Tag Archives: Washington Performing Arts Society

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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