Rafal Blechacz

The young Polish pianist is very much worth hearing. He came through Washington to make his local debut at the Kennedy Center this past weekend. I reviewed it for the Post. One of the things I most enjoyed was his courage to confront what I call Chopin’s “memory effect”:

There is a recurring trope in Chopin’s music that one might call the “memory effect.” Out of inwardness, darkness and anxiety a melody will emerge, simple, childlike, barely adorned, like a nursery rhyme remembered in the midst of a shipwreck. The power of these terrifying flashes of something sweet and uncorrupted embarrasses all too many pianists.

Photo courtesy Washington Performing Arts Society

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