Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Oct 9, 2008

US media praise Blechacz NY Phil debut

I found a few reviews of NY Phil concert on Oct.7 when Rafał Blechacz played Chopin piano concerto No.2 with NYPO, his debut with the orchestra.

Let me post the links, doing copy & paste of the parts related to Blechacz.

Review by Robert D. Thomas (music critic)
Polish version of the same review. (machine-translated)
←This review was found and sent to me by Yewon, a Korean fan of Blechacz.
Thaaaank you! Kamsahamnida!

"The soloist for the evening was 23-year-old Polish pianist Rafa Blechacz, who in 2005 won first prize at the 15th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, one of the most prestigious of these contests (previous winners include Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimmerman and Yundi Li). Blechacz also won four special prizes: the Polish Radio Award for best performance of the mazurkas, the Polish Chopin Society Award for best performance of the Polonaise, the Warsaw Philharmonic Award for best performance of a concerto, and the award founded by Zimerman for best sonata performance.

Given all of that, it's no surprise that Blechacz chose Chopin's F minor Piano Cas his calling card in New York. It's commonly called the second concerto although, in fact, it was written a year before the E-minor concerto, which was published first.

Blechacz looks younger than he is, in some measure because he's slight of build (Alsop -- no giant, herself -- was taller than the pianist). The woman sitting next to me commented (insert appropriate New York/Jewish/Grandmother accent here), "This boy needs to get some meat on those bones."

Could be, but Blechacz delivered a performance that was a winning mixture of athleticism and poetry. He clearly has the technical chops (any competition winner would) and he sailed through the runs, trills and octaves of the final movement with seemingly effortless ease. More importantly, he had his own individual take on this work, one that will surely broaden with age but interesting in its own right at this point in time. This is definitely a young pianist to keep an eye and ear on.

Blechacz got plenty of assistance from Alsop, whose robust vision of the accompaniment matched the view of the soloist. It was also a concept that carried over into Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 (from the New World), which concluded the concert. Unlike the Bartok, this is ultra-familiar material for the NYPO. Anton Seidl conducted the world premiere in 1893 and Maazel and the orchestra played in North Korea last February."

The New York Times: by Anthony Tommasini, chief music critic of NYT

"The slight-framed, 23-year-old Mr. Blechacz, who triumphed at the Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2005, gave a graceful, thoughtful and poetic performance of the Chopin concerto, distinguished by liquid passage work and delicate runs, especially in the elegantly embellished phrases of the dreamy slow movement. His playing may lack a little power. Still, he brought incisive articulation and sparkling clarity to the virtuosic flights of the first movement and the spiraling figurations of the finale, with its touch of a mazurka".


NY craiglist

"I attended the open rehearsal for this program. The music is so beautiful!

Pianist Rafał Blechacz was born on June 30, 1985, in Nakło nad Notecią, Poland. In 2005 Mr. Blechacz won first prize at the 15th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw; in special recognition of his achievement, the jury decided, for the first time in the competition’s history, not to award a second prize.

In 2006 Mr. Blechacz was invited to perform at Warsaw Philharmonic Hall; the Moscow Conservatory with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev; the Tonhalle in Zurich, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In May 2006 he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon for three recordings. The first — the complete Chopin Preludes coupled with Two Nocturnes Op. 62 — was released in September 2007. It achieved gold status after one day, and subsequently went platinum. "

This concert will be broadcast/podcast later this month on the New York Philharmonic site.

National broadcast(U.S.): Wed, Oct 22

Local broadcast(U.S.): Thur, Oct 23 , 9:00 PM ET

Online (worldwide): Fri, Oct 24 , 12:00 Noon ET - Fri, Nov 7, 12:00 Noon ET
Blechacz's new CD "sonatas--haydn, mozart, beethoven" is now available by downloading from Deutsche Grammophon site.


The background design of this site is changed to offer flowers
to celebrate Rafał Blechacz's successful NY debut and release of the new CD.

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