Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

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Mar 6, 2009

Blechacz debut recital at Cologne Philharmonic

Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, the Cologne daily newspaper posted the introduction of Rafał Blechacz on its web site
written by Dorle Ellmer
as Blechacz will give a recital in Cologne on March 15.


Authentic and unpretentious

Rafał Blechacz gives his first recital in the Cologne Philharmonic.

With no pretentious, triumphal attitude nor disordered hair
-this pianist is nothing but his primary virtue of pianism.

Flawless technique and absolute precision are Rafał Blechacz coupled with an impressive art of attack,
with the will and the ability to reach the heart of the composition, and with great joy of expression.

At the age of 20, the young Polish pianist won the prestigious Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2005.
The jury was so overwhelmed by his playing that they were unable to award a second prize,
the qualitative gap with the other award winners being too great.

Famous predecessors such as Maurizio Pollini and Martha Argerich once went out as winners from this competition,
and Krystian Zimerman was exactly 30 years before Rafal Blechacz to convince the jury.

The two have much in common, not only that they are fellow countrymen,
they are equipped with the same seriousness of the matter in playing music rather than putting themselves in the center.

Krystian Zimerman stood behind his young colleagues after the competition with advice and support
and has offered valuable tips for living in the reality of a soloist.
Rafał Blechacz already knew at the age of ten that he wanted to become a pianist,
but taking care of the world of agencies, festivals and concert promoters was the virgin territory for the 20-year-old.

An entire orchestra in my ear
Meanwhile, Rafał Blechacz has traveled a lot for the world-wide demand as a soloist with a record contract.

In 2007, he made his debut at the Philharmonie in Cologne with Chopin's 2nd Piano Concerto,
and his first CD from Deutsche Grammophon was devoted to Chopin.

Now he gives for the first time a solo recital in the cathedral city
and has a colorful mixed program in luggage from Bach to Szymanowski.

Chopin is also back. Rafał Blechacz apparently has a special sensor for the many nuances of this composer's expression.
It is impossible for him not to play the music of his countryman with his horizon.

As for his approach to the works of the Classical, Rafał Blechacz describes as follows:

"If I were in certain passages in the piano sonatas of the Classical works,
I always imagine the sound of other instruments.

During the study of Haydn, Beethoven or Mozart,
I have often tried to orchestrate in my mind the full or parts of it
to grasp the clarity of articulation, pedal use, color or sound sources.

After going through this process of imaginary orchestration, interpretational doubts were mostly eliminated. "

"Silence is very important for me."
Born and raised in the Polish town of Nakło and has felt well there until today,
the city did not even have a proper music school,
and he went to learn in the provincial city of Bydgoszcz.

"Berlin would be too restless for me. I want to stay in Nakło.
The atmosphere is just so good. I want to work in peace.
This peace is very important to me,"
says Rafał Blechacz and makes sure that no more than 45 concerts in the year to give.
He takes time for the preparation of new repertoire and goes after his hobby: hiking in the Tatras.

Marketing experts bite on the unpretentious young man completely from the teeth.

You could safely sit back and let the quality music run through,
and this promising young pianist captures the audience with his inimitable, humble smile on his way.

Dorle Ellmer

Original article is here (German).

Kolner Philharmonie page (German)



Program at Cologne Philharmonic
Johann Sebastian Bach
Konzert für Klavier F-Dur BWV 971 (1734)
"Italienisches Konzert"

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sonate für Klavier Nr. 17 B-Dur KV 570 (1789)

Karol Szymanowski
Variationen b-Moll op. 3 (1901-1903)

Frédéric Chopin
Ballade Nr. 3 As-Dur op. 47 (1841)

Frédéric Chopin
Mazurkas op. 17 (1833)

Frédéric Chopin
Polonaise-Fantaisie As-Dur op. 61 (1846)

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Deutsche Grammophon posted Blechacz's "Prelude" Op.28-4 in E minor
on its"Recommendation" page
in comparison with the same work done by Pogorelich, Pires, Argerich, Pollini.

saying that "Find here a selection of different recordings by highly acclaimed artists
and listen to the range of interpretations".

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