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Dec 8, 2009

Blechacz interviewed on his car (spring, 2006)

Rafał Blechacz interviewed about his car @ a dealer shop in Bydgoszcz in spring, 2006.

I found this Polish article early last year.
It is unique in that main questions are about the car and on-board audio system.

Please be aware that the interview took place more than two and half years ago.
Some of the contents are outdated.

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Completely dedicated to music - interview with Rafał Blechacz

interviewed by Krzysztof Golec (Gazeta Pomorska, AutoFlesz)

Rafał Blechacz, winner XV International Chopin Competition, is a brilliant pianist without doubt.
Studies on III years at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz,
as well as concerts and tours led the winner to make the decision to purchase the first car of his own.
Recently, the pianist picked up the latest Toyota Avensis in a show room in Bydgoszcz.
On this ocasion, the talented artist was asked for an interview.



Q: Why do you chose Toyota from among many brands in the Polish market?

A: Contrary to appearance, it is a difficult question to answer.
I do not know the automobile well.
I knew, however, that a Toyota car is enjoyable, reliable and safe
(Note. - the maximum amount of 5 stars in crash-test Euro NCAP, the highest points gained).

Q: In December last year, you released a CD from Accord.
Someone says it looks like Honda...

A: Indeed, but it was absolutely nothing to do with the Honda Accord.

Q: Did you have any experience with other brands?

A: Yes, but it has been only two years since I obtained the driving lisence.
So far, I have driven with dad Renault for a few years, which, although operaing correctly, did not meet my expectations during the concert trail.

Q: I know that in your case, the argument of higher diesel prices does not play a greater role.
Why, therefore, did you choose Gasoline 2.0 VVT-i and a combo version?

A: I took the decision jointly with dad, who has s a much richer experience in this field.
I know, however, the one that we used in Poland is not the highest quality and can cause problems, especially in winter.
Driving the latest Avensis for a short time, I can already say that it was a felicitous choice.

For tours, I bring scores and a lot of baggage, so the choice of the large luggage compartment version seems to be obvious.

Q: Please therefore assess the latest Toyota from the viewpoint of a customer in Bydgoszcz shop.

A: Actually I'm positively surprised by this car.
It drives smooth and pleasantly, and it is quite quiet in the middle.
For me, however, another important factors are, good handling in the cabin, large trunk and accessories, and audio.
The Avensis in this show room meet all these characteristics.
If I have already indicated to weaknesses, they relate only to the rear blinds, because it is related to irritating sounds.



Q: Let's talk about music and, therefore, car-audio systems.
Which audio system do you consider most important?

A: Some emphasize the amplifier, others speaker, still others believe that each of the elements of the audio should be good.
I would accept the opinion emphasizing sophisticated speakers.

If I answer the previous question, evaluating the audio system of Avensis,iIt's really very good
(Note: - based on the 4-channel amplifier, 40 wat with DSP digital signal transducer Panasonic)
and fully meets my requirements for the reproduction of sound in the car.
What I knew from Toyota dealer was that the system was specially designed for Toyota,
in order to achieve a sophisticated sound at the concert hall.

Q: The technology-car audio also highlights the importance of connecting cables made from oxygen-free copper cable.
I'm always interested in making the question to outstanding pianists - whether or not he can distinguish the differences in sound quality transmitted by various audio cables.
Can you hear?

A: Yes. If I can hear, it means that the high value of the element in acoustic link is not inappropriately accentuated.
(←sorry, I don't understand this part.
The original Polish is "Jeśli ja to słyszę, to znaczy, że wysoka cena za ten element ogniwa akustycznego nie jest bezpodstawnie akcentowana.")
It is like the piano, from among many similar performances, I can hear differences.

Q: I know that you have absolute hearing from God and unprecedented ability to distinguish sounds.
Typically, a man hears in terms of frequency of 40 Hz - 15 kHz. What about you, Rafal Blechacz?

A: I have absolute congenital hearing and hear all the piano keys.
I never studied my hearing for infrasoud and ultrasound ranges
(Note:- the lowest and highest frequency),
but probably I can hear sounds at frequencies from 12 Hz - 18 kHz.

Q: It is almost like bats hearing in the lower range from 1 Hz.
Now, for automotive industry, please evaluate the Avensis according to the proposed scale of 1-6:
design, engine and gearbox, equipment and guarantee security and audio equipment.

A: Do not ask me such questions, but I will try to respond as briefly as possible.

Design - I like it very much: 6; engine - quiet and dynamic: 6,
equipment and guarantee - complete: 6, security - of 5 stars: 6,
comfort - as in an airplane: 6, car-audio - almost concert hall: 6

Q: It's a very high assessment.
O.K., another questions. What music is the winner of the Chopin competition interested in?

A: Serious music fulfills me.
I do not have favorite bands, however, sometimes I like to listen to songs performed by Garou.
My mom loves Rod Stewart, and so I tolerate it.
Significantly, however, I do not listen to heavy metal bands, the music is too loud for me.

In preparation for the Chopin Competition, I ran a lot in order to improve the health condition.
However, I 'll never practice to achieve as a sport.

Q: Which piano do you play in concerts?

A: Mostly Steinway and Yamaha.
At home, I practice with Yamaha model C3.
Shortly, I will be able to have Steinway that I dreamed of, funded by PKN ORLEN; this will be a model B.

Q: Apparently Jacek Kortus, the youngest finalist of the Chopin competition, lost the grand piano. You took an unprecedented gesture to give Yamaha, the prize for the winner to this talented pianist ...

A: Yes, that's correct.

Q: What is most important for you in life?

A: Appreciate the sincerity and naturalness.
I met so far many sympathetic people who helped me in achieving success.
I owe a great deal to parents.
Apparently I have the talent and luck to good teachers.
The first were the parents and Professor Jacek Polanski,
now Mrs. Professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń from the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz.

I appreciate valuable comments by the undisputed authorities.
One of them is Krystian Zimerman.
After the Chopin Competition, I got a fax from him to show his original message: "From now on your life, like me 30 years ago, will be divided into before and after the competition."

Q: Which places are you going to perform in?

A: I will not hide, completely dedicated to music.
Chopin is the inspiration for me to continue working.

I am leaving on a scheduled concerts soon to Moscow, a little later to Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya). Some discussions are ongoing of concert dates in Canada and Switzerland.

Q: Thank you for the interview.

original interview (Polish)

↑If this link does not connect, you can see this Polish blog to get Polish text.


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For me, the most interesting part was about the frequency range that Blechacz hears. (←astonished)

Some language experts argue that the skill in learning non-native languages is related to the frequency scope that you can hear.
(Parts of frequency range of spoken language is unique to each of the different languages.)
If Blechacz has a wider audible range, it could mean that he is also talented for acquiring non-native languages.

Also, what amused me a lot was the part: "My mom loves Rod Stewart, and so I tolerate it".

When I was a university student, I remember Rod Stewart toured in Japan.
I liked him (not an enthusiast) but he was so popular that I could not obtain his concert ticket in Tokyo,
so I went to Nagoya.
(From Tokyo to Nagoya, it is about 100 minutes with the Shinkansen super express train,
but the poor student could not afford it and took a local train, taking 10 hours!
In the silliness of my tender years...)

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