Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Nov 28, 2008

From a German magazine - Rafal Blechacz (2)

Excerpt from German magazine "RONDO", published in autumn, 2007
(The interview took place on the release of CD "Chopin Preludes".)

The original article "RONDO" (German) Please see page 1, 8 and 9.

Mazurka is in his blood.
"I go there with a naive approach" --Rafał Blechacz

RONDO: Mr. Blechacz, you are 22 years old. How many concertos do you have already in the program?
Rafał Blechacz: I play both of Chopin's Piano Concertos, Saint-Saëns' NO.2, Beethoven's No. 4,
even Bach's A Major - Concerto, I can offer. And then another five concertos by Mozart and
both of concertos by Liszt.

RONDO: How have you been good at Chopin's interpretationen?
Blechacz: There is a Polish Chopin tradition, but even my knowledge is insufficient.
I own CDs of Rubinstein and Paderewski. I also know Horowitz's.
I think the greatest contrast between me and the Chinese pianists Lang Lang and Li Yundi is
that they treat tempo rubato very differently than I do.
In my case, it is in a natural Chopin' piano process. I go there with a very naive approach.

RONDO: Your fellow countryman Krystian Zimerman left Poland long time ago.
Piotr Anderszewski has also once said to me:
"I have nothing to do with Poland." You stay in your country?
Blechacz: Krystian Zimerman was always my favorite pianist and a great role model,
although I never experienced in concert.
He wrote to me a letter after I won the Chopin Competition and was very helpful.
Recently, we have worked together for a week.
He has advised me not to leave Poland.
However, as a musician, we have many opportunities to see in Munich, London or Paris.
Personally, I need silence and seclusion of my small hometown.
I love it, I feel what I am, however, I need to travel.

RONDO: How is your life in Nakel (Nakło nad Notecią)?
Blechacz: It is a very small town with 20,000 inhabitants.
I live with my parents and my sister.
It is sufficiently calm and I have a sense of concentration.
I studied music in Bydgoszcz, the nearest place.
After I won the Competition, I had so much new repertoire to learn
that there was no time that distracted me away.

RONDO: Has the Chopin Competition overturned your life?
Blechacz: It has. I could be almost lost myself.
Interviews, concerts, travels! It was not easy for me.
Because I had no idea what offers were serious or even could be important.
I even did not know if "Deutsche Grammophon" a good company.
Now I have wonderful agencies everywhere, which explore everything for me.
I can put requests on concert programs and on a CD that I do per year.

RONDO: Have you ever been among audience to experience with concert pianists?
Blechacz: No. I have worked with Christoph Eschenbach and Mikhail Pletnev
concerts together.
But both have conducted.
Once I attended a concert of Mischa Maisky. I miss it.
During the Chopin competition, it was almost my strategy not to look at left and right,
and I was concentrated on my own. It was successful.

RONDO: Was that your idea?
Blechacz: Yes, and my teacher Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron has agreed with me.
She was already there in 1975 when the Krystian Zimerman won the Chopin competition.
She was my ears for the rest of the world.

RONDO: This means that when you generally occur in concert halls,
they do not see you even as a visitor?
Blechacz: I can not change it.

RONDO: Do you feel that you can continue this strategy you are familiar with?
Blechacz:For me, it is important to find my own interpretation. Therefore, I would accept any successful strategy,

RONDO: Which composer brings you sweat?
Blechacz: Schumann, but actually I like him.
What is not for me is modern music: Lutosławski, Penderecki, even much of Szymanowski.
At the moment my path leads me in the opposite direction to Mozart, Haydn and Bach.

RONDO: Do your colleagues of DG such as Hélène Grimaud and Lang Lang have different target from you?
Blechacz: Playing for the same, probably even more young audience.
I've always dreamed of performing throughout the world.
The fact that my CDs are available in shops in Japan and America makes me unspeakably happy.
Especially in Japan, I have a large fan base. They are crazy about Chopin.

RONDO: Do you have something that you have been practicing from your childhood?
Blechacz: I've actually had a lot of practices of music. In addition, I have played organ in the church.
I do it even today.
I've been religiously educated and have a preference for Bach.
I admit a maximum of 40 concerts per year, so that enough time remains left.

RONDO: What do you do when you are off?
Blechacz: Listening to music, playing organ and driving a car.
I have purchased a new car and drove it to Berlin.
Indeed my father sat at the wheel when the road conditions were bad in Poland.
I would also like reading Dostoyevsky, Leszek Kołakowski and that's enough already for my time.

RONDO: Do you have a girlfriend?
Blechacz: In Japan, I have several. One in every city.

RONDO: What music would you never play?
Blechacz: Chamber music. Maybe later, but at the moment, I must focus on solo repertoire and prepare for concertos.
Even Brahms is too serious and too difficult for me.
Rachmaninoff is still very far away.

RONDO: Do you have an idea of what Polish characters are specific to you?
Blechacz: The Poles are very melancholy. And also I think we have beautiful emotions.
We are constantly obsessed by bad weather, our health and other things which can not be changed.
Since I'm obsessed with music, I am perhaps even a melancholic musician.
Just funny: I'm actually quite happy here.

 The original German article was sent to me by Johanna weeks ago♪ 
(Danke schön!! )


  1. Do you please have a link to the german text? Thanks! =)
    And what does he mean he has several girlfriends in Japan, in every city??? Oh, my!!! =)

  2. The link to the German article is up on this page.
    Please see the beautiful article.

    Of course he is joking. A very sophisticated way to avoid the question that may be intervening into his privacy. Very smart.

  3. Oh my, I just found this article (thanks to Google auto-complete, that adds "girlfriend" after his name) and his answer shocked me a bit...since the translated version doesn't sound like a joke at all (and the pdf is no longer available).

  4. The translation was done by a German who said he was smart to answer in this manner.


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