Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

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Sep 9, 2008

Blechacz dreams paragliding over Grand Canyon

Today, I would like to post two interesting topics that Johanna, an earnest fan of Rafał Blechacz in Germany sent to me.
(Thanks! Johanna.)

First, you have a Youtube video of the German TV show produced by a German music magazine "crescendo".
Rafał Blechacz appears in the middle of the video.

The show is produced in German, so Johanna prepared the outline in English.

(Outline)
At the beginning, the presenter imitates Lang Lang's and Helene Grimaud's habits of playing the piano
and then an interview with Helene Grimaud about Beethoven follows.

When talking about Rafał Blechacz, he regrets that there are so many star-pianists who have a short career and then disappear into nowhere.

However, since his visit to a concert of Rafal Blechacz, he's under the impression that Rafał is different:
the presenter thinks that Rafał Blechacz isn't perfect yet, but he will have a long-living career
and we really can look forward to further CDs in some years.

Then the presenter asks Rafal Blechacz why he likes playing Chopin
(the Rafał's answer is in English)

and he asks him to play a piece of music at a piano drawn onto paper (that's the most interesting part!!!),

because he has told Blechacz that he met Krystian Zimerman but doesn't share his obsession to find the perfect piano!

Rafał Blechacz takes the task very seriously, so watch the video - it's worth it!

Now, please watch the video.
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I hope that all of you enjoy the video!
Actually, the same video was discovered by a fan (in Poland maybe) and sent to one of Blechacz's fans in Japan last year.
But because it is German, we could not understand what the presenter was talking about and why Rafal was working on the paper-made piano.

A year later, the mistery was solved finally.


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Johanna's second contribution is the interview that Rafał Blechacz gave to the German Magazine called KlassikAkzente: a promo magazine published by Universal, DECCA, Deutsche Grammophon and ECM at the beginning of the year 2008.

On line version of the Magazine is here. (Rafal's article is page 19)
(←I found this link is no longer active, as of June 16, 2009.)

Johanna was kind enough to translate the article into English. (Thaaaanks!)


KlassikAkzente: Music is a holy art, right?
Rafał Blechacz: I absolutely agree with that.
I have always been convinced that music forms a bridge between heaven and earth.

KA: If you could choose it, in which age would you have liked to live?
RB: I was born 300 years after Johann Sebastian Bach and let's leave it at that occasion.

KA: Which composer of the past would you ask to compose a piece of music for you?
RB: Johann Sebastian Bach, without doubt.

KA: Which non-musical adventure would you like to let yourself in for?
RB: Flying over the Grand Canyon with a paraglider some time.
Maybe a bit too crazy?

KA: What would your ideal audience be like?
RB: One that doesn't cough, that switches off its mobile phones,
that doesn't unwrap sweets and that doesn't fall asleep during the concert.
That is simply listening. But I know that this is impossible.

KA: Which painter of the past or present would you have liked to sit for?
RB: Recently, I have visited the Van-Gogh-Museum in Amsterdam after my recital
and I was deeply impressed by many of his pictures that I had never seen before.
To sit for him, I could imagine quite well provided he doesn't demand that I cut off my ear for it.

KA: Your musical creed?
RB: FLF! That means: freedom, love and friendship.

KA: Which was your most exciting musical encounter?
RB: I have had the possibility and the privilege to work with Krystian Zimerman for a week.
We worked out some pieces of music and experimented a bit.
That was indeed an unusual experience for me.

KA: Which encounter would you like to arrange in your imagination?
RB: I would count myself lucky if I could play for Pope Benedikt XVI some time.

KA: In your opinion, which composer or which work is over- or underestimated nowadays?
RB: In my opinion, mostly underestimated are the Polish composer Roman Maciejewski and his requiem
which is one of the most exciting pieces of music I have been allowed to hear until now.

KA: Which of the four temperaments sanguineous, melancholic, choleric, phlegmatic mostly corresponds to your character?
RB: I think, I am as well melancholic as phlegmatic in accordance with the classification of Hippocrate,
but it is difficult for me to say which one is dominant.
Today, I am probably more phlegmatic, because actually, I am too lazy to answer so many questions.

KA: Could you be met in a sports stadium?
RB: I am only a spectator and that's why you can only meet me at a sports event when I am watching an interesting broadcast of sports on TV.

KA: Which book is lying next to your tuning fork and which one on your bedside table?
RB: Professionally, all biographies of composers, so that I can understand their works better.
To enjoy myself, I have recently read some important books of Polish philosophers of the 20th century, for example Tatarkiewicz and Kotarbinski.

KA: Which dish would never be found on your table?
RB: I try to avoid indigestive and fatty dishes.
I think something which I have never tried and certainly will never try is knuckle of pork. I am sorry!

KA: Which piece of music makes you sweat?
RB: One that must be played in the middle of summer in a concert hall with a failing air conditioning system.
But seriously, it doesn't matter which piece of music is played, but how it is played.
A well played 2nd Piano Concerto by Rachmaninoff makes me cry time and time again.

KA: Which statement about music do you never want to hear again?
RB: Rafal, cool! ... This was the best performance I have ever heard in my entire life!

KA: Which fairy-tale figure would you identify with?
RB: With the Little Prince?

KA: The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give way to it, said Oscar Wilde. What do you say?
RB: I admire the aphorisms of Oscar Wilde and I agree with him that this is the easiest way to overcome a temptation.
In Poland, we say for example forbidden fruits taste better.
But I think that life is more interesting and the person more creative and imaginative when certain temptations and forbidden areas are kept untouched.

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I think this is probably one of the most fascinating (and funny!) interviews that I have ever read given by Rafał Blechacz.
What a matured and sophisticated person he is! I cannot believe that he is just 23 years old (22 when the interview was given.)

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