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Aug 30, 2008

French critic praises Blechacz at Salzburg

ConcertoNet.com posted a review of Blechacz's Salzburg debut recital on Aug.15, 2008.

Reviewer: Didier van Moere

Original review is here. (French)

The following is a rough translation into English.
(It is an abridged one out of concern of copywright;
also please be reminded that the translator is a Japanese, not a native speaker to either French or English. I have never learned French officially, but Spanish is my third language and helps me understand languages of Latin-origin, including French.)
------------

We will follow the young Polish pianist very closely.

Three years after the Chopin competition, Rafał Blechacz was invited to Salzbourg. There is no other place of authority than Mozarteum as the grand festival house researved for major stars of piano. Even Arkadi Volodos played here once and started his journey as a great pianist.

For now, let’s see Italian concerto. Blechacz shows rather green and dense sound in Allegro while decorating it with occasional points of humour. In Andante, he is mindful of sonority, thus being able to add colors. The presto was quite a contrast, played so rapid as far as to having crispation.

Studies of Liszt are brilliant, with more profoundness as the time goes by:
"The leggierezza" is clear, nuanced, with well-proportioned rubato. It does not require more sonorous invention.
"Murmurs of Forest" could sing more with the left hand;
"Ronde des Lutins," however, sparkles and jumped into a Mendelssohnian lightness,
the pianist did not fall into the trap of excessive passion.

Estampes by Debussy was less comvincing; it was well controlled; but you fill find more excitement than atmonsphere.It seems that the pianist rejects impressionist approach.
"Pagodas" spreads rather crude light, and its internal life is gradually animated and intensified. "Soiree dans Granada" gives less importance to mystery than urgence. "Jardins sous la pluie" seems to be more supportive of evocative aspects.

The second part was devoted to Chopin: if Bach, Liszt and Debussy demands that he decants the music, the winner of the competition showed an incontestable maturity.

The Nocturnes, at the outset, are self-restrained and wonderfully clear; with a mix of subtle rubato. There is nothing regrettable, dry and flat.

This was confirmed with the Sonata: the Allegro maestoso is well built with the sense of form and conveys passion. The Scherzo bursts light and soluble, showing appropriate contrast between light and shade. Largo remains a sober lyricism, faithful to the classicism of Chopin. The middle part allows a superb time of serious contemplation.
He avoids the course to the uncontrolled abyss in the Finale; powerful but donimated.

The audience gave the young Pole a big applause which prolonged the second part of the recital with Mazurka and Valse of beautiful elegance.
We will follow this young man very closely.
(by Didier Van Moere)


--------

I found that the reviewer says that Blechacz should "decant" the music of Bach, Liszt and Debussy.

I suppose "decant" means skim the liquid (wine, for example) and obtain the clear part only.

I remember the same word (decant) was used by another French reviewer to describe Blechacz's recital in Paris on Jan. 27, 2008. ("I believe he is going to refine himself" in the second line from the bottom; the original French for "refine himself" was "decant")

Another review on Blechacz's recital in Salzburg written by an American reviewer said "Blechacz can stand to clean up this music (Chopin Sonata No.3) a little."

I suppose the fact that three music critics describe part of Blechacz's recital performance in a similar manner suggests something. I am not a music expert but I am sensitive to the words people use in every context.
I sincerly hope that this finding is informative to Rafal, not embarrassing.

One of Japanese friends said that his tone was very aggressive and different from the "Blechacz way" (self-constraind, quiet and beautiful). She wonders what Blechacz is thinking about now and at the same time she expects Blechacz to play Rachmaninov in the near future.

Personally, I felt Rafał's performance at Salzburg was in line with his recent trend path, quite similar to but more interesting than La Roque d’Anthéron Piano Festival (Aug.2). His tone remains untainted and beautiful, but it extends more with profound dynamics, reaching out for wider scope of the audience.
He plays in a spirited manner with more freedom.
I am impressed that for the past few months, every time he plays for a recital, he changes something, giving the audience something novel and fresh. Very commendable.

I suppose Rafał will have to be focused on Chopin more or less until the year 2010 (Chopin Year), so my friend cannot expect Rachmaninov before that.
Rafał is smart and steady. I guess he has already started the preparation for post-2010 period, taking time out of his busy schedule. (He has set aside some of his time to study philosophy.)

In the latest recital at Salzburg, I was deeply touched by his Bach. The swift tempo, effective way to accent in the 1st movement were wonderful. And articulation; I felt that Rafał sometimes swiched the "stop (of the organ)" in order to completely change the tone and color of the sound. It was especially effective in the 2nd movement. It is superb. No other pianist can emulate it.
I really love Rafał's playing Bach, especially the 3rd movement. It was speedier with more punctuation than at his recital in Tokyo Opera City last year.

Aug 29, 2008

Blechacz concerto with NY Phil broadcast in Oct.

Rafał Blechacz will play for a solo recital on Oct.4.
He will play Chopin piano concerto No.2 with NY Philharmonic on Oct. 7 and 11.

Solo recital will be at Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of NY Metropolitan Musium of Art.
This will be his debut in NY and the east coast.

Program:
Mozart—Sonata in D Major, K. 311
Debussy—Estampes
Szymanowski—Variations in B flat Minor, Opus 3
Chopin—Three Mazurkas, in G Major, A flat Major, and C sharp Minor, Opus 50; Sonata in B Minor, Opus 58, No. 3

Chopin concerto No.2 with NY Philharmonic will be conducted by Marin Alsop.

Program:
Bartók:
The Wooden Prince Suite
Chopin:
Piano Concerto No. 2
Dvorák:
Symphony No. 9, From the New World

Related events such as open rehearsals and pre-concert talks are scheduled (with charge).

This is the information on Lincoln Center: parkings, wheelchair location, etc..


National Radio Broadcast (US) and webcast are also scheduled.

The evening programs of October 7 and 11 will be broadcast the week of October 20, 2008,* on The New York Philharmonic This Week, a radio concert series syndicated nationally to more than 250 stations by the WFMT Radio Network. The 52-week series, hosted by WFMT’s Kerry Frumkin, is generously underwritten by The Kaplen Foundation, the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Philharmonic’s corporate partner, MetLife Foundation. The broadcast will be available on the Philharmonic’s Website, nyphil.org. The program is broadcast locally in the New York metropolitan area on 96.3 FM WQXR on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m.

↑This news is an excerpt from Broadwayworld.com site.

More specifically, broadcast and webcast dates are:
National (US): Wed, Oct 22
Local (US): Thur, Oct 23 , 9:00 PM ET
Online: Fri, Oct 24 , 12:00 Noon ET - Fri, Nov 7, 12:00 Noon ET

Please look at the NY Phil page. You will see local listings (in US) and the way of getting streaming data for the webcast.


Marin Alsop: conductor

The Chopincurrency as of Aug. 28 also carries a preview of the NY concerto.

Blechacz's Saint-Saens with RCO webcast

On Aug. 21, 2008, Rafał Blechacz played piano concerto No. 2 by Charles Camille Saint-Saëns with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) at Concertgegouw of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The concert was recorded and will webcast via German radio SWR2, at 20:03 on Aug. 29. (Germany local time).
To hear the program, please click Webradio horen on the left side of the page.

Program
Claude Debussy :Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Camille Saint-Saëns : pianoconcert No.2 op. 22
Tchaikovsky :Symphony No.6 'Pathétique'


Please excuse me in case of a sudden change of the program and/or a poor reception of the streaming data.

Aug 27, 2008

Blechacz's new CD available on line on Sept.23

Rafał Blechacz's new CD "Sonatas: Haydn, Mozart & Beethoven" will be available via on line shopping on Sept. 23, earlier than the release date in Poland and Europe.

Amazon.com is here. Price:$16.98

Target.com is here. Price:$16.98


"Sonatas: Haydn, Mozart & Beethoven"

Haydn Sonata No.52 E flat major
Mozart Sonata No. 9 D major k.311
Beethoven Sonata No.2 A major op2-2

Aug 25, 2008

His piano and his music



The photo is titled "His piano and his music".

Rafał Blechacz - Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice in Poland on Jan. 24th, 2007 at 18.00.

It is the phote submitted to the photo competition organized by the Polish paper on Aug. 18, 2008. I don't know the context to enable the phote taken during the classical music concert to enter in the photo competition, but I think the composition is interesting.

The original article is here. (You can see the phote enlarged.)

The following day, on Jan. 25th, 2007 at 19.00, Blechacz held another recital at Czestochowa Philharmonic.
He said that the piano of the venue was the best he played so far in Poland. He also said that the reaction from the audience was beautiful, and he felt the audience listened to what he played, which is the best reward for the pianist.

The photos of the recial at Czestochowa Philharmonic. Beautiful pictures!

This is a full text of the article. (Polish)

This is the machine-translated English text--understandable!

Blechacz Salzburg recital webcast on Aug.26

On Aug.26, Rafał Blechacz recital at Salzburg Festival on Aug.15 will be webcast via Austrian Radio ORF.

The program will be at 10:05 through to 11:35 (local time) on Aug.26.

ORF program page is here.

Please click the WEBRADIO button on the top of the page, and
explorer will open to start the program.


Aug 24, 2008

Blechacz and Alexandre Tharaud

"Blechacz's piano haunting and memorable--lingering potently in one's memory"

Bay Area Reporter of San Francisco as of Aug.21 posted an article where the author compares Chopin Preludes op 28 played by Alexandre Tharaud and Rafał Blechacz.
I have never heard the performance of Tharaud, but the article took my attention, because I went to San Jose in May to attend Blechacz's recital. (He played the 24 Preludes op-28 in that recital which was quite remarkable.)
The author describes Preludes (dubbed as extraordinary miniatures in the article) by Tharaud as causing a significant stir, and put Blechacz's on the other side of the spectrum.
First, he thought Blechacz's interpretation is so straightfoward, exactly reflects on what is written, but he felt it "got under his skin" and found it more haunting and memorable than explicit interpretation of Tharaud.
He says; I suspect I'll return to Blechacz's often because they linger so potently in my memory.

I am not an expert of music, but I think I know what he meant. I am the one who is "addicted" to Blechacz's piano. It is beautiful, comfortable, musical, noble, gentle, moving and...difficult to explain with words. But I would say that Rafał Blechacz's piano has completely changed my life (for the better, of course!).


Alexandre Tharaud

Aug 22, 2008

Blechacz exquisitely played Saint-Saens with RCO

Rafał Blechacz played Saint-Saëns piano concerto No. 2 with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) on Aug.21 at Amsterdam Concertgebouw, directed by Andris Nelsons.

The concert was broadcast via Duch Radio 4 and Swiss radio station live from the concert hall, so I was able to hear the concert staying at home in Tokyo, Japan.
(How fortunate it is for the listener! and how tough for the performers that today's technology is available to have a concert in Europe heard around the world as it is played.)

Blechacz's beautiful and sophisticated piano sound was brought out harmonized with RCO sound to the highest degree: so harmonized that I first did not notice the cadenza starting in the first movement.
In the second movement, Belchacz's witty passagework was fascinating. The orchestra devoted to being an accompaniment, but all the instruments' sounds were light and lively and effectively supported the piano, especially the pizzicato of cello and bass was blending well with the piano sound.
I really love the way Rafał's playing every note crystal-clear.
The third movement was perfect for Rafał's feat. Even a person who has no taste for the music cannot be bored.
Technically, his performance was nearly perfect, especially swift passagework of the third movement was wonderfully flown (I cannot find an appropriate word to express my excitement) but there was more. His piano is NOT a circus presentation. The noble sound with quiet passion is really fulfilling.
I have the recording of the same piece played by Rubinstein, but I like Blechacz's better. (sorry!)

Let me extend my heartfelt appreciation to Rafał Blechacz for such an exquisite music (as always).
I sincerely hope that he is takig his time to be relaxed, giving his heart and mind a rest during the short intermission before Oct.

It is not about Blechacz, but I found that the the way Andris Nelsons conducts the orchestra is very similar to his mentor Marris Jansons. (I watched him conducting in the Youtube.)
When seen from behind, you cannot tell if he is Jansons or Nelsons. Even the facial expression is exactly the same!

In Oct., Blechacz is going to play with NY philharmonic; the conductor is Ms.Marin Alsop. Again, how she conducts is reminiscent of Leonard Bernstein! For me, it is a happy coincidence, because I love both Jansons and Bernstein very much.



For a Polish visitor, this is the Polish site describing the recent events about Rafał Blechacz: new CD to be released in Oct., (with two versions in Poland with Blechacz's remarks on the pieces), success at Salzburg, plans for next recordings, and so on.

For an international visitor,this is machine-translated text of the same page (the English is understandable.)
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Aug 21, 2008

Blechacz plays Saint-Saens with RCO

On Aug. 21, 2008, Rafał Blechacz will play piano concerto No. 2 by Charles Camille Saint-Saëns with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) at Concertgegouw of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The concert will be broadcast via Radio4 of the Netherlands live at 20:02 through to 23:02.
To hear the program, please click RADIO 4 LIVE on the left-top of the page.



Conductor: Andris Nelsons

Program
Claude Debussy :Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Camille Saint-Saëns : pianoconcert No.2 op. 22
Tchaikovsky :Symphony No.6 'Pathétique'


Conductor: Andris Nelsons was born in 1978 in Riga, Latvia. His mother founded the first early music ensemble in Latvia. He served as a trumpeter with the orchestra of the Latvian National Opera. He has also studied conducting with Alexander Titov in Saint Petersburg, Russia and participated in conducting master classes with Neeme Järvi and Jorma Panula.

Nelsons came to the attention of Mariss Jansons when he emergency-substituted with the Oslo Philharmonic in their trumpet section during an orchestra tour. He counts Jansons as a mentor.

In 2003, Nelsons became principal conductor of the Latvian National Opera.
In 2006, he became chief conductor of the Nordwestdeutschen Philharmonie of Herford, Germany.

In October 2007, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) named Nelsons as its 12th principal conductor and music director, effective with the 2008-2009 season. His initial contract is for 3 years.
He is conducting RCO for the first time.


It is very interesting to hear a collaboration between the 30-year-old conductor and the 23-year old solist, Blechacz.

In 2002, Blechacz played Saint-Saens's Concerto in G Minor at the Artur Rubinstein In Memoriam Competition and won the 2nd prize.
He also played Schumann's Sonata No.2 in G Minor, Szymanowski's Variations in B Flat Minor, and Liszt's La Leggierezza.
His perfomances delighted audiences as he played the pieces phenomenally.

It is said that RCO will be responsible for the orchestra part for the CD of two Chopin Piano Concertos played by Rafał Blechacz to be released in March, 2010 by Deutsche Grammophon.

This is the site of RCO.

This is the site of ROBECO, sponsor of Aug.21 concert.

The concert will be recorded and webcast via German radio SWR2, at 20:03 on Aug. 29.
To hear the program, please click Webradio horen on the left side of the page.

Please excuse me in case of a sudden change of the program and/or a poor reception of the streaming data.


Aug 20, 2008

Blechacz Salzburg recital review by NY Sun

The New York Sun as of Aug.19, 2008 posted the review on Rafał Blechacz recital at Salzburg Mozarteum on Aug.15.
The review was written by a renowned commentator Jay Nordlinger.
I think some his observations of the recital are objective and rightly reflects on how Blechacz plays now.
And naturally, there are many points that I disagree with him.

here

Mr.Jay Nordlinger is a senior editor of the U.S. National Review, the conservative magazine founded by William F. Buckley Jr. in the 1950s.
He also writes a column for the magazine’s website called “Impromptus.”
Nordlinger covers a wide variety of topics, including human rights. He has a special focus on China and Cuba.

In the last month and a half of the 2000 presidential election campaign,
Nordlinger took a leave of absence from National Review to write speeches for George W. Bush.

Nordlinger is also a music critic, writing about classical music for The New Criterion and the New York Sun,
in addition to National Review.
He lectures and moderates panels at the Salzburg festivals, at Easter and during the summer.



This is another review by Rzeczpospolita (Polish)

This is Austrian site Kleine Zeitung. (German)

Another Austrian site Dreh Punkt Kultur. (German)

Aug 19, 2008

Blechacz new CD released on Oct.1 in Poland

In Poland, Rafał Blechacz's new album "sonatas--haydn, beethoven, mozart"
will be released on Oct.1, 2008 according to RMF Classic.

Haydn Sonata No.52 E flat major
Mozart Sonata No. 9 D major k.311
Beethoven Sonata No.2 A major op2-2


Please look at the RMF Classic site.(Polish)

This is the machine-translated text of the same site.(English)

In the same manner as the previous CD Chopin Preludes, the two versions will be available in Poland:
the international version and the Polish version with special Polish price.
The CD will contain the text that Rafał Blechacz wrote in its linernotes.
He explains why he chose these three sonatas.
You can read the text in the above-mentioned links.

According to the Polish media, the new CD will be released in other countries on Oct.3.

I found that the new CD will be available on Sept.23 via Target.com.

In Japan, it will be released on Sept.3.

Aug 18, 2008

Blechacz recital at Salzburg was successful

Polish paper "Rzeczpospolita" as of Aut.17 reported that Rafał Blechacz's recital at Salzburg was a success.

The big applause continued for over 15 minutes.
The next day, the polish artist spent the whole one day to give interviews.

For an artist, debut at this festival means the jump in the musical hierarchy.
For Rafał Blechacz, it was even more important to play in a series of performances by world best pianists only three years after the victory in the Chopin competition.

On the following day, he gave many interviews to talk about himself and his new recording of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven from Deutsche Grammophon
to be released on Oct.3.

His next focus is the concerto with Concertgebouw on Aug. 21.
The next item on his agenda is concerts in NY in Oct.

This is the original Polish article.

More detailed review and his concert schedule will follow on Monday by the same paper.

Congratulations, Rafal Blechacz!!

Aug 17, 2008

Blechacz-Concertgebouw webcast Aug. 21

Rafał Blechacz will play Saint-Saëns piano concerto No. 2 with Concertgebouw on Aug. 21.

The concert will be broadcast via Radio 4 of the Netherlands
at 20:02--23:02 (local time).

Radio 4 site is here.

Please click "RADIO 4 LIVE" on the left of the page, and explorer will open to broadcast the program.

Concert program page is here.

Aug 15, 2008

Blechacz debuts at Salzburg on Aug. 15

Rafał Blechacz will make his debut in Salzburg Festival on the stage of Mozarteum.


Program
J.S.Bach: Italian Concerto BWV 971

Franz Liszt: Concert Studies (Waldesrauschen, La Leggierezza, Gnomenreigen)

Claude Debussy: Estampes

Frederic Chopin: Nocturnes op.62, Sonata No.3 op.58

Program page


Concert venue: Mozarteum

The article of a Polish newpaper "Rzeczpospolita" dated July 26 is about Polish artists performing in the biggest music festival in Europe, citing Blechacz as well as Zimerman, Anna Radziejewska, and so on.

It says that Blechacz's debut in this festival alongside with some of the greatest pianists such as Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, Lang Lang and Krystian Zimerman,is a great promotion.

The original Polish article is here.

Aug 10, 2008

Rafal Blechacz recital in NY in Oct.

Rafał Blechacz will hold a solo piano recital
at Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of New York Metropolitan Musium of Art
on Saturday Oct.4, 2008.
here

This will be followed by Chopin piano concerto No.2 with NY Phil at Lincoln Center on Oct.7 and Oct.11.
here

Aug 9, 2008

Blechacz played remarkably in La Roque d’Antheron

Rafał Blechacz recital at La Roque d’Anthéron Piano Festival in France has shown me another new phase of this outstanding young pianist.
(I listened to the performance via Radio France webcast.)

The performance on Aug.2 was distinctive; the crisp and serene sounds he created extended far and wide to all directions as if evoking spirits of the Muse in the forest.

The pieces were household Blechacz music, but I felt unprecedented freshness and energy. He was never intimidated; he enjoyed unrestricted exchanges with composers. As one of the listners, I felt guided to the hight of musicality. It was really fulfilling.

The best part was the 4th movement of Chopin sonata No.3 that was full of freedom. He had faster tempo than usual from the very beginning and it kept accelerating. This was the most exciting 4th movement I have heard from Rafał. The moment he finished the movement, I raised my fist of "Bravo!" The big applause with shout of excitement by the French audience was the testimony to their admiration of the performance.

 "Bravo! and congratulations! Rafał Blechacz!"


Aug 7, 2008

Blechachz applauded in French festival

On Aug.2, 2008 at 21:00 pm, Rafał Blechacz played in La Roque d’Anthéron Piano Festival in France.

The following is an excerpt from the article of Polish Radio as of Aug.3.
Original Polish text is here.


Recital venue:Parc du Château de Florans


Performing on the unique stage on the pond of the park full of Platanus trees in this picturesque village in France,
Blechacz's recital ended with a big applause.

This was the second time that Rafał Blechacz appeared in this renowned festival.
Two years ago he played only the works of Chopin,
but this year, he showed his skills for other repertoire;
Impressionist sound of Debussy like paintings, precision multilayer music of Bach
and virtuoso pianism in Liszt helped the Polish pianist conquer the hearts of the audience.

The second part of the recital was dedicated to Chopin.



This recital will be webcast by RadioFrance on Aug.8,
at 10:00 am (France local time).

RadioFrance site is here.

Please click "direct" (big red letters) on the top-left side,
and the window will open and you can hear the program.

Aug 5, 2008

Blechacz performs at UN in NY in 2010 Chopin year

This is the exerpt from InfoChopin as of July 31, 2008.
The original Polish article is here.


InfoChopin as of July 31, 2008 reports that Rafał Blechacz will play at the United Nations Headquarters
for celebration of 200th anniversary of Frederic Chopin's birth during commemorative world tour in the year.

In a commemorative concert series in the year, performances by Blechacz
as well as such great pianists as Martha Argerich, Grigory Sokolov, Evgeny Kissin, Yundi Li
and Maurizio Pollini are also expected.

Blechacz's concert schedule is full for the next three years.
He is now in preparation for the Chopin piano concerto No.2 with New York Phil in October
and the recital at Salzburg Festival on Aug.15.

His new CD Vienna Classical Sonatas will be released by Deutsche Grammophon in Autumn.

He also is planning to start the study of his second theme, "ethics and philosophy"
at Nicolaus Copernicus University(UMK) in Torun.

Aug 3, 2008

Blechacz recital at Verbier rejoiced Japanese fans

Rafał Blechacz's recital at Verbier Festival on July 31, 2008 is now availabe with streaming service.
Please click either of the two links on the top-left of this page, and you will reach Blechacz's recital.

The filmed music are:

Johann Sebastian Bach
Italian Concerto in F major BWV 971

Franz Liszt
Three Concert Studies

Frédéric Chopin
Three mazurkas op. 50
Sonata op. 58

Encores: Chopin Mazurka op17-2, Waltz op64-2


Yuko is one of the long standing fans of Rafał Blechacz since 2003
when she attended the 5th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition
and was touched by the beautiful piano by Rafal Blechacz.

In the email she sent to me for different business today,
she said she was deeply impressed by the video performance.

"It is really moving.
Actually, it is for the first time that I get a close-up view of his hands
to the extent that I can observe every fingerwork.
I felt he has obtained more profound interpretations of each music, which is superb, isn't it?

I found myself listening to his music intently
leaving my children unattended for some time although they got hungry".




Another Rafal enthusiast, Marsha, shares her impression of the recital as follows:

First, let me say that Rafał's recital went extremely well.
Furtheremore, what I call Rafał Blechacz Sound has been kept untainted.

In "Italian Concerto", Rafał expressed compassionate Bach music.
His rendition has a warmth that let me compare it to the woodwork.
In the third movement, he was really into it right along the flow of swift passages.

He plays "La leggerezza" with marvellously even and careful touch evoking the precision of artisan.

With "Waldesrauschen", he demonstrated an exceptional sense of balance.
I felt his left hand playing a role of the second voice in "Gnomenreigen".

Mazurka, his favorite did my heart good.
I love the stunning way he plays the fortissimo in the last two bars to finish No.3 of op50.

Chopin Sonata No.3 was really inspiring.
I felt he has even more deeply explored this piece to demonstrate expressiveness and coloristic beauty.
The third movement, in particular, made me almost cry.
The timing he connects phrases is just exquisite.

I am wondering why Rafał's piano strikes a chord in listners' hearts.
While listening to his rendition, I put my hands at the chest.

It was grateful that I was able to see how he plays the instrument;
the way he puts weight onto keyboards;
how he exerts special devotion to the music when it really matters.
I felt so close to him as to hear his breathing.

I was really fulfilled by the concert that I saw for the first time in more than one year.