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Feb 4, 2009

Blechacz talks about Beethoven Concerto No.4

Interview with Takayoshi Josho, Japanese music journalist,
published in “Mostly Classical”, monthly music magazine, March 2009 edition.

Josho's interview is used for the concert pamphlet of 2009 Japan tour
(Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra).




Q: You respect your compatriot Krystian Zimerman very much.

A: His interpretations overlap with my personality to a great extent.
When listening to his performance, whether it is Beethoven or Chopin,
it always convinces me that it is a great music.
Everything is natural, which is quite important for me in life and music.

I visited him at his home in Switzerland after the Chopin Competition,
when he gave me precious advices in relation to my performance
and we were able to exchange views on life, music and various topics.

He fully understands how difficult it is for young pianist like me
to take a new start as a musician.
Therefore, he gave me important advices; he is really generous and nice.

Q: In Japan, you will play Beethoven’s piano concerto No.4
with Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra directed by Marek Janowski.

A: This concerto is one of my favorite among Beethoven’s piano concertos.
I feel grateful to have been able to spend sufficient time
to prepare for performing it in Japan.

This concerto contains a lot of feelings
and it is up to the performer to give a wide variety of colors to the music.

It is a little different from other Beethoven’s works
in that it is not so heroic as No.5 “Emperor”, for example.
It is full of relaxing atmosphere of the spring in the sparkling high register,
which is closer to the charm of the works in Beethoven's later days.

What attracts me most is the second movement.
The movement contains fragmentary dialogue between the solo piano and the orchestra,
giving the music the dramatic image.

Q: Following the first recording of Chopin from DG,
your second recording is sonatas of three Viennese classical composers.
It surprised me.
What drove you to select such classical works?

A: The classical school’s works have always occupied especially important position in my style.
I selected Chopin’s works for my first DG recording
because it was the first CD after the Chopin Competition.

But I had played works of Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven
as the core of my repertoire even before the Competition.
Therefore, I wanted to record them.

For me these works are quite helpful to perform Chopin's.
Chopin loved music by Mozart and was deeply versed in his operas.
Because of that, Chopin’s music, especially his concertos, have aspects fairly influenced by classical composers.

You have said that the selection surprised you,
but for me, the classical composers’ music is the basics.

Q: In Japan tour, you are going to perform Chopin’s works
as well as sonatas of classical composers.

A: Yes. I sincerely hope that the audience will grasp the commonality
between Chopin and classical composers.


Please see the report on Blechacz's performance of Chopin concerto No.1 in Berlin by the same journalist.
I guess that this interview was conducted on this occasion. (@ Berlin, December, 2008)

Another interview given by Blechacz on Beethoven concerto No.4 for the audience in Fukuoka, Japan.

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