choice to record works by his fellow Pole, Szymanowski.

And therefore to record Debussy, too - whose presence in Szymanowski's musical DNA looms large.

Arguably the greatest Polish composer since Chopin, Szymanowski was also influenced by Ravel, Scriabin, and Strauss.

For the first time on record Rafal Blechacz plays Szymanowski's reverie - inducing music - a revelation to those unfamiliar with it.

Debussy's Impressionist soundscapes (also new to Rafal Blechacz's discography) - including Pour le piano and Estampes - are a natural fit for a Chopin expert such as he.

The bonus digital-track is Debussy's nonpareil Clair de lune.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Hamburg-Harburg, Friedrich-Ebert-Halle (01/2011).



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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : Pour le piano, suite for piano, L. 95
  • Performer: Rafal Blechacz (Piano)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1894-1901

>Debussy, Claude : Estampes (3) for Piano
  • Performer: Rafal Blechacz (Piano)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1903

>Debussy, Claude : L'isle joyeuse
  • Performer: Rafal Blechacz (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1904

>Szymanowski, Karol : Prelude and Fugue for Piano in C sharp minor
  • Performer: Rafal Blechacz (Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1905-1909

>Szymanowski, Karol : Sonata for Piano no 1 in C major, Op. 8, M8
  • Performer: Rafal Blechacz (Piano)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1903-1904