Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

Blog

Nov 22, 2014

Standing ovation to Blechacz for his long waited performance in Poznań

On finding out there were many reviews and news about the artist available on the public domain  I began blogging about them in spring 2008, with a simple dream in my mind - if  I could do something to be of service to him.

Soon a Polish fan e-mailed me to furnish me with articles available in Polish.  We began chatting almost every day and I enjoyed freedom of writing about RB from a pure viewpoint of his fan, (not of his management).   Other pieces of info followed from fans in different countries.   

On Friday, Nov. 21, the artist was back to Poznań to play Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto in C minor op.37, his first performance there in four and half years, with many fans eagerly waiting for, giving me an opportunity to remember those good old days.

My sincere gratitude to Ms. D and other fans. Dziękuję..


..
Program page

Antonio MÉNDEZ - conductor
Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra

Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Hector Berlioz Fantastic Symphony, Op. 14

He got a standing ovation and as encores he returned with three pieces - Intermezzo by Brahms, Polonaise As dur and Prelude by Chopin, according to gloswielkopolski.pl (see pictures of the performance and standing ovation).

 of the rehearsal, which was made open to the public for their huge interest in the performance.

Before the concert, he gave interviews to Polish media.

Interviewer Anna Plenzler

Interviewer Marek Zaradniak

He talks about the Gilmore Artist Award, why playing Beethoven's concerto, happy meeting with Trevor Pinnock at Concertgebouw in 2012, plan of incoming album and performances, study of philosophy, etc...  As he usually does, he includes something interesting - one or two new items in each interview which otherwise could be a recap of what he's already mentioned before.


Video interview is also available.












He'll play this concerto again in Warsaw on Feb. 24 with Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Jacek Kaspszyk. English Polish

*****


RB's performance at The Gilmore Keyboard Festival 2014 will be broadcast.

Listen Live at 8 PM  (Michigan local time)
http://wmuk.org


December 2, 2014    Chopin: Three Mazurkas, Op. 63

December 9, 2014    Chopin: Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39 and other piece

January 27, 2015     Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
                            Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
                            Conductor: Raymond Harvey

(Thanks to Operasora for the news (^_^). Danke!)

*****
On the same day that RB was in Poznań, Krystian Zimerman was in Kawasaki, Japan to play Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor with BRSO (directed by Mariss Jansons), their first performance of Japan tour. (Sold out six months ago, extremely difficult to obtain the ticket for the three highly popular artists.)

from BRSO twitter


Oct 26, 2014

He outperformed raised expectations - Rafał Blechacz in Carnegie Hall and North America

On Oct. 23, RB appeared at Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall), NY.

Take that, the Elevated Ecpectations!  The Pianist Rafal Blechacz at Zankel Hall, New York Times, Oct.24

" (.....)The risk in offering such often-heard repertory is that a pianist will be tempted to do something novel for novelty’s sake to make an interpretation stand out. But Mr. Blechacz found subtle ways to uncover freshness and spontaneity in these scores (.....)"

"(.....) He ended with Chopin’s stormy Polonaise in F sharp minor (Op. 44), a performance that captured all the craggy intensity of the music, which curiously breaks into a beguiling mazurka-like middle section (.....)
I am still thinking about that fitful polonaise (.....)"
(Anthony Tommasini)

Carnegie Hall program page

Photo credit; www.nytimes.com


In an interview for Polish media, Blechacz says that it was his first concert at Carnegie Hall and remembers his debut with New York Philharmonic to play Chopin's F-minor concerto at Lincoln Center in 2008, adding Carnegie Hall is a special place so he definitely will remember this experience.

Another reporting in Swedish;  "Standing Ovation to Blechacz at Carnegie Hall
"It was a great concert. It is very enjoyable to be able to present such a young musical talent.  He will be a great musician", said Clive Gillinson, Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall.  Blechacz appreciates a warm, enthusiastic and cordial reception by the NY audience.


Before playing in NY, he gave three recitals in North America this month - standing ovations everywhere.

Oct. 14
SFJAZZ Center (2014/15 SF Performances Piano Series)  ☆

  Nice review by Ken Iisaka ♪

    Perfect review by Gary Lemco  ♫

"(.....) The final work of the concert proper, the F-sharp Minor Polonaise, Op. 44 (1841) released whatever “symphonic” ambitions Blechacz and Chopin share for the keyboard. From the huge opening octaves to the lyric episodes that borrow from mazurka rhythm, Blechacz projected an unequivocal sense of Romantic heroism in this piece, a testament to the tragedy and triumph of Chopin’s innate nationalism. With its A Major middle section fraught with rolling cannon fire, the piece under Blechacz might have been construed as an extended ballade, rife with exalted and theatrical gestures (.....)" (Gary Lemco)

Oct. 17
Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, Houston   
  
  Preview on Houstonchronicle.com
    A nice article with some interview by the artist, but now it requires registration.


Oct. 19
Koerner Hall, Toronto

   Preview article

   Pic by Royal Conservatory, the organizer
   Pic by an audience member

I saw many SNS posts with pictures taken by audience members at autographic sessions in these three venues.

This one impressed me most.
"Meet my childhood idol Rafal Blechacz in Houston tonight". by a 21-year-old pianist.

Blechacz is already a childhood idol of some young pianists..!
Yes I know a few of them.



Mazurka Op.56-3 in 2005.  How has he changed since then?


On Oct. 26, he finishes the North American tour of 2014
at Union College, NY, the venue where judges of the 2014 Gilmore Artist Award discovered Blechacz in 2012.


*****
News conference was held in mid Oct. about the 17th Chopin International Piano Competition (2015). Prof. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, one of the teachers of Blechacz at  Feliks Nowowiejski Music Academy, Bydgoszcz., will be the head of the jury.  Yundi is sitting with those well-known big figures as a judge.

     English release, Nov. 2013



Oct 14, 2014

Piano concertos in C minor by Mozart and Beethoven

This year and last year RB reportedly played piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven in C minor time and again.

Latest performances of Mozart were with National Orchestra of Belgium, directed by Andrey Boreyko in Belgium (Oct.2, 3 and 5)

A review on Crescendo of the concert on Oct. 3  at BOZAR, Belgium.

".....For its part, the Piano Concerto No. 24 by Mozart gets a greater symphonic body (wind) and a formal and melodic inspiration more developed. Boreyko and Rafał Blechacz played the card of finesse: beautiful keyboard control, maturity of sound and appropriate style. Blechacz’s playing pleasantly approaches improvisation with many dynamic and melodic contrasts. The clear baton of Boreyko accompanies the soloist carefully but could be more flexible in reading, sometimes too serious. Nevertheless, his expertise of accompaniment is felt naturally here: one breath, accurate startings and special attention to the flow of the score. This concert will be kept in our minds....."  (Ayrton Desimpelaere)


Rafał Blechacz talks about the Mozart concerto on RTBF.be (audio)
(Interview, broadcast on Oct. 3)

Mozart w/ Pinnock at Mozarteum, Salzburg
Photo credit: Mozarteum Orchestra
Review of the concert


Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3, Blechacz played it many times, too.
From a review of the concert with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM,) directed by Kent Nagano for OSM Virée Classique Couche-Tard Festival (Aug, 2014).


".....The great Rafał gave quite a performance today with the orchestra led by our Maestro Kent Nagano. We were greatly privileged to be able to hear and see this talented Polish pianist. He played on the piano with great finesse and passion and was in all delicacy at the same time when executing on his instrument. All the emotions were emanated to every note. In short, it was a great musical discovery....."


Blechacz already worked with Kent Nagano last year in Rome with the Mozart's concerto with Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

(And with Boreyko, too: he performed Chopin's F-minor concerto for four nights in a row in Feb. 2010 in Rome, making the biggest concert hall in Rome full every day).

This month, Nagano with his orchestra OSM is touring my country; their refreshing non-European, non-American sound enthusiastically welcomed by music lovers here.


Rafał Blechacz will play these concertos with wonderful orchestras in coming months.


At Gilmore Keyboard Festival Master Class, May 2014
Photo credit The Gilmore.org

Dec 4, 2013

Review of the concert at Santa Cecilia

Refined elegance - Rafal Blechacz plays Mozart in Rome
written by Deborah Swain

".....I've had the pleasure of hearing Rafał Blechacz perform on several occasions over the last couple of years, and once again last night I was impressed not only by his sheer virtuosity, but also by the refined elegance, maturity of interpretation, and consummate poise in his playing...."

Reviews by Deborah of his performances in Rome
Recital, March 2011
Beethoven Concerto No.4, Feb. 2012
Recital, May 2013











Photo credit:https://www.facebook.com/accademiadisantacecilia
*****

Prize of the German Record Critics for Rafal Blechacz
reported on KD Schumid

☆detail

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/accademiadisantacecilia

May 24, 2013

"Blechacz makes us feel the soul of Beethoven" - recital review in Rome

Another beautiful review of the recital Rafał Blechacz's gave in Rome on May 17 at the Santa Cecilia, posted on cittanuova.it.

Original review

(Quote)
Chopin, again and forever
23/05/2013 by Mario Dal Bello

At Academia de Santa Cecilia in Rome, 28-year-old Rafał Blechacz has delighted the audience with a repertoire ranging from Bach to the great Polish composer and pianist.

There are musicians who have the charisma of singularity, or rather, of uniqueness. Rafał Blechacz, 28, a Polish thoroughbred, is one of them. Every his concert - we felt it at the Saint Cecilia - is an event. Blechacz with his mere presence creates an atmosphere. Serenity spreads around the room, fills the hearts and minds of the people, making us relaxed. In these dramatic times, the music is not a minor thing.

Blechacz begins with Bach, the Partita no. 3 in A minor, seven movements where his fingers spread out joy, reflection, order and composure. It is a sparkling Bach, but controlled, unyielding, and also free. We hear a strict control of the keyboard; here the piano replaces the original harpsichord, but the argentine sonorities of Blechacz allow us to imagine those similar ones from the ancient instruments.

He then moved on to Beethoven's Sonata in D major., Op. 10 n. 3. The young pianist gives the best in the visionary Largo e mesto, romantic sensibility so tender, loving, sad, foretelling indescribable pains. Sounds are intense, distinctive with clarity, never confused, never messy, where the lyricism of clear color touches chiaroscuro shadows, deep chords: lyrical moment is not only this, Blechacz makes us feel the soul of Beethoven at that particular moment of listening to the inner voices. The fingering is so clear and soft at the same time that it does impress.

When he finally arrives at beloved Chopin, the musician lets us go towards the beauty of sound, cascade of trills, grace notes, slowing down and decreasing, blazing and calming. Pure Romanticism. The famous "rubato" by Chopin - and Bellini, his contemporary on the side of the opera – arises naturally, following melody, embroiders sentimental meanings. Nocturne in A flat major, Op. 32, two Polonaises in A major and in C minor, three Mazurkas and Scherzo no. 3 in C sharp minor, take turns with so many lyrical moments of absolute poetry.

Blechacz is a poet, certainly, differently, not interpreting but "being" Chopin in the way of offering his music, grasping the emotional vibrations deep inside the whispers, expressing them with abandonment, never sentimental, but delicate and balanced in deep respect for the spirit of Chopin’s music.

Great evening.

(Unquote)

May 23, 2013

Rafał Blechacz's recital @L'Auditori, Barcelona, available (podcast)

Rafał Blechacz's recital @L'Auditori, Barcelona, November 2012 is archived and available from the website of Catalunya Música.

Catalunya Música

Recital program

One of the recital reviews:
"From Bach trough to Szymanowski, a recital by Blechacz to be remembered"



May 20, 2013

"Rafał Blechacz gives sparkling performance in Rome" - recital review

A review of  Rafał Blechacz' recital at Sala Santa Cecilia, Parco della Musica, Rome, on May 17 by an audience member and enthusiast of music and arts.

Read the review from "Living in Rome"

"(.....) high point of the entire evening for me was the Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39 – the extraordinary runs and delicate waterfall sounds of those cascading octaves were utterly magical. With the closing notes still hanging in the air, the first cheers of bravo! broke the spell, followed by thunderous applause (.....)"

courtesy Living in Rome















** With my deep appreciation to Deborah


May 18, 2013

Rafał Blechacz returns to Rome - great recital at Santa Cecilia

Rafał Blechacz returns to Rome.  On May 17 he gave a Recital @Sala Santa Cecilia, Parco della Musica, Rome.  If I remember correctly, it was his 10th appearance at Santa Cecilia, making the big, beautiful concert hall the venue he visits most frequently.

"Rafał finished his recital at Santa Cecilia in Rome tonight to the great ovation and "Bravo! Bravo!" shouting. Already after the first part there was a thunder of ovation and shouting of enthusiasm and admiration! Rafał played two encores."
(R.F.)

I was further informed that the recital was extremely good and the house was (it is really big!!) almost full.



program page

preview of the recital
"Rafal Blechacz’s welcome return to Santa Cecilia who performs in recent years both symphonic concertos and solo recitals. And in this latter capacity the young Polish pianist will be the protagonist of the recital for the Season of Chamber Music on Friday May 17 (20:30 - Sala Santa Cecilia) (…..)

(…..) The fluidity of phrasing, the freshness with which he redraws on the keyboard the most lyrical moments without rhetoric, the prodigious technique that allows him to deal rigorously with the authors of the classical period and restore them with a surprising maturity for his still young age, these make him today one of the artists to follow with increasing attention. (…..)"


May 14, 2013

Rafał Blechacz in Vancouver on May 12, 2013

You can see some nice pictures of Rafał Blechacz at Chan Centre, UBC, Vancouver on May 12 when he gave a recital, his last concert of 2013 Spring North American tour, for the Vancouver Chopin Society's 15th anniversary.

Pictures of the recital, ceremony, autographic session and reception

See pictures from wiadomosci24 website
Click on Zapraszam na fotoreportaż
             A few pictures were added!



*****
Some of the images and literary works on this website remain the property of their owners. No copyright infringement is intended.
Visitors are asked to contact the author of this website personally before quoting any material which is exclusive to www.blechaczinfo.com

May 13, 2013

Blechacz back to Vancouver

Rafał Blechacz held a recital at Chan Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver on May 12, organized by the Vancouver Chopin Society for its 15th anniversary Gala.

"In Vancouver big applause and standing ovation! One encore."
(R.F.)


program page


May 11, 2013

Blechacz's recital in Barcelona webcast May 11

Rafal Blechacz's recital in Barcelona (Nov. last year) will be available via webcast at 10:00 GMT May 11.

Streaming from here

Excellent recital in La Jolla, California, standing ovation

On May 10 Rafał Blechacz held a recital at MCASD Sherwood Auditorium, La Jolla, California.

"Tonight in La Jolla, Calif. Rafał gave an excellent recital. Standing ovation even before intermission and again at the end. One encore".
(R.F.)

program page









May 9, 2013

Review of Blechacz's recital in Miami

A beautiful review of Blechacz's recital written by Lawrence Budmen, titled,

Polish pianist Blechacz makes dazzling Miami debut 


The Miami Herald


"(.....)Throughout his recital, Blechacz played with accuracy and musicality, even at the most accelerated tempos. For all his power and seemingly easy dexterity, Blechacz commands a wealth of tonal coloring, his dynamics beautifully varied (.....)"



May 8, 2013

Standing ovation in Miami

Rafał Blechacz performed a recital at Wertheim Perfoming Arts Center, FIU, Miami on May 7.

"Enthusiastic applause and standing ovation tonight at the Florida Int'l Univ. One encore".
(R.F.)