Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Dec 20, 2008

Internal orchestration by Blechacz (Switzerland)

Codexflores, online Magazine for all areas of classical music in Switzerland
posted a review on Blechacz's CD "sonatas" as of Dec.12.

Blechacz plays classical piano sonatas

Rafal Blechacz, the winner of the prestigious Warsaw Chopin competition in 2005
won a year later the exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon
and recorded the first CD- naturally - of Chopin works, all of the Polish National Préludes.

Now he pushes an album with three piano sonatas representative of the Viennese Classical.
This seems like a contrast to the romantic character pieces, but only in the first moment.

Because with the recording of Haydn's Sonata in E-flat Major Hob XVI: 52, Mozart's Sonata in D major K. 311 and Beethoven's A major Sonata No. 2 op.2,
the pianist is basically on track of searching the roots to the cosmos of Chopin's sound,
but this is exactly the fruit of intensive discussion of the traveling virtuoso with the piano music of the 18th Century.

First, the sleek and intimate sound of waltz, nocturnes and Préludes for the bourgeois salon was abstracted.
The sound effect of classical sonatas is much more dominated by large, angular and well-contoured color.

This time - Blechacz suggests in the CD booklet - he attempted mentally to 'orchestrate'" the work
to get clarity on articulation, pedaling or timber.

After playing through an "imaginary instrumentation", interpretative doubts were mostly dispelled.

Then he knew what passages have to be played with "warm cello sonority",
yet another phrase would be an imitation of the clarinet,
and some sounds in the lower voices clearly evoked a bassoon.

An interesting approach.
How far blechacz has provided the interpretations for the listeners to notably feel it may remain open.

But even without the reinsurance in the inner sound that serves the pianist as signposts through the allegros, adagios and Rondos,
Blechacz makes a conclusive, text-just and well-balanced impression in the Viennese school.

The Chopin award winner keeps the classical proportions (a formal style) and isn't captivated by emotionalism,
not even in the case of the "Largo appassionato" by Beethoven.

With a nearly sober access, he rather finds himself into an emphatic expression,
which could manifest more compellingly the contours of the emotional expression of the music.

As Blechacz describes himself, this most emotional movement is consistent with his doctrine:

"The march at the begining with his hint of horns and bass Pizzicato comes into stately width.
The theme resounds later with an organ-similar sonority in minor".

In this case, it is quite interesting to look at his interpretation of these characterizations to listen to. (wb)

Rafal Blechacz: Sonatas, Joseph Haydn: Sonata in E-flat Major Hob XVI: 52: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonata in D major KV 311, Ludwig van Beethoven: A major Sonata op.2 No. 2 Deutsche Grammophon 477 7453, Hamburg 2008.

Original review (German)

To understand German articles, usually I use two translation software then do proof-reading, comparing the two supplemented by my knowlege of contexts.
If I cannot get the idea of a segment after this, I look up all the words of the relevant part. Sometimes, however, I'm still in the dark and need help from a native-speaker. (Thank you Johanna for the help!!) 

Blechacz is going to play Chopin piano concerto E-minor
with Berlin Radio Smphony Orchestra at Philharmonie - Großer Saal, Berlin at 16:00 on Dec.20.

I saw a blog written by a violinist of the orchestra.
She says that the orchestra had a rehearsal with Blechacz, and she was close to tears on hearing the first note he played.

"What I've heard is the true music.
I felt as if I were hearing the perfomance by a master pianist.
But the young man sitting and performing in front of me is just 20-plus years old.
He is never about showing off his technique. How wonderful!" the violinist says.

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