There’s nothing quite like Chopin from a Polish pianist, and Rafał Blechacz, winner of the 2005 International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, has become celebrated for his way with the composer. His new album gathers together the Second and Third Piano Sonatas, the F-sharp minor Nocturne, and the Op. 60 Barcarolle, and demonstrates what an authoritative, poetic pianist he continues to be. His playing has a freedom and ease, combined with a winning freshness—all very seductive. Beautifully judged hesitations and subtle idiosyncrasies of phrasing give his playing huge personality, and in the two sonatas his grasp of structure is near-faultless.

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