Chopin: Polonaises – review

Rafał Blechacz
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Eight years and a series of high-profile discs and recitals since he won all the prizes at the 2005 Chopin piano competition in Warsaw, Rafał Blechacz is still difficult to assess. Alongside the kind of playing that must have won him so many admirers, such as the disc of Szymanowski and Debussy that he released last year, there have been others that have left a more mixed impression, and this latest Chopin selection belongs in the second category. The way he drives through some of the pieces with an unvaryingly loud, rather crude sound and four-square phrasing is offputting; even in pieces that are treated a little more subtly, such as the Polonaise-Fantaisie Op 61, his grandstanding way of building climaxes remains unattractive. A hugely disappointing disc.

Contributor

Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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