If there is a musical equivalent to a great French red wine: The music of Émile-Robert Blanchet would be a worthy candidate. Karl-Andreas Kolly has taken on piano music by his Swiss compatriot and recorded it on Super Audio CD, much of it probably for the first time. Blanchet studied with Busoni, so it's no wonder that his music, too, knows no bounds pianistically. The naturalness with which Andreas Kolly masters these supreme difficulties leaves room for musical depth with long enduring resonance.
After studying in Weimar and Berlin, Blanchet returned to Lausanne, where he taught at the conservatoire and also took over its direction for a time. At the age of 40, however, he turned his back on teaching to devote himself almost exclusively to his passion, mountaineering. Fortunately, he continued to play occasional recitals, for which he repeatedly composed his own pieces.
Blanchet is obviously not interested in virtuoso effect. Again and again, there are harsh dissonances in the full-bodied chords that create an intense, sometimes downright threatening atmosphere, as in "Tocsin" (Alarm Bell), which - unlike many nationalistically euphoric contemporaries - seems to foreshadow the horrors of the First World War as early as August 1914.
Whether in the numerous etudes, ballads or nocturnes: Blanchet's idiosyncratic harmonies unfold their multi-layered charms above all in the aftertaste. Karl-Andreas Kolly traces these special sounds with great sensitivity; the Steinway concert grand "Manfred Bürki" from 1901 with its profound depth and brilliant treble does the rest for a lasting listening experience that virtually invites repetition.