Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

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Oct 26, 2008

Blechacz and Gergiev (interview)

A follow-up story of Blechacz's New York Philharmonic debut on Oct. 7 and 11 under the direction of Marin Alsop. The posting of a review on this site prompted a Polish fan of Blechacz (Dana) to tell me the story about relations between a soloist and a conductor: Gergiev in this case.

In 2006, Rafał Blechacz played Chopin Concerto e-moll at Tchaikovsky Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev.

The following is an excerpt of the interview that Blechacz gave about maestro Gergiev.

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Question by an interviewer:
....You played with world's leading orchestras.
You met Valery Gergiev recently during your concert in Moscow.
How was he? His image in the media is pretty severe isn't it?
On every photo or CD cover, he looks actually demonic.

Rafał Blechacz:
"At the beginning I was a little afraid, because he really looks demonic in the media,
but when I started to know him better I found out that he is a nice, friendly and open person.

I really enjoyed playing with him, even though we've only had one trial concert.
We played the entire Concerto in e-minor of Chopin just once,
so I had some doubts if it really will be alright.

But during the concert in Moscow Conservatory Hall, the performance of the orchestra was absolutely different than the one from the trial.
It was just fantastic.

Each little rubato was directly understood by the conductor and his musicians.
They perfectly fit in my play.
I could relax, Gergiev didn't interfere into my interpretation.
He has heard me just once and he knew everything.

The orchestra appeared in its large constitution,
because the second part of the evening was consecrated on the music of the Great Romantics Schumann, Brahms and Wagner.
The conductor didn't change the number of musicians, but it had no influence on the final result.

The public really enjoyed our performance and the reviews were enthusiastic.

Working with Gergiev was a unique experience".
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Maestro Gergiev did not interfere with the soloist interpretation, and it seems Alsop assumed the same kind of attitude in NY.

Thank you Dana for the story and the translation from Polish into English.
(She worked on the translation supported by her family).

I had read some interviews indicating that for Blechacz, perfoming with Gergiev and his orchestra was a great experience, but I did not know such details.
(An interview I read said that the maestro was on the phone during the rehearsal and was able to spend only 30 minutes with Blehcacz.) The excerpt is a part of the original Polish article "Maestro".
(Please see Page 9;
it contains some pictures showing Blechacz's professionalism.)

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