Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Oct 6, 2009

Back to pure music - Blechacz (review in Germany)

A program of Polish Radio 2 on Oct.5 aired an interview with Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń,
Prof. of Feliks Nowowiejski Music Academy, Bydgoszcz.
My friend Dana listened to the program and sent me what the professor talked about Rafał Blechacz.
Let me thank Dana for such an interesting input.

"... Working with Rafał was a pure pleasure, there was no problems, which we professors usually have with extremely talented pupils. He understood immediately all my remarks, and introduced them at once into his play, while other students need usually three months. Our lesson was always at the top level, it was a big inspiration for me. I had to make him follow me, I was finally the professor.

I was really lucky to meet him on my way, that he was given to me and not to others.

Now, I have no contact with him, as Rafał is really working very hard. All his performances are deeply analyzed. I hope he will always be at the top level of his possibilities. His interpretations of Chopin concertos are beautiful. We talked about them when Rafał was signing his contract with Deutsche Grammophon. I was very happy that he chose J.Semkow for the conductor.
Chopin’s music does not only about virtuosity, the search for being original, it needs to be played in a natural way".

Brief preview of Rafał Blechacz's new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos"
posted on the site of Mainpost on Sept.27,
a newspaper based in Würzburg, the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany.

Rafał Blechacz: Chopin, Piano Concertos (Deutsche Grammophon). A young Polish pianist plays the piano concertos of a Polish young composer at that time: a mere 19 or 20 years old was Frédéric Chopin, when he wrote concertos in e-and f-Moll.

Blechacz likes to go to work with difficult hands, creates drama, loves rich colors. That matches the scale of the symphonic compositions. Lightning-fast runs, whether staccato or legato, flow from the fingers of the 24-year-old who already belongs to the elite of European pianists.

There are slight gaps in the slow movements. It acts as if it could - or would – let the vigorous young man not really into the sinking mood. Also the deftly pianissimo helps across the second movement of the F minor Concerto, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Jerzy Semkow is not away.

On 27 June 2010 Rafał Blechacz will perform the F minor Concerto at the "Kissinger Sommer” (The summer Festival in Bad Kissinger). as of Sept. 27 posted a preview of Blechacz's recital in Hamburg on Oct.6
(or rather, it describes beautifully Blechacz as a pianist.)

From the silence of the Pomeranian forests

by Ilja Stephan

The pianist Rafał Blechacz, grown up in a small Polish town, is on the verge of world-class career. Now, he is playing in Hamburg - above all works of Chopin

What public relations specialists in the non-classical music industry have come up with to make pianist-stars interesting: Hélène Grimaud has petted wolves, Martin Stadtfeld received a Glenn Gould missed Image and Yundi Li was staged as a pop star of classical music. As for the young Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, who comes on 6 October in the Laeiszhalle, the motto is now apparent: Back to the pure music.

Blechacz plays fantastically piano and confidently won the Chopin Competition 2005. There is much more sensational about him not to report. Everything else needs to be heard. Blechacz was born in 1985 in the Polish Nakło. He grew up in the town of 20 000 inhabitants and still lives in its vicinity. For the study, he went to the nearest large city of Bydgoszcz (Bromberg). Until his victory at the Chopin Competition four years ago, the Kuyavian Pomeranian District was Blechacz’s world.

"I need the silence and solitude of my hometown," says the pianist of himself, "Perhaps it is even easier for the beginning of a career to live in a small town. Naklo has an ideal atmosphere for the creative work." From the money he earns today, he has bought himself a house. In a village that is still smaller than his beloved Nakło, "because you can practice there completely in peace."

The question naturally arises, how a young person can collect in such a seclusion experience and receive impulses that are necessary to mature artistry. Blechacz provides simple answer: "I had very good teachers" Bydgoszcz (Bromberg) is after all a Polish Music Center, and his teacher, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń took part exactly 30 years before him in the Chopin Competition, "Her experience has helped me tremendously. It was she who taught to me the music of the impressionists and their sensitivity to sound nuances has opened up for me. "

A great classic magazine quoted Blechacz as saying "I'm taking quite naïve approach." And music critics like to resort to terms like "naturalness" and "ease" to describe his playing. However even though his biography would suggest it, the description hardly applies to Blechacz as nature-lad at the piano.

Certainly he has Chopin in the blood. The Pole modeled each phrase so rhythmically supple and the sound so subtle that one inevitably has the feeling that it must sound as Chopin. For him emotions are the most important thing in music, says Blechacz. But he is anything but a sentimental lyric poet. At the most emotionally extreme moments, a structural clarity and ease remain in his playing; it is something that someone who has everything to say only owns, turning into an absolute casualness. (I’m not 100% clear about this sentence.)

It is not the charm of the naive, who speaks from Blechacz’s playing, but concentration. Indeed Blechacz is limited to 40 concerts per year. And his repertoire list is clear: Chopin, Bach, the Viennese classics, Debussy and more recently Szymanowski. Blechacz allows himself the luxury of a second study. At the venerable University of Kraków, he now drives philosophy.

Whether and how long Rafał Blechacz can sustain this life and working style in the big classic circus is another matter. If he succeeds, he would be a welcome alternative to the type of Chinese jet-set pianist.

* Concert of pianist Rafał Blechacz with works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frédéric Chopin and Johann Sebastian Bach on 6 Of October at 19.30 clock in Laeiszhalle.

Another preview by as of Oct.6 on Blechacz's recital in Hamburg.

Rafał Blechacz in the Laeiszhalle
By Ulrike Mau 6th October 2009, 04:00 Clock

Since his victory at the Chopin Competition 2005 in Warsaw, the 24-year-old pianist Rafał Blechacz is on par with such great masters as Martha Argerich, Mauricio Pollini, Krystian Zimerman, his compatriot who won the prestigious prize in 1975 as the first Pole. Today (19.30 clock) Blechacz will appear in the series "The Master Pianist" in the Great Hall of the Laeiszhalle; the program includes works by Bach, Mozart, Szymanowski and Chopin.

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