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May 23, 2008

Yoshiko IKUMA's thoughts on Blechacz's piano

Ms. Yoshiko IKUMA is one of the most influential music journalists in Japan.
This is her contribution to the program booklet of Blechachz's concert at Mibu Public Hall during Japan tour in June, 2007.


Blechacz's pure music fulfilling heart and mind of the audience with inspiration


International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw has been leaving a lot of anecdotes and "famous" remarks; various events including scandalous ones have been talked about among people for years. We had anticipated that a new rounds of events--dramas--might be generated in the 2005 competition. It turned out that rather than leaving "interesting" remarks, most of the members of the jury expressed their feeling without words, by shedding tears deeply moved by the music they heard.

On Oct. 2, 2005, no sooner Blechacz began playing in the first round of the competition than one member of the jury after another started to shed tears. This phenomenon continued untile Blechacz won the first prize and played in the Winners' Recital.

I am talking about the jury of Chopin Competition--the renowned musicians from around the world who had played Chopin for long years, well versed with Chopin music, and had listened to countless Chopin performances. Listening to Blechacz's Chopin, tears ran down their cheeks. Blechacz achieved the outstanding feat of sweeping all special awards for the best performance of Mazurkas, polonaise and concerto. This is the evidence that his Chopin was acclaimed by almost all the jury transcending differences of nationality, ethnicity, gender and age.

Blechacz's piano performance has crystalline and beautiful tone, characterized by natural expression evoking Chopin himself. He never bluntly hits the keys. Maintaining appropriate tempo, he sings gently without becoming aggressive. I feel that in his performance, there is something that we have forgotten: genuine feeling and pure devotion to the music.


Leaflet of Japan Tour 2007



Blechacz respects his compatriot mentor Krystian Zimerman, getting his advice before the competition. Zimerman described Blechacz as follows:

"What is outstanding about Rafal is that he is quick to learn. It was amazing that he absorbed what I told him about five months before the competition and showed perfectly corrected performance in the competition which was the natural, pure and right Chopin style. I think that Rafal has awesome talent. Every time I listen to his playing, I notice he is upgrading himself a bit. I hope that he will not be hasty, taking his time to blossom his talent gradually and steadily".

Every time I listent to the performance of Blechacz, it has been making a leap forward. It is the result of strenuous efforts made by Blechacz who often says,"I feel more than happy when sitting in front of the piano. The day to day practice makes me grow."

One and half years have passed since the competition. Today, I am confident that he will again make an impression on the audience with more matured performance.

1 comment:

  1. These comments are quite unusual in themselves as they present the emotional senses of the listeners rather than the kind of technical analysis one would give to a fine wine.

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