From "Excellent CDs of Classical Music – Volume for Musicians”,
Takeshi Nakano's thoughts on Rafał Blechacz's recordings.
Born in 1931. Graduated from Law School, University of Tokyo.
Former representative director of Kenwood Corporation.
Music producer. Author of many books, writings of music.
You might feel I’m prejudiced if I say that the two international competitions – Chopin and Tchaikovsky lost former authority after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, although there had been signs of that four years before during the Perestroika.
Holding a music competition requires money. During the cold war period, governments extended financial aid to keep national prestige but once the east-west confrontation ended governmental supports were drastically reduced. It’s a strange phenomenon but real.
It was companies in the private sector which supplemented the financial shortage-- companies such as manufacturers of audio equipment and music instruments. We’ve heard dark rumors since then although we don’t know the truth of them. If you look at the world of piano, we see much less number of advents of star-caliber pianists equivalent to the class of Argerich and Pollini. Therefore, it was not easy for me to add new excellent pianists for this book. I couldn’t come up with a player of “bright future” from the generation after Zimerman.
Then came a recommendation from Koho Uno - sensei (sensei=teacher, professor).
“Blechacz must be included in the book!” as well as Fazil Say.
“Haydn played by Fazil Say is good. As for Blechacz, his Mozart k.311 is exceptionally outstanding.”
Rafał Blechacz is the winner of Chopin Competition who appeared in Poland for the first time in 30 years since Zimerman.
With his acute insight, Uno-sensei is one of the few prominent critics in the world who have successfuly discovered many new talents.
If Uno-sensei recommends Blechacz, Blechacz should be excellent.
Then I received a set of demo CDs sent to me but I passed them on to Mr.Fukushima without listening to them.
Instead I purchased all the CDs by Blechacz available at music store and shortly I found it was a right decision.
I was very happy to be able to own my Blechacz's CDs.
Argerich and Pollini were pianists who changed the history of piano playing.
Pieces of Liszt and Prokofiev played by Argerich and Chopin’s etudes, famous recording and Boulez’s second sonata played by Pollini were epoch-making recordings which transformed the standard of technique for playing piano in modern period.
The shocking memory of hearing Argerich and Pollini suddenly revived when I listened to Blechacz’s CD containing sonatas by three Vienna classical composers.
Blechacz's finger attack is strong but never offending to ears.
I believe that his finger tips always capture the core of each key with the ideal intensity.
He does so not to show off his technique or beautiful sounds but to accurately narrate musical messages by Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart which were imprinted on scores with his own languages – by the pianist’s words.
As far as I know, Chopin's Preludes played by Blechacz is the most excellent performance since those by Cortot. He plays these pieces with different pianism from playing the Vienna classical composers with nuanced touch of the Romantic school's music.
His playing Chopin Piano Concertos is also superb.
We've got an awesome and formidable pianist appearing in front of us.
(Note: Blue colored words are the words that Mr.Nakano underlined in the book.)
Mr.Nakano's evaluations: ★★★★★
"sonatas-haydn, mozart, beethoven: performance★★★★★ recording★★★★★
Chopin "Complete Preludes": performance★★★★★ recording★★★★★
Chopin "The Piano Concertos": performance★★★★★ recording★★★★★