Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

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Oct 29, 2008

Blechacz interview (audio)/CD review (continued)

English has been added to show Rafał Blechacz's remarks in the German interview posted on Oct.23.


German site "ARD Mediathek" posted as of Oct.21 an interview by Blehcacz (audio).
Blechacz talks about his new CD "sonatas--haydn, mozart, beethoven", the Steinway he obtained last year in Hamburg, and so on in English.
Most remarks are dubbed in the voice of German interperter.

The link to the Blechacz's remarks is here. (audio)(German except for Blechacz's voice)

↑English

Some parts of the report, which are well known to fans are skipped:
first, Rafal's thoughts on chosing the programm of the CD (relation between Haydn and Beethoven)
and second, informations on his winning in the Chopin competition.
-------------

... (first skipped part)
Rafal Blechacz goes in for a very personal exploration of musical history on his new CD and
with that the irresistable charm is described ...
(second skipped part)

Rafal Blechacz is an artist who has already shown in the USA, in Japan and in many countries of Europe
that he can and wants to do more than just interpreting Chopin.
At the same time he doesn't allow himself to be driven to flights of fancy. He still lives with his parents in Poland.

"I live in a village, I know that big cities like London, Paris, Munich or Vienna provide great opportunities to go to concerts and to meet interesting artists.
But I think I need the calm atmosphere at the beginning of my carreer to practise and to develope new programmes.
Here,I can work artistically at rest."

This concentration has helped the new CD.
Its appeal lies in soft transparency and at the same time, in intransigent striving for musical perfection.

Blechacz plays his concerts on Steinway grand pianos, but his favourite
instrument is in Poland, he tells starry-eyed:

"I remember when I bought my piano for my home, two years ago in Hamburg.
It was a wonderful journey, for the piano I have chosen is the most beautiful one.
It is only a small piano, no grand concert piano, but the size is ideal for my room at home.
I like it very much, because every kind of music, Debussy, Chopin, Bach or Beethoven, sounds well.
That piano is perfect for every kind of repertoire.
That is why I am very happy when I am at home and I can practise."

At last, the presenter remarks that it seems like Blechacz comes up with these sonatas by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
just like that
(if you don't understand that: it means it seems to be absolutely easy for him to play the sonatas).
------------
 The English was prepared by Johanna, a German fan of Blechacz.
I feel grateful to her for the work, for taking her time and energy out of the busy schedule.
(She is now quite busy in her career.)


On Oct.30, Blechacz is performing for a recital at Konzerthaus Dortmund, Germany

here and here and here and here.

Mozart Sonata KV 311
Claude Debussy»Estampes«
Karol Szymanowski Variations op. 3
Frédéric Chopin Mazurken op. 50, Sonata op. 58



The same site introduces Blechacz's new CD (German).

↑Outline

Sonatas

Introduced by Julia Kaiser

In 2007, the Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz released a Chopin album, receiving much attention from the music world. Now, his second CD is available: "sonatas" by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Julia Kaiser knows Blechacz personally and portrays her first impression:
"The handshake is so female-soft, with moist fingers, that you say: There, no strength can be behind it!
However if you hear the CD, you are amazed: transparent and analytical performance absolutely to the point".


A musical-historical voyage of discovery

Another Polish pianist won the Chopin competition in the year 2005. The last countryman before him was Kryztian Zimerman in 1975.
Now sonatas by Haydn, Mozart and van Beethoven are on his new CD. It seems that it is not especially original composition.
However the interpretation by Blechacz has something so moving. He goes on a musical-historical journey of discovery.
The pianist presents the teacher student relationship between Haydn and van Beethoven in the order for comparison; he selected a very late Haydn sonata and an early van Beethoven.


Discovery of the joy of music miracle

The 23-year old Blechacz still lives with his parents in a small Polish village and needs the silence and seclusion as a young artist.
He want to build himself, to acquire new repertoire and develop ideas for new programs for the next CDs.
He is a very confident young man, discovering joy of the music miracle on his CD.
He knows very well how he should assert himself on the international market. He knows that Chopin alone is not enough and that he needs a wider repertoire.
And he has already begun showing this in his concerts where he plays the whole spectrum: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and also Debussy, Liszt, Chopin (of course !) and you will be stunned: Wow!

Oct 28, 2008

Marketing Blechacz's CD by Social Network Service

Another story stemming from Rafał Blechacz’s NY debut.

It's a story about a resident in Texas, U.S. is an enthusiast of Rafał's piano.
Recently she obtained Rafał Blechacz's new CD "sonatas" with his sign on the cover.

Did she attend the NY debut concerts? NO.
She got it as a prize by responding to a quiz posted on the Facebook’s Rafał Blechacz page.

The quiz is like this.

The quiz was posted on Facebook by a marketing person of NY Philharmonic.
(Facebook is a leading Social Networking Service: SNS.)

It’s interesting to guess that Blechacz went to NY for concerts, signed on CDs for NYP organizer,
some of the CDs were presented as a prize of quiz for marketing through Facebook,
and one CD eventually reached my friend in Texas.

She says; “I have been having some mishaps these days that let me down,
but now that I won Rafal’s sign, it will turn around everything.
With his magical power, I’m confident that I will be able to play piano much better".

I know that getting a sign of your favorite artist is not an easy stuff.

Congratulations! I think she was rewarded for her pure love of Rafał Blechacz's piano.

She has helped me a lot by feeding many inputs about Rafał for this site.





She also shared Rafał Blechacz's part of Facebook that a non-member can view.

Contents are quite interesting and I was amazed by the level of information literacy of the participants.

e.g. Interview given by Blechacz in Jan. 2007 was shown in English.
I found the audio interview last year but did not understand the Polish interview.
The interview was posted by a member of Facebook.
(The original audio interview has already been gone from the network.)


@ news conference Jan.2007 (←If I remember it correctly.)

Oct 26, 2008

Blechacz and Gergiev (interview)

A follow-up story of Blechacz's New York Philharmonic debut on Oct. 7 and 11 under the direction of Marin Alsop. The posting of a review on this site prompted a Polish fan of Blechacz (Dana) to tell me the story about relations between a soloist and a conductor: Gergiev in this case.

In 2006, Rafał Blechacz played Chopin Concerto e-moll at Tchaikovsky Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev.

The following is an excerpt of the interview that Blechacz gave about maestro Gergiev.

----------------
Question by an interviewer:
....You played with world's leading orchestras.
You met Valery Gergiev recently during your concert in Moscow.
How was he? His image in the media is pretty severe isn't it?
On every photo or CD cover, he looks actually demonic.

Rafał Blechacz:
"At the beginning I was a little afraid, because he really looks demonic in the media,
but when I started to know him better I found out that he is a nice, friendly and open person.

I really enjoyed playing with him, even though we've only had one trial concert.
We played the entire Concerto in e-minor of Chopin just once,
so I had some doubts if it really will be alright.

But during the concert in Moscow Conservatory Hall, the performance of the orchestra was absolutely different than the one from the trial.
It was just fantastic.

Each little rubato was directly understood by the conductor and his musicians.
They perfectly fit in my play.
I could relax, Gergiev didn't interfere into my interpretation.
He has heard me just once and he knew everything.

The orchestra appeared in its large constitution,
because the second part of the evening was consecrated on the music of the Great Romantics Schumann, Brahms and Wagner.
The conductor didn't change the number of musicians, but it had no influence on the final result.

The public really enjoyed our performance and the reviews were enthusiastic.

Working with Gergiev was a unique experience".
---------------

Maestro Gergiev did not interfere with the soloist interpretation, and it seems Alsop assumed the same kind of attitude in NY.

Thank you Dana for the story and the translation from Polish into English.
(She worked on the translation supported by her family).

I had read some interviews indicating that for Blechacz, perfoming with Gergiev and his orchestra was a great experience, but I did not know such details.
(An interview I read said that the maestro was on the phone during the rehearsal and was able to spend only 30 minutes with Blehcacz.) The excerpt is a part of the original Polish article "Maestro".
(Please see Page 9;
it contains some pictures showing Blechacz's professionalism.)

Oct 25, 2008

Blechacz Chopin concerto No.2 with NYP streaming

Rafał Blechacz's Chopin concerto No.2 with New York Philharmonic is made available on demand
at NYP site until Nov.7 12:00 noon ET.
Please click on Listen now.

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


 Voice of a fan
"His runs are really like a string of pearls; acquiring even more beautiful luster than ever.
I am impressed anew by that the performer can nurture these pearls to that extent.
They are not grown naturally within pearl shells;
he has committed himself to cultivate and create such tones.
What an artist!"
(A Japanese fan; she is an illustrator, commenting after listening to Blechacz's NYP debut concerto.)


 "Pearly" runs
I associate fast runs,.., with typical string figurations where every individual semiquaver (16th-note)
or even demisemiquaver (32nd-note) is important and must be audible.

The loss of even one of these notes would upset the whole structure - like a string of pearls,
which makes an enormous impression on us because each element, each pearl, is perfect in itself, noticeable individually, but also fashions a harmonious whole together with the others.

Thinking about such phrases in terms of "pearly" runs is a means of avoiding a mechanical, purely technical, etude-like treatment of fast figuration.
(Rafał Blechacz - from the liner notes of CD "sonatas-haydn, mozart, beethoven".)

Oct 22, 2008

Polish Radio "Blechacz three years later"(audio)

Polsie Radio (English version) has posted an audio report
"The career of Rafał Blechacz three years after winning Chopin competition".

The article includes Blechacz's remarks.

‘Three years after the Competition I enjoy a greater freedom in planning my schedule
as I have already performed in all major venues and festivals.
The highlights of that period include a recital at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
It is a magical place and so the concert there was a great experience.
Another very important event was a recital at the Salzburg Festival in August,’ says Blechacz.


Link to the report.

Oct 21, 2008

Kampai to Blechacz's third anniversary of victory




Three years ago on Oct.22, Rafał Blechacz won the 2005 Chopin Competition in Warsaw.
On this commemorative day, let me share a documentary of the competition of that year titled,
“Poland, Chopin’s Heart”.
(produced by PBS, US public TV, May 2006)

Probably there are many who have already seen it;
it popped up in my mind, however, when I read a recent e-mail of Blechacz's New York debut,
especially with the description:

“The public was nailed to the chairs, stunned with awe and admiration”.

One of Japanese fans of Rafał Blechacz e-mailed me after reading the posting, saying,
"I was able to see a vivid image of how Rafał was playing on the NY stage and how people reacted".

She really loves Rafał's piano and appreciates the contributor for allowing the visualization.
(Thank you very much Mr.Roman Frackowski.)


The documentary is narrated by Marian Marzynski, a filmmaker.
In Oct. 2005, he returns to his native country Poland, observes the town, contestants and progress of the competition bearing existence of Chopin in his mind.

The documentary is not about Blechacz and Blechacz doesn’t appear until the last few minutes
and still you will discern how distinguished his execution is.

"It’s all about inspiration", the narrator says when Blechacz starts playing.
"Suddenly, the entire music hall is inspired.
His concerto in E-minor wins the hearts of the public".

The faces of the public tell everything.
I suppose the same may have happened in NY.

Please click “Watch Video” and a new window will open to start the program.
If it doesn't start, please click on QUICKTIME or REAL.

Link to the video.

("Kampai" is Japanese word when proposing a toast.)

Oct 20, 2008

Review on Blechacz's new CD (Germany)

A short review written by Reuter's correspondent Christa Sigg on Blechacz's new CD "sonatas-haydn, mozart, beethoven".

Original article is here. (German)

Captivating clarity: Rafał Blechacz plays Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
Chopin always makes itself good with pianists. And for a Pole like Rafal Bechacz hearing the music of his compatriot has been a compulsory program naturally.
Therefore, the first CD of the 23-year old Chopin competition winner was pre-determined - and a convincing debut.

With his second CD, the introverted musician now gets into the supreme class of music and plays an exquisite mixture of matured Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven.

What is the most attractive is Blechacz's open and clear performance --the clarity in every phase of these three sonatas.
Doing exactly what the score suggests is quite a hurdle, but with his technique, he can do it precisely.
For example, the relatively weak entry to the Beethoven sonata op. 2 No.s 2. is something special but attractive.
Blechacz doesn't favor contrasts of roaring sound but exposes the structures with very much subtler means.

With Haydn's E-flat major sonata Hob XVI, No. 52, Blechacz succeeds the best with that.
Only Mozart D-Dur-Sonate KV 311 is not his world completely, even if his performance is captivating with the finest attack nuances.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On Oct.19, ECHO Klassik Gala 2008 was held in Munich.

Blechacz received the Best Instrumentalist of the Year (Piano).
He did not appear in the televised award ceremony ECHO Klassk Gala (ZDF, Germany).

ECHO Klassik 2008 site is here.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reminder
 Blechacz's performances are available on line this week and onward.

Oct.22 @ 14:00 pm (Belgium local time.)
Camille Saint-Saëns : pianoconcert No.2 with RCO
↑The program was suddenly changed on Oct.22 without prior notice.

Oct 24 , 12:00 Noon ET - Fri, Nov 7, 12:00 Noon (EST)
Chopin concerto No.2 with NYP

Oct. 27 11 a.m. (Mountain dailight time: 6 hours behind UTC)
Mozart: Sonata in D Major, K. 311 @Gilmore International Keyboard Festival held in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Dec.15 11 a.m. (Mountain dailight time: 6 hours behind UTC)
Chopin Preludes op-28 (excerpts) ditto.

* In U.S., Chopin with NYP is also aired on radio programs.
Please consult your local radio station program.

October 22, 8:00 PWWFM Mercer County Comm. College, New Jersey (EST)
October 23, 8:00P WFMT Chicago (Chicago local time)

Oct 19, 2008

Blechacz interviewd by Polish media (2)

Rafał Blechacz gave interviews to Polish media in line with the release of his new CD "sonatas--haydn, mozart, beethoven".
Let me post "abstract" from the two articles. (Other recent interviews with Polish media are posted here)

Original Polish article of the interview with Jacek Hawryluk, Gazeta Wyborcza, infomuzyka.pl

Original Polish article of the interview with Magdalena Todynek, Empik.


Abstracts:
Interview with Jacek Hawryluk


(This is a part of the interview Blechacz gave for the Polish radio program broadcast on Sept.28.
Link to the story related to the radio program.)

About the sonatas by Haydn E flat major and Beethoven op2,
Blechacz talks about influence of their orchestral as well as quartet/chamber music experience on these piano music
and Haydn’s affecting on Beethoven who was still young, elegant and classical.

About Mozart sonata D major, Blechacz says that he played this piece repeatedly on the stage and decided to include it in the CD.
He feels closer to Mozart because he is in the same age group with young Mozart when the piece was composed:
feeling the joy of life, energy; feeling that everything is going on.

Blechacz remembers the time when he played Mozart piano concerto No.23 kv488 with maestro Maksymiuk shortly before the competition.

Before the second movement, the maestro said,
“It could not be written by a man; it could be written by the God.
The God led the hands of Mozart”.
Blechacz says, “I had that feeling when I played the lyrical second movement.

For the past year, Blechacz says he was able to play for important concerts,
such as a recital at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam –a magic venue with excellent acoustics and audience and a recital at Salzburg festival.
In 2010 Chopin year, he will play at Konzerthaus in Vienna and the CD of Chopin’s two concertos will be released.
He says a great orchestra and a wonderful maestro will work with him, but he cannot reveal who they are now.

Blechacz continues studies of philosophy by getting individual lessons.
He listens to the recording of Pollini while driving.
Blechacz met Pollini in Salzburg after attending his recital and feels grateful to him for suggesting a support/advice.
-----------


Cover of Salzburg recording


Interview with Magdalena Todynek

Blechacz talks about how his life changed after the competition, how he feels appreciative of for the kind supports by Zimerman.
He is also grateful to Deutsche Grammohpn for giving him a wide freedom in artistic creation.

After referring to the platinum disc he obtained for the first DG CD Chopin’s Preludes and the background story of choosing three composers’ sonatas for the second DG recording,
he reiterates the importance of classical repertoire in that it helps him deepen the understanding of Chopin music.

Blechacz says that by writing his comments for the liner notes of the three sonatas’ CD, he tried to capture the most important aspects for him.

He expressed his expectations on his debut concerts in NY (the interview took place before that).
He is going to play UK, Spain, Germany, Japan, France and the NL.
The next concert in Poland will be on March 20 and 21 in Warsaw to play Piano concerto No. 4 by Beethoven.

During the concert tours, he says that there is no time for sightseeing, regrettably.
Blechacz says driving a car and reading is a source of relax; he likes George Gershwin and while driving he listens to other kind of music (light music, etc..) helped by his sister.

He talks about the Chopin Concertos’ CD to be released in 2010,
but says that he want to keep who are the orchestra and the conductor for now.

--------------------

 I love the story of Mozart concerto No.23 second movement in the first interview.
It reminded me again of what Blechacz wrote about the second movement in his latest CD note.

"I feel that the middle movement is often the "heart" of a work.
It is the place where the composer, as well as the performer, takes the opportunity to reveal in sound
everything lurking in the deepest reaches of his soul.
He is free to articulate everything while still leaving it nameless".

On another occasion, I heard Blechacz said that the second movement of Beethoven piano concerto No.4 is beautiful.
I am really looking forward to listening to his Beethoven No.4.

I am also pleased that Blechacz says he likes Gershwin.
('cause I often have Gershwin's piano played while doing job prep.: reading documentations for an assigned next conference.
I Got Rhythm for that.)

---------------------
The following are links of introductions/reviews on Blechacz's new CD from Polish media.

onet.pl (original Polish)
English (machine translated)

Plus.pl (original Polish)
English (machine translated)

Kulturaonline.pl (original Polish)
English (machine translated)

Oct 18, 2008

Blechacz NY debut reported by Polonia media

PAP (Polska Agencja Prasowa: Polish Press Agency):
Polonia dla Polonii (the Polish site for the Polish people abroad run by PAP)
has posted the news of Blechacz's recent NY debut.

The link to the PAP is here.
The site lists news items and the listing sequence is liquid.
So I copy the contents of Blechacz.

 USA: Nowojorski debiut Rafala Blechacza

Rafał Blechacz swoje występy rozpoczął recitalem (Mozart, Debussy, Szymanowski, Chopin) w Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium (Metropolitan Museum of Art) w sobotę, 4 października i od razu odniósł olbrzymi sukces. W wypełnionej po brzegi sali otrzymał dluga owacje na stojąco, za co odwdzięczył się dwoma bisami. Następnie, we wtorek, 7 października wystąpił w Avery Fisher Hall ze słynną orkiestą New York Philharmonic pod batuta dyrygentki Marin Alsop grając Koncert Nr 2 Fryderyka Chopina. Program wieczoru zawierał także utwory orkiestrowe Bartoka i Dworzaka. Koncert ten został powtórzony w sobotę, 11 października w tym samym miejscu i w tym samym składzie.

Po wtorkowym występie, Anthony Tommasini, głowny krytyk muzyczny "New York Times,a" napisał nadzwyczaj pochlebną recenzję, podkreślając, że Rafal Blechacz zagral Koncert Chopina w sposob wdzięczny, przemyślany i poetycki, wyróżniając się płynnymi pasażami i delikatnymi biegnikami, szczególnie w elegancko ozdobionych, rozmarzonych frazach powolnej części koncertu. (NYT, Oct. 8, 2008).

W sobotę, 11 października, Rafał Blechacz zagrał ten Koncert równie pięknie i wrażliwie jak we wtorek. Jego precyzyjne, zdecydowane, eleganckie i delikatne wykonanie zabrzmiało jeszcze pełniej, głównie dlatego, że orkiestra New York Philharmonic i dyrygentka, Marin Alsop, podporządkowały się jeszcze bardziej stylowi solisty. Jakby z pewną dozą zdziwienia orkiestra i dyrygentka odkrywali i przekonywali sie – a był to proces zapoczątkowany już we wtorek i pewno przedtem na próbach - że przeciez interpretacja polskiego wirtuoza, to jest właśnie to!, że to przecież oczywiste, iż tylko tak a nie inaczej Koncert ten należy grać. Można chyba powiedzieć, że wykonanie sobotnie było kulminacją tego przekonania. Świadczy to dobrze o orkiestrze i dyrygentce, o tym, że znakomita ich reputacja nie jest dziełem przypadku.


Roman Frackowski, USA, 16 października 2008 r.


Rafał Blechacz w kuluarach po nowojorskim koncercie.
Rafał Blechacz in the artist room after the concert in New York


The news was informed by Mr.Roman Frackowski, Princeton, New Jersey, USA,
the same American contributor as yesterday.
Thank you very much Mr.Frackowski for your kind support.
----------------

The following is an English translation of the article.

U.S.: Rafał Blechacz New York debut
Rafał Blechacz’s performances began with a recital (Mozart, Debussy, Szymanowski, Chopin) in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium (Metropolitan Museum of Art) on Saturday, October 4, and immediately made a huge success.
In the hall filled to the brim, he was applauded by standing ovations for long and rewarded the audience with two pieces of encore.

Then, on Tuesday, 7 October, he appeared on the stage of Avery Fisher Hall with the famous orchestra New York Philharmonic under the baton of Marin Alsop, playing Concerto No. 2 by Frederic Chopin.
The evening program included a orchestral works of Bartók and Dvořák. The concert was repeated on Saturday, 11 October in the same place.

After the Tuesday performance, Anthony Tommasini, chief music critic of the New York Times admired Blechacz in his riview,
stressing that Rafał Blechacz played Chopin's Concerto in a graceful, thoughtful and poetic manner, while singling out liquid passage work and delicate runs, especially in the elegantly embellished phrases of the dreamy slow movement. (NYT, Oct. 8, 2008).

On Saturday, October 11, Rafał Blechacz played the concerto as beautifully and responsive as Tuesday.
His precise, strong, elegant and delicate execution resounded even better,
mainly because the New York Philharmonic orchestra and the conductor, Marin Alsop adapted themselves better to the style of the soloist with some degree of amazement of their discovery.
This was a process already initiated and tried on Tuesday – recognizing that the interpretation of the Polish virtuoso is precisely what this Chopin concerto is supposed to be played. Obviously this is the best possible way and there is no other way.
You can probably say that the performance on Saturday was the climax of this belief. Good orchestra and a conductor, worthy of the excellent reputation of their work.

Roman Frackowski, USA, 16 October 2008
----------


Oct 17, 2008

Radio broadcast of Blechacz's performance in US

The entire evening at Avery Fisher Hall of Oct. 11, 2008 with NYP,
including Rafał Blechacz playing Piano Concerto No. 2 by Chopin,
is to be aired on the public radio stations throughout America on the week of October20th, 2008.
Consult your local station programming.

The following stations already put it in their schedules:(please be careful of local times.)

WFMT Chicago, Thursday, October 23, 8:00P
WWFM Mercer County Comm. College, New Jersey, Wednesday, October 22, 8:00P

In addition:
WFMT Chicago, Sunday, October 19, 2008, 8:00P airs Mozart's Sonata in D
played by Rafał Blechacz during the Spring 2008 International Keyboard
Music Festival in Kalamazoo, Mich. (1st item in the program)
----------

The information was sent to me by Mr. Roman Frackowski, Princeton, New Jersey, USA,
who deeply loves Blechacz’s piano
and attended Rafał Blechacz's North America debut recital in Michigan in April and NY debut concerts in October.
His impression of the Oct.11 concert was fed to this site. here
I sincerely appreciate his heartwarming support.


Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, NY

Program page of Michigan recital on April 27

Photos during the Michigan recital.
Please scroll down to the bottom to see Blechacz's photos

On-line webcast schedule of these concerts is here.
--------

It's nothing to do with the news, but the program of Michigan has reminded me of this.
When I first found the Michigan recital program on the net about a year ago, the program was:
Mozart Sonata No. 1
Chopin Etudes, Op. 35, Appasionata
Schubert Fantasie
Shostakovich Concerto
Szymanowski Songs

It caused a lot of ????, so I e-mailed an inquiry to the secretariat, saying
that “the fact that it includes Shostakovich and Schubert has caused a stir in the community of Blechacz's fans in Japan”.

They immediately sent me a return-mail which said;
"Thank you for bringing this program error to our attention.
It remained from testing and should have been replaced with his "real" program…
…Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience (or "stir") this has caused.
We are glad to know we have people learning about The Gilmore Festival in Japan".

Actually, we, Japanese fans were wondering (or expecting rather) how it is if Blechacz really plays Shostakovich..

Oct 15, 2008

German KlassikAkzente introduces Blechacz new CD

German site Klassik Akzente has posted its comments on Rafał Blechacz's new CD "sonatas--haydn, mozart, beethoven" giving appropriate and high evaluation to the caliber of the pianist, by accurately capturing his approach reflected on in the liner notes written by the artist himself.

English translation is here. (machine-translated)

Original German article is here.

Please be reminded that "second sentence" in the fifth line from the bottom and "average sentence", in the third line from the bottom in English translation, should be "second movement" and "middle movement" respectively.



Klassikakzente Blechacz page including Blechacz's promo video, bio, link to Verbier Festival performance, etc...


Polish translation of the text

Mysliciel i poeta
Czasami zdarza sie,ze artysta gra utwor inaczej, nie zmieniajac zapisu
nutowego.Rafal Blechacz jest takim wyjatkiem.Mlody polski pianista
dysponuje nie tylko zadziwiajaco wspaniala technika gry lecz rowniez
refleksja
opierajaca sie na autonomicznym uczuciu.Bazuje na starannych
przemysleniach co powoduje,ze jego interpretacja jest duzo glebsza
niz te ,do ktorych jestesmy przyzwyczajeni.Po spektakularnym debiucie
w DG z Preludiami Chopina wydal teraz trzy sonaty Haydna,Beethovena i
Mozarta.,w ktorych prezentuje nie tylko mistrzowskie wykonanie,ale
polaczyl te trzy sonaty ze soba w zachwycajacy sposob.
Naturalnie mozna przeczytac,ze Beethoven, uczen Haydna byl pod
silnym wrazeniem jego kompozytorskich umiejetnosci.Haydn byl dla niego
wzorem i Beethoven dzieki swojemu geniuszowi dal temu wyraz. Aby to
pokazac wykonawca musi koniecznie studiowac dziela , usilnie
analizowac,zglebiac ich struktury i wypracowac sposob gry.Rafal
Blechacz jest kims kto zadaje sobie ten trud ,co widzi sie w sonatach
,ktore odznaczaja sie zachwycajaca czystoscia i intelektualna
wyrazistoscia.."Zestawiajac sonate Haydna Es-dur z sonata Beethovena
opus 2 no.2 chcialbym zwrocic uwage na zwiazki pomiedzy tymi
kompozytorami i na silne oddzialywanie muzyki Haydna na wczesne
kompozycje mlodszego kolegi" komentuje on w ksiazeczce do plyty "Dla
Beethovena styl Haydna stanowil swoistego rodzaju wzor ,a jednoczesnie
punkt do szukania i rozwijania wlasnego,indywidualnego brzmienia"..."W
trakcie pracy nad roznymi utworami Haydna,Mozarta czy Beethovena
wielokrotnie probowalem "zorkiestrowac" w wyobrazni dzielo lub jego
jakas czesc ,ktora nasuwala mi pewne watpliwosci np.co do uzycia
artykulacji,pedalizacji czy barwy dzwieku.Po dokonaniu takiej
"wewnetrznej instrumentacji" wszelkie niejasnosci znikaly".
Dla Rafala Blechacza ten sposob postepowania,o ktorym mowi,z dzielami
kompozytorow sprawia,ze sa one mu blizsze.Postrzega zawsze dorobek
kompozytora jako calosc w kontekscie czasu,w ktorym powstal.
Wymaga to znajomosci tla i umiejetnosci analitycznych, aby znalezc w
koncu wlasny klucz.
W interpretacji Rafala Blechacza polaczenie muzyki tych trzech
kompozytorow otwiera swiat czystosci i finezji brzmienia..Sonata
Mozarta ma swoj wlasny,indywidualny i niepowtarzalny styl bliski
operze.Chwytajacy za serce spiewny temat drugiej czesci jest
szczegolnie pi醇Wkny.Jego nastroj pokazuje ,ze Mozart bardzo kochal
opere.."Mam czesto wrazenie,ze srodkowe czesci sa "sercem" utworu.Sa
miejscem,w ktorym tworca,jak i wykonawca moze ,za pomoca
dzwiekow,wypowiedziec sia szczerze o wszystkim,co zawarte jest w
najglebszych zakamarkach jego duszy." U Rafala Blechacza, ma sie
wrazenie,ze jest to rowniez wazne w pozostalych czesciach.
--------------

(Acknowledgement :
This Polish text was prepared by a Polish fan Dana and her family members who have German knowledge.
I would like to thank her and her family for their generous support.
It is quite a help for many Polish readers.)


Oct 14, 2008

Blechacz NY Phil debut-- an American viewpoint

Artsjournal.com posts an article about recent concerts/events in NY, written by Harvey Sachs
including his impression of Blechacz's Chopin concerto NO.2 on Oct.7 with NY Phil.

The article is here.

His comment of Blechacz comes at last part.
I will copy the fragment.

"The central delight of the evening, however, was 23-year-old Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz's Philharmonic debut in Chopin's F minor (Second) Piano Concerto.
One could quibble that the finale lacked the sense of playfulness that some pianists brought or bring to it (I'm thinking of.recordings by Rubinstein and Ashkenazy),
but Blechacz's playing was sensitive, intense, and technically impeccable throughout
-- and with none of the extra-musical, look-ma-seventeen-hands shenanigans of some of today's other young keyboard heroes.
This is a very promising talent."

Oct 13, 2008

Blechacz's Chopin deeply moved New Yorkers

I received an E-mail from Mr. Roman Frackowski, Princeton, New Jersey, a Blechacz music lover,
writing about Blechacz’s Chopin concerto No.2 with NY Phil on Oct.11.

...the second performance by Rafał on Saturday was excellent too

and the orchestra and the conductor were even more in love with his style,
his approach he demanded in his gentle and convincing way.

The public was nailed to the chairs, stunned with awe and admiration.
All this helped Rafal to create a grandiose performance out of the Piano Concerto No.2,
already itself a gem of Chopin's music.

Amazed audience gave Rafał a standing ovation, not only once, or twice ....

Many had tears in their eyes, including us and our companion who came specially for this occasion from Maryland...




Thank you very much for letting us (all Rafał fans) know that his final stage in NY was a great success.
During the time of his performance (Sunday morning in Japan), I was offering a prayer for him.
Your mail made me cry.

"Awe and admiration" is the terms that I think describes exactly my feelings about Rafał Blechacz.

Blechacz's performances webcast in Oct.

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 will be webcast on Oct.22 by Klara Radio of Belgium.

The link of Klara Radio is here.
Please click LUISTER LIVE/NOW ON AIR on the right-top, and the new window will open to start the webcast.

The program will be on Oct.22 @ 14:00 pm--17:00 (Belgium local time.)

Program
Johann Stamitz: Sinfonia a quattro in A door [0:10:57]
Ludwig van Beethoven: Trio in c voor piano[0:28:00]
Ignaz Moscheles: Concertante in F voor fluit[0:14:41]
Robert Schumann: Nichts Schöneres [0:09:22]
Franz Liszt: Liebestraüme - 3 nocturnes [0:15:41]

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

↑The program was suddenly changed on Oct.22.


Related story is here.
and here.


I found a "review" of this concert written by an anonymous fan with a well-balanced viewpoint.
(The author is not traceable.)

S(he) says s(he) has already attended Blechacz's concert at Amsterdam Concertgebouw twice
in 2007 (Piano Master Series) and 06, the venue with good acoustic atmosphere.
English translation is here.
Original Polish text is here.

------------
Blechacz made a debut in the U.S. in April this year.
by joining Gilmore International Keyboard Festival held in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Parts of his recital will be broadcast on Oct. 27 and Dec. 15 via Yellowstone Public Radio.


Oct. 27
Mozart: Sonata in D Major, K. 311

Dec.15
Chopin Preludes op-28 (excerpts)

@ 11 a.m. (Mountain dailight time: 6 hours behind UTC)

Yellowstone Public Radio is here.

Kalamazoo recital program
Review of this recital

-----------------
Chopin concerto No.2 with NY Phil

National: Wed, Oct 22
Local: Thur, Oct 23 , 9:00 PM ET
Online: Fri, Oct 24 , 12:00 Noon ET - Fri, Nov 7, 12:00 Noon ET

NY Phil site is here.

Oct 12, 2008

Blechacz's teacher honored in Bydgoszcz, Poland

Gazeta.pl Bydgoszcz as of Oct.10 reports that Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń,
pianist, lecturer at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Rafał Blechacz teacher,
was selected as one of the three important people for the city this year

and thier autographs plates will be placed in the city center alongside with the existing five honored people's including Blechacz.
The new autographs will be revealed on Dec. 6 this year, the day of Saint Nicholas.

Gazeta.pl Bydgoszcz story (English: machine-translated)
Original Polish story (Polish)


Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń will be one of the jurors of 2010 Chopin Piano Competition,
according to “Chopin”(July, 2008), a Japanese music monthly magazine.


Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz Blechacz graduated from in 2007



The following is what Blechacz remarked in liner notes of his first DG recording “Preludes”.

"My professor opened the gates of art to me, including the vital importance of pianistic tone colour
when she introduced me to Debussy.
This helped prepare me for Chopin.
I began to study his music under her tutelage and worked up my competition programme with her.

Although the Chopin Competition is something sacred to us Poles,
my teacher and I treated it as just one more stage in my development.

There are many other competitions after which one could also begin a concert career.
Mme Popowa-Zydroń had always stressed this fact, adding:

“You could lose in every competition, but it is most important for you not to lose your love of music."



Blechacz's autograph in Bydgoszcz

Oct 11, 2008

Blechacz NY Phil debut review in Polish

This is a review of Rafał Blechacz’s NY Phil debut on Oct. 7 translated into Polish.
(the segment related to Blechacz only)
The original English is available in the previous page of “Preludia”.
(The first one written by Robert D. Thomas).

The translation was done by Dana, an earnest fan of Blechacz in Poland.
Thank you very much, Dana. Dziekuje bardzo!

I believe it is very helpful for those whose mother language is Polish to understand the review better.

..Solista wieczoru byl 23-letni polski pianista Rafal Blechacz,ktory
w 2005 roku zajal pierwsze miejsce na 15-tym miedzynarodowym Konkursie
Chopinowskim w Warszawie,jednym z najbardziej prestizowych konkursow
(poprzedni zwyciezcy to M.Pollini,M.Argerich,K.Zimerman and Yundi
Li).Blechacz rowniez zdobyl cztery nagrody specjalne:za mazurki
,poloneza,koncert z orkiestra oraz nagrode ufundowana przez Zimermana
za najlepiej wykonana sonate.
Zatem,nie jest niespodzianka,ze na swoj wystep w Nowym Jorku Blechacz
wybral koncert f-moll Chopina.Jest on powszechnie nazywany drugim
koncertem Chopina ,chociaz faktycznie byl napisany rok wczesniej niz
e-moll,ktory opublikowano wczesniej.
Blechacz wyglada mlodziej niz faktycznie ma lat,poniewaz jest
szczuplej budowy (Alsop-niewysoka,byla wyzsza od pianisty).Kobieta
siedzaca naprzeciw mnie skomentowala (z nowojorskim zydowskim
tutejszym babcinym akcentem) "Ten chlopiec ptrzebuje wiecej miesa na
kosciach"
Byc moze,ale wykonanie Blechacza bylo zwyciezka mieszanka atletyzmu i
poezji.Uzdolniony technicznie (jak przystoi na zwyciezce
konkursu),"plynal" w finale przez szybkie przebiegi,tryle i oktawy z
najwieksza naturalna
latwoscia.Co najistotniejsze znalazl swoj wlasny sposob podejscia do
tego dziela ,swoj styl, ktory z pewnoscia rozwinie z wiekiem ,choc juz
w tej chwili jest to styl bardzo interesujacy.Jest to bez watpienia
mlody pianista,ktorego
nalezy miec na oku i uchu.
Blechacz mogl liczyc na wsparcie Alsop, ktorej mocna wizja
akompaniamentu odpowiadala interpretacji solisty .

----------



On this occasion, let me also thank Mr. R.F. for sending me the New York Times review. Dziekuje bardzo!
(The NY Times review is available in the previous article of Preludia, second from the top.)

I am very much appreciative of such a support.

I also feel that there are many who love Rafał's piano and want to support him in one way or another here and there in the world.

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.
here

--------------

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.

Oct 8, 2008

Blechacz made a huge success in NY Phil debut

Breathtakingly beautiful piano sound....the second movement was the finest.
There is no way to describe how it was touching.


"Tam było super, prawda?"  

An attendant at the New York Philharmonic concert (who wants to be anonymous) says
that Blechacz's Chopin piano concerto No.2 was the greatest.

The NY phil concert program is a suite of three folk (regional) music according to Alsop.

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

Conductor is Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.



After Bartók's colorful, animated and large sound reverberated in Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall full of NY Phil’s fans,
Chopin’s lyrical concerto No. 2 started.

The air changed suddenly.
The piano sound produced by Blechacz was pure, clear and profound (and perfectly accurate.)

The pianist had good communications with the conductor.
He had a freedom of playing on his way.
The entire audience was absorbed by the beauty of his piano.

When Blechacz ended the piano part in the final movement, people started applauding before orchestra finishing the movement.

Big applause and standing ovation. Voices of bravo echoed.

Blechacz bowed returning a big smile to the excited audience and praised the orchestra.
He joined hands with Alsop to thank the audience.

The audience of NY are fair and straightforwardly reward to the performer by demonstrating their joy
if and when the performance is really fulfilling.

Today's audience loved Blechacz's piano very much.


@ Gdańsk, Poland in Nov.2005 (NOT New York)

The same program is scheduled on Oct.11.
Examples of Ads,
New York Times
Broadway Calender (story second from the top)
Entertainment Link
New York City.com
More information about concerto with New York Phil

Oct 7, 2008

Polish Radio reports Blechacz NY debut

Polish Radio's English page has reported that Rafał Blechacz made a debut in New York on Oct.4.
Link to Polish Radio (English)


Photo of Vienna concert last year (NOT New York)

Oct 6, 2008

Blechacz's NY debut recital rejoiced audience

On Oct.4, Rafał Blechacz made a debut in New York at Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of NY Metropolitan Musium of Art

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

Now I am expecting reviews to come out.
Before that, I have a fan (who wants to be anonymous) informing me of her impression by attending the recital.
She says there were a few perons who look like Japanese in the audience.

Her impression:

Rafał appeared on the stage with a brilliant smile.
He looked very happy and played Mozart happily.
After Mozart, I looked around and saw many people smiling.
Rafał gave them happiness!

The audience in NY looked difficult to deal with.
Many are middle-aged or over.
They are used to music and arts; they are not naive; rather very demanding.
But the ice was broken.
Debussy was narrative and invoked the first “bravo” of the night.
Szymanowski was terrific.
Chopin was superb.



The gentleman left to me grasped his wife’s hand when listening to Chopin.
They shared a blessed and peaceful time.

The gentlemen on my right had an imposing atmosphere; he was hanging his head, closing eyes.
As Rafał ending Chopin, he was one of those who immediately stood up and cried bravo.

In front, an elderly lady was swinging to Rafał’s piano.
Her husband was leaning forward, staring fixedly into Rafał’s performance.

All the people in the hall were concentrated.
They demonstrated their joy by standing, applauding, shouting and whistling.

Encores: Moszkowski etincelles, Chopin Waltz op64-2, putting people under a spell.

Blechacz is going to play Chopin concerto No.2 with NY Phil on Oct.7 and 11. here

Examples of Ads,
New York Times
Broadway Calender (story second from the top)
Entertainment Link
New York City.com

Broadway.com

More information about concerto with New York Phil

Oct 5, 2008

Blechacz talks about sonatas in interview (Video)

The German site myclassicworld.com has posted an interview with Rafał Blechacz in line with the release of the new CD.
The interviewer is Axel Brueggemann, the commentator who had asked Rafał to play the paper-made piano.
(Please look at the story of paper piano here.)

Interview with myclassicworld.com

In a separate video clip, Axel Brueggemann highly praises Blechacz's new CD and appreciates for Blechacz's approach of playing the works symphonically based on the composers's attribute as heavily involved in orchestral and opera music.
Brueggemann's evaluation of the sonatas is even higher than that of Chopin's Preludes on which he said that it was not yet perfect but he was looking forward to the future releases.





The video and relevant information were contributed by my German friend Johanna.
Thank you Johanna.
I am pleased to be able to expand the coverage of info about Rafał Blechacz by getting supports from fans in different countries,
because the purpose of this site is to support Blechacz by providing the relevant information
so that more people in the world are aware of the excellence of his music.
(It is a pitty that the new CD is not yet available in her country!)

Blechacz new CD got Gold first morning (Poland)

Rafał Blechacz's new CD "sonatas-haydn, mozart, beethoven" attained the level of Gold status in sales
in the morning of its pre-release in his native country Poland according to Gazeta pl. Bydgoszcz.

Gazeta pl. Bydgoszcz is here (English, machine-translated).
Polish original is here.

After briefly Introducing the new CD, including Blehcacz’s relations with these pieces for competitions in Bydgoszcz and Hamamatsu,
the article says that the new CD sold over five thousand copies in Empik (major music store chain in Poland)
in the morning yesterday (the article is dated Oct.3),
thus already attaining the level of Gold disk, although the new CD is not yet available in some cities of Poland.

The article says that Blechacz will record two Chopin’s concertos in line with 2010 Chopin year, followed by (maybe) two solo piano discs after that.

In Poland, Blechacz’s concert will not take place until March next year (concerto with Warsaw Phil),
but in 2010, there will be more concerts scheduled in his native country.




This is a review on the CD by Arkadiusz JĘDRASIK published by Nasz Dziennik.

Original Polish version is here.

The review is meticulously written and I cannot summarize it.
It says that there is a "rumor" about another three CD to be recorded (two solo piano and one concerto)
after the planned third CD Chopin concertos.

(Acknowledgment: these articles were found by Dana, a Polish fan. Thank you, as always.
Actually, the new CD is not yet available in her town as of Oct.4!!)


Oct 4, 2008

Blechacz plays Mozart, Beethoven (Promo Video)

Onet.pl (Poland) has made available Rafał Blechacz's video (excerpt) playing Mozart sonata k311 2nd movement and Beethoven sonata No.2 Scherzo.
They are shot for the promo video of Deutsche Grammophon.

Mozart sonata k 311 2nd movement

Beethoven sonata op2 No.2 Scherzo
The same video from YouTube

Beethoven Scherzo is available also from this German site: myclassiworld.com

On the same page, you will find links to DG promo video, Chopin Preludes op28 No.14 and No.15 as well as DG "making" video.

And this Video is a full-fledged version and goes into details that are not included in the DG Promo Video. ←interesting!! 

Mozart sonata's 2nd movement is really touching and calming.
In his linernotes of the new CD "sonatas", Blehcacz writes as follows;

I feel that the middle movement is often the "heart" of a work.
It is the place where the composer, as well as the performer, takes the opportunity to reveal in sound everything lurking in the deepest reaches of his soul.
He is free to articulate everything while still leaving it nameless.


Watching the video, I felt he is really doing it.



On Oct.5, Canadian Radio station CBC Radio 2 will broadcast Rafał Blechacz' recital that the pianist gave on May 4 this year at Chan Centre of University of BC, Vancouver, Canada.

Sunday Oct.5 at 13:00 (local time).
Please click "Listen Live" and a media player window will open, then click your time zone.

The media player window has four time zones.
By clicking the later time zone, you can listen to the program that has already finished in your time zone.


Mozart sonata k311
Debussy Estampes
Szymanowski Variations
Chopin Preludes op28

I had the luck to attend this recital.
Amazing concert!
A storm of applause and shouts of admiration are still vivid in my heart.
----------
About the Polish radio program on Sept.28, where three critics had conversation about Rafał Blechacz's new CD after listening to the recorded phone-based interview with Blechacz about his thoughts on the CD,
there was an interesting moment.
(I do not understand Polsh, but this was told by my Polish friend Dana.)

One critic says; "Schiff plays Beethoven's sonata more in Beethoven style than Rafał,
wheras Rafał, trying to emphasize the fact that Beethoven dedicated his sonata to Haydon, plays it in Haydn like style."
"If Haydn could hear it now, he would be very satisfied and both Haydn and
Beethoven would praise ....(three critics shout in tutti)
...Rafał Blechacz!."

Oct 2, 2008

Blechacz Salzburg recital available on BBC podcast

BBC site iPlayer has made available the program of BBC Radio3 on Sept.30.

You can hear parts of Rafał Blechacz Recital at Salzburg Festival on Aug.15
(Chopin Piano Sonata No.3 and the second encore: Chopin Waltz op64-2)

following the concert by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,
conducted by new Music Director Andris Nelsons earlier Sept.

BBC site is here.
Please click "Listen" and a new window will open to start the program.
Blechacz's performance starts at about 1:45 of the time scale.

The service is available for a week.



About Blechacz's new CD sonatas, I obtained three versions: Japanese, U.S. and European (international) editions.
I was surprised that all the editions except for the Japanese edition contain the note written by Blechacz.
I strongly believe that the Japanese edition also should have had the note written by the artist himself; Japanese fans deserve it.
It is a huge difference...

Oct 1, 2008

Blechacz interviewed by Polsh media (1)(many)

Before the release of his new CD "sonatas--haydn, mozart, beethoven" in Europe,
Rafał Blechacz gave interviews to several Polish media.

These are the links of the interviews.

Interaktywna Polska (English, machine-translated).

Interaktywna (Polish).


Wprost 24 (English, machine-translated).

Wprost 24 (Polish).


Rzeczpospolita (English, machine-translated).

Rzeczpospolita (Polish).

Machine translated English is not bad. Please be careful sometimes personal pronouns are mixed up.
It often happens that "he" in the interview means "you" or "I".

Some comments drew my attention.
In his interview with Jacek Marczynski in Rzeczpospolita (Republic),
Blechacz suggests decreasing the number of concerts in the near future (currently he tries to limit it up to 40 a year)
in order to set aside time to study philosophy and history of art.

Currently, he gets individual lessons for the study, meeting professors and getting lectures.
(For phenomenology, for example, he reads Roman Ingarden’s text.)
But he does not exclude the possibility to attend a university.

He mentioned the importance of getting advice from great musicians.
For example, he met with Pollini in Salzburg and he repeated his appreciation to Zimerman for giving him a lot of supports and advice.
But he also feels that situation has changed since 30 years ago; the role of media, for example, is different.
Blechacz says sometimes he reads reviews on the net and says he cannot be totally isolated.

About the recording of the new CD, Blechacz appreciates Deutsche Grammophon
for giving him sufficient time to do some experiment and ensure the atmosphere that is similar to the stage.
He did not have to "rush" and was able to work comfortably.
He also thanks for allocating the same DG team as last year’s Preludes.
He has had some talks with DG about future plan of recordings after the third CD (Chopin’s two concertos that will be recorded in the summer next year.)




In his interview with ""Nasz Dziennik" in Interaktywna Polska,
Blechacz says that he may be working on Szymanowski's Metopes op29 in the future,
suggesting the possibility to record some of the Szymanowski's pieces with a work of other impressionists such as Debussy in the future.
But it is still an idea and he says he cannot say anything specific.

Blechacz says that among young pianists of the same generation, he admires Yundi Li,
saying that Yundi is quite natural and his approach of playin music is consistent with his personality.

Blechacz is excited about his debut in New York for both the solo recital and the collaboration with the great orchestra.
He says it would be great if he could perform in Carnegie Hall next time, but he says he would like to explore the American market gradually, 'cause it is a very specific market.

(Recently, I read another Polish article where the author said
that NY Phil offered Blechacz an opportunity to play Quintet in F Minor of Brahms, but he did not show interest.)

In addition to Szymanowski, he suggested some Polish composers for the future plan.
In terms of works that he is working on for the near future, he listed such works as impressionists, Bach's suites, Chopin's sonata No.2, some mazurkas as well as Beethoven concerto No.4.
He says that recording all the mazurkas is his dream.