|CD signed by Rafał Blechacz after concert|
Stepping out onto the stage to warm applause – applause that would get even warmer and eventually turn to rapturous cheers of bravo as the evening progressed - at first glance the 25-year-old Blechacz seems, if anything, even younger than his years; with his angelic looks and slight figure, he strikes a boyish pose, until of course, his hands touch the keys and that deceptive youthfulness is tempered by a maturity in his playing that leaves one quietly awestruck. With the second half of the programme entirely devoted to Chopin's dances, polonaises and mazurkas, this was predominantly an opportunity to appreciate Blechacz's extraordinary musical relationship with the work of the illustrious Polish composer.
After an utterly exquisite Chopin nocturne as a first encore was greeted with a standing ovation from most of the house, a spontaneous cheer of approval erupted at the pianist's offer to play what seemed to be an impromptu second encore – a scherzo from Beethoven – played with the perfectly focussed energy and clarity that had been the hallmarks of the evening as a whole. Unmissable - catch him if you can!
Making a personal appearance in the book shop at the Auditorium after the concert to meet and greet concert-goers and sign copies of his CDs, he was utterly charming, smiling and greeting each person individually and taking the time to exchange a few words (in impeccable English) with his admirers.
9 Variations on "Lison Dormait" by Dezede, K 264
Sonata No. 1, Op. 8
Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23
Polonaise in C sharp minor, No. 1, Op. 26
Polonaise in E flat minor, No. 2, Op.26
Four Mazurkas, Op. 41
Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38
Unpublished C sharp minor nocturne
Scherzo from sonata in A major Op. 2, No. 2