Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Feb 7, 2009

Authentic/orthodox Beethoven nuanced by Blechacz

Spring has come to Fukuoka, southwest city of Japan.
Today, it was warm and the wind was gentle.
Perfect stage set for Rafał Blechacz’s first performance of Beethoven piano concerto No.4.

I attended the concert of Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra at Acros Fukuoka (Fukuoka Symphony Hall), Fukuoka city,
which included the concerto by Blechacz.

As Blechacz said in the interview, this music has an atmosphere of the spring.
In the 1st movement, with the gentle introductory piano, the following orchestra sound reminded me of Beethoven’s Symphony No.6 “Pastoral Symphony”.
A calm and peaceful field appeared in my mind.
Janowski let the orchestra reverberate solemnly in the hall of good acoustics.
So was the sound by the soloist.
My impression was that Blechacz's performance can be described as authentic Beethoven music.
Sound, nuance and even the way he plays seemed to be Beethovenian.

At the same time, it is the authentic Blechacz way & sound.
Crystal-clear, deep and noble.
It was especially outstanding in the dialogue with the orchestra in the 2nd movement.
He related to the audience the story in a calming manner, which no one else can emulate.
And…..the cadenzas were great. Really great.
No doubt they will remain deep in my soul.

I noticed the good communication between the soloist and the orchestra as well as the maestro.
The orchestra was quite supportive of the soloist.
I cannot forget the honest face of the second violin leader who kept eye-contact with the concert master
and “emitted” energy to the soloist.

Blechacz's first performance of Beethoven No.4 was a comfortable success.
The audience powerfully applauded and Blechacz calmed them with two encores:
Chopin Prelude op28-4 and Mazurka op56-2.
Thank you very much, Rafał Blechacz.

After the concerto, I met Ms. Wiewiórka (Japanese fan, piano teacher).
She said this concerto is very difficult to play but Blechacz was unbelievably perfect.
She was deeply moved. So was I.

Her comments:
“I was seated on the balcony looking out over the entire hall.
Every seat was filled.
Blechacz’s performance was absolutely the first-rate Beethoven – thoroughly cultivated and sophisticated.
Every individual note including in the fast runs and pianissimo was clearly heard to all the corners of the big hall.
The thick and dynamic sounds were those unique to Beethoven.
All the sounds constituted the significance of music.

What a skill!
It is the performance by a great master.
I’m struggling to connect the lofty sounds that I heard to Rafał’s lovely face.
Reflecting on, I believe that it was the most admirable and impressive Beethoven’s concerto No.4 that I have heard in my life.

Before, Argerich* said that this concerto is too valuable for her to play.
I suppose this is a work which would be very difficult even for her in every aspect”.
(* Note: She likes Argerich and has observed Argerich's activities for long years.)

And let me add that the orchestra was also great, and
I like the tempo directed by Janowski at reratively fast passages.
I thought so from the beginning of the concert when Schubert "the Unfinished" was played.

I saw several fans from Tokyo, Yokohama, other cities of Japan and US attending the concert.

Before the concert began, I was able to meet a family, fans from the US.
After the concerto, I met a fan from Okayama (located between Fukuoka and Osaka) for the first time
whom I came to know through this blog.

Talking of Okayama, Ms. Wiewiórka happened to be in the same train with another fan from Okayama
when she visited Dazaifu shrine before the concert, where she obtained "Omamori" the good-luck charm for learning.
The fan was a passing stranger but said,"I am a fan of Blechacz. I came from Okayama to attend his concert."

I also had contacts with my old friends living in Fukuoka/Nagasaki.

These encounters/reunions were made possible solely by Rafał Blechacz's piano.
Rafał magic.

See the photo of rehearsal (taken by a member of Berlin Radio Symphony)

↑ I was asked how the pretty violinist describes Blechacz in her blog.
She describes her impression of Blechacz during the rehearsal in Fukuoka.
She says:
"What happens when he touches piano?
As he touches the keys, he immediately inspires and affects the listeners profoundly.
He has an awful talent.
I definitely will follow his path from now on."

Another fan's sisters' comments:
She brought her two sisters to the hall of Fukuoka.
The three sisters love music very much.

One of them said,
"You cannot see such a great pianist easily in life;
Blechacz-san has the sophisticated piano sound and noble personality."
Another sister says,
"I have NEVER heard such a beautiful piano music.
Blechacz-san is graceful. And he has BEAUTIFUL hands!"
(Blechacz-san = Mr.Blechacz)

I maintain Japanese blog and occasionally update it.
Yesterday, I wrote about my impression of Fukuoka concert
and the number of accesses per day to the site tripled than usual. (Feb.7)
It is the evidence that many people in Japan are keenly interested in or impressed by
Blechacz's concert/recitals in 2009 Japan tour.

↑ The number of accesses to the Japanese site was fourfold than usual. (on Feb.8)

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