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Dec 22, 2008

Reincarnation and Refinement - Blechacz in Berlin

A review on Rafał Blechacz's performance
of Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 in E-minor at Berliner Philharmonie on Dec.20

written by Matthias Nöther as of Dec. 22.
on the site of Der Tagesspiegel ("The Daily Mirror"), a liberal German daily newspaper.
The same review was also carried in the printed paper.
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Classical Music;
Reincarnation
and Refinement

The information on the program
- when playing piano, Rafał Blechacz is as if Frédéric Chopin was born again" - that is, well, just a nice claim.

But it may make you ponder:
Did Chopin actually play the famous Krakowiak (Kraków dance), the final Spring dance of his first piano concerto,
as played straight out as Blechacz,
without the dainty agogic postponements and accelerations, which are often the studied sound?

Blechacz makes it different, dry and better in this philharmonic concerto.

Nestled so pleasantly in the antiquated sound of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,
with soft timpani and rounded brass,
Blechacz has sympathetic sobriety,
and he keeps the individuality of piano part that he owns
if the pace of ideas between piano and orchestra must be evened out several times by Marek Janowski
later in the second movement.

(remarks about the latter half of the program: Richard Strauss omitted.)

by Matthias Nöther

Original review (German)



Polish Radio reports Blechacz dazzled Berlin.
Blechacz told Polish Radio that it was a great experience for him to perform at that legendary venue,
connected with such great musicians as Herbert von Karajan.

On February 9, Blechacz is billed in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo
with the Berlin Radio SO under Janowski.


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Polish fan Dana attended this concert at Berliner Philharmonie on Dec.20.
She says that Rafał's Chopin E-minor was a remarkable success.
and he appeared again and again on the stage after the concerto.
He played Mazurka op17-2 for encore.

Dana says;
"When he played Mazurka, I was looking at the faces of young musicians of the orchestra.
They concentrated all their attention listening with admiration and delight;
they remained as still as a stone with their heart carried away.
Rafał took them away with him in a journey from Berlin to Poland; Polish fields and villages.

He played the concerto so beautifully as always.
I love in particular the third movement that made me feel like dancing.
Rafał has the highest sensitivity to Polish dances and songs".

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