Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


May 28, 2009

Zimerman's new CD of Bacewicz released July 2009

It's not about Rafał Blechacz.

Krystian Zimerman is now touring in Japan.
He'll be performing a total of 17 recitals from May 9 through to June 20.

[Program A]
J.S.Bach: Partita No.2 in C minor BWV826
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor Op.111
Brahms: 4 Piano Pieces, Op.119
Szymanowski: Variations on a Polish folk theme in B minor Op.10

[Program B]
J.S.Bach: Partita No.2 in C minor BWV826
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.32 in C minor Op.111
G.Bacewicz: Piano Sonata No.2
Szymanowski: Variations on a Polish folk theme in B minor Op.10

* Program B was just announced today (May 28).

Recital leaflet

I attended one at Tokyo Suntory Hall on May 18.
Overwhelmingly wide variety of colors of sounds and stunningly eloquent dynamics...!

The program book says that his new CD will be released on July 22 in Japan.
(I don't know about other countries.)
"Grazyna Bacewicz: Piano Sonata No.2 and Piano Quintets No.1 and 2)

In the booklet, Jiro Hamada, a music critic shows his joy of the recording.
He remembers his interview in 2006, when Hamada asked why Zimerman wasn't recording his solo repertoire in recent years.
(Many of his recordings had been live concertos with orchestras for the past years.)

Zimerman said;
"Today, CD creators get involved in the extreme perfectionism, killing spontaneousness,
irreplaceable surge of emotions, flash of joy that music naturally gives.
It doesn't make sense for the people to listen to".

Hamada thought there was a point. But he earnestly said to Zimerman;

"The number of people who have a luxury to come to your recital
to enjoy a once-in-lifetime experience is very limited.

Most of your fans listen to your music via recordings.
For them, it is even a psychological support in life..."

Zimerman finally said,
"I'll think about that."

Recording took place in February this year in Katowice,
according to Polish radio report on Zimerman's tour in Poland in Feb. (English)

Zimerman performed Lutosławski: "Piano Concerto for Krystian Zimerman"
with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Myung-Whun Chung four times in Tokyo in Nov. 2008.

In November this year, he will play Gershwin: "Rhapsody in Blue" with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
directed by Paavo Järvi in Tokyo, Yokohama, etc...

I was asked by my friend when Rafał Blechacz's new CD "Chopin concertos" is released.
I don't know yet but it will be recorded in July.
A Japanese music monthly reported in March that it will be released within this year (2009).

May 25, 2009

Blechacz - spirit & sensitivity (German review)

From my archive.
Review/impression on Blechacz's CD "sonatas" and "Preludes" + Salzburg recital (Aug.15, 2008)
posted on web version of Frankfuter Rundschau, a newspaper in Frankfurt am Main in November 2008.

Original article (German)

Pianist Blechacz

One could also mention the spirit  

He is small. Pale. Slim. Slender. Tender. Somehow fragile. You could overlook easily this young man, who hasn't had even too much for a man. He is also only 23. Actually, almost still a child, habitually. And as he stands so innocently there, a little embarrassed, you would like to pass out an icecream most dearly for him. In acoustically sensitive Mozarteum, he had his enthusiastic Salzburg debut with works by Bach, Liszt, Debussy and Chopin this year. That is already something, if you recall how big the competition in Salzburg was; even Krystian Zimerman, the Phantom, was heard with Beethoven and Polish modernism.

Zimerman: If one wants to pull a line quite carefully, he leads this exceptional pianist Rafał Blechacz. Both are from Poland, both tend to be lyric in their play rather than turbocharged with dramatc effect, and both won the most important international piano competition in early years, Chopin competition in Warsaw in 1975, when he was 19, Blechacz three years ago, with 20, still registered as a student of the music academy of Bydgoszcz (sic).

A man of sound-sensitivity

The significant fact was the sovereignty and lead with which he won. No debates, no scandal, the jury was unanimous: He can do everything better than the others. Never before one and the same pianist won all prizes. And never before was the industry so quick. Hardly had he returned from the victory (an astonishment, according to Blechacz, when the gold medal was presented), there was a contract on the table. Exclusive of course. And from the finest.

No question, then in the past year he brought the first CD: Chopin, the Préludes. And we covered the actions of this new star of heavenly tones,you could at least say: Damn, he is gifted. A sound-sensitive pianist before the Lord, equipped with a technical skill that opens all doors to him. But just then there was the small but subtle problem. Still, he had one or the other door closed. You hear it especially in the pieces that seem so easy and just requires the big designers in those Préludes So, where pianist brilliance is not enough to intrude into Chopin’s cosmos of idea (Ideenkosmos). To e-minor Prélude and approximately equal to the so-called rain-drops Prélude Blechacz was little, because we felt his interpretation naive.

However, romantic longing and sighing and delighting (or everything together) asked the Polish pianist to show his whole heart, so to speak. Since then, whether the agnostics or believers, the captives (of Blechacz) have been carried away into the world of idealistic dream landscapes.

He has rapidly developed, but not hastily. He has finished his studies at Jacek Polanski (sic). And not only the congratulation tour of the miracle boy completes, but at the same time at the right finishing repertoire. You may now breathe a sigh of relief already, when the young pianist is not encouraged by the noise, not intoxicated into Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninoff- floods descending to let off steam there and never appearing again, but Viennese Classicals of Haydn, Mozart and early Beethoven. And Bach. Blechacz loves Bach, you can tell it by listening to his performance. The plasticity, precise articulation and audibility also for Chopin, Liszt and Debussy, have their origin there.

A kind of anti-Lang Lang

You could call it also "spirit", and Blechacz as a kind of anti-Lang Lang designate. Lang Lang offers entertainment, which gives up interpretation; his eight bars for Mozart enough to be angry. With Blechacz, the same bars suffice in order to know: we know this is what Mozart wanted, and assigns his will only once before he becomes willful.

Blechacz formulated this will with accuracy, with sensitive phrasing, with a feel for the tonal refinements. But he never overcharges. Therefore, and because his nature is rather shy, his verbal acting rather deliberately, he will probably never be a guest of a talk show. But he probably doesn’t know what kind of luck that means.

What he knows is that he not only wants to play piano in the near future. In the coming year Rafał Blechacz will enlist at the university, for the subject of philosophy. And second album was dedicated to Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven. Worth listening.

Rafał Blechacz, Sonatas. Deutsche Grammophon / Universal

"A man of sensitivity" - original German of this is "Ein Klangsensualist".
It can be literally translated as "a sound-sensualist".
But "sensual" in English, in my impression, is too philosophical and I felt it at odds with my image of his Preludes.
So I used "sensitive" instead.
My choice of word could be wrong, because I'm not a native speaker.

Before, I saw "sensual" was used in two reviews at Blechacz's web site (already translated into English):
Kurier (Austria) for the recital at Vienna, Konzerthaus, Nov.2007
and De Volkskrant (the Netherlands) for the recital at Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Oct.2007.

May 26 is "Mother's Day in Poland. Happy Mother's day!!) 

US, Germany, Japan, etc..celebrate "Mother's Day" on the 2nd Sunday of May.

May 22, 2009

I'm realizing another dream - Blechacz interview (Poland)

Original YouTube screen You can see him by bigger screen

It sounds like he feels great.
Playing Bach: Prestos from Italian Concerto BWV971.

The title is:
Rafał Blechacz gra specjalnie dla czytelników "Gazety Pomorskiej"
(Rafał Blechacz plays specifically for the readers of "Gazeta Pomorska")

The video is from Interview with Gazeta Pomorska, posted on May 22, '09(Polish)

Outline:  Really interesting interview!    You can learn a lot!
Rafał Blechacz: Pursuing further dreams (video) 

Speaking with Adam Willma
May 22, 2009

-I started my doctoral studies on the philosophy at Nicolaus Copernicus University (UMK).

An interview with Rafał Blechacz, pianist, the winner of Chopin Competition in 2005.

Can you afford life without a mobile phone? 
 - Yes, although of course the phone is in the family.
The secretariat is engaged in Professional matters in Warsaw where all the offers come in.
Otherwise I would not be able to control everything.

Can you cut yourself from Internet?
 - It is just impossible, because exactly through the Internet, proposals of concerts, correspondence of recordings, etc. flow in from the agents, because the Internet is a working tool for me, I must therefore carry the computer with me throughout the world.

Do you read all the e-mails from you friends?
- I read. Moreover, not only e-mails, but a lot of traditional letters come. Many of them are addressed " Rafał Blechacz, Nakło nad Notecią". And they reach me.

There are several fan clubs for Rafał Blechacz. 
- Official club was founded just after the Chopin Competition, and has about a thousand (many?) people. It's very nice, because usually in every country where concerts are held, I can count on the permanent team of sympathizers.

How is your timetable?
- For this there is a problem, because I have to use a multi-year calendar. After 2005 above-mentioned competition, my agent in Japan provided me with such a 5-year calendar. This calendar is already full, so I needed a new one. At this time, the year 2012 is filled.

Don't you get tired of carefully clean-cut time? Is there shortage of time for getting a little bit crazy? - No, because I try to plan so they do not take the time for normal life - meeting with the family, education and preparation of new repertoire. There is also time for madness, but not everyone needs to know about it (laughs). I try to keep private and family life only for itself. It is very important to have a group of close people in which I don’t always have to stand on guard knowing that you are surrounded by cameras and inquisitive eyes. The first lesson I had just after the announcement of the verdict. The crowd pushed on us to such an extent that they had to intervene to protect us, my sister lost her glasses. We went from top to bottom with the lift, but every time they open the door cameras flashed (laughs). I think that today I manage to get the right balance. 

How was the way from pure art to show business that you have to go look like? 
- The most difficult time was after the competition. It was horrible to me that many people who suddenly surrounded me, talked only about business, not about the music. And just talk about music I missed the most. Instead, I had to investigate further the agreement. Offers were various, and there were plenty - including the role in the film and participation in ad. I had to learn who is trustworthy, and whom, it is better not to risk, what to do first and what is better to postpone for later. Now, I know, what are the mechanisms of these and I have more peace of mind in the planning. I found the right person who is engaged in organizing my work. Recently I was in Amsterdam for a very interesting meeting with managers from all 12 countries that have chosen after a competition, organized by Deutsche Grammophon. Usually I have contacts with these people mainly e-mail, and now, finally, there was the opportunity of personal encounter. The outcome was the outline of my next career plan as an artist, because it's important to skillfully combine concert and recording plans. It was the first time in thirty-year history of these agencies to have a meeting of this kind, during which all met in one place, to talk and find out more. At the very beginning Krystian Zimerman helped me, who gave me lots of detailed advice. To observe his case after the competition was important- so that I am able to play concerts, to maintain an adequate level not exceeding the limit unduly. I Came to the conclusion that a balance is going to keep at 40 concerts a year. Some artists are able to produce up to 100 concerts and more, but it means practically the whole year on the road. I do not want to feel that I need to play and do it mechanically. Fortunately it was not so, but sometimes your body turns on a warning lamp.

You manage to be immune to compliments?
- The words are naturally repeated, but you can not prevent people from talking about their feelings, always very nice to me. I am aware that for many Poles, my success had a patriotic dimension, especially the Poles living abroad are facing it in this way.

Higher educational institutions continue to educate a large number of classical musicians, while the number of recipients of music shrinks. Do young musicians come to you for advice? - Recently in London, a girl asked me for advice, who had a dilemma whether to choose studying music, or medicine. I did not have such a dilemma, always knew that playing the piano is what I want and what I did. If anyone has such a dilemma, it should be highly questionable if music is certainly an appropriate way. Intuition is extremely important - which Zimerman also stresses. I have a perfect reason - intuition is very important in music. When refining interpretation of music, it often relies on intuition. The best example is rubato, elusive tempo in works by Chopin - that can not be explained until the end. I just feel that this should be so and not otherwise.

Gold plate in a single day, platinum within two weeks ... And in the market you have to compete with recordings giants who do recordings all the time. At the same time when you record in the studio, Deutsche Grammophon, the studio of Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich and Krystian Zimerman.
- It is better not to think about it and concentrate solely on my own progress. Therefore, I didn’t listen to any other participants in the Chopin Competition. Of course, before the recording of "Preludes," Deutsche Grammophon browsed the catalog, because I did not want to record works that were recorded recently. It appeared, however, that comes before the previous record quarter, Ivo Pogorelić executed them. Many great artists crisscross across the world. With Krystian Zimerman I met recently in New York, where I played with the local Philharmonic - had come to my concert, it was earlier at a concert in Tokyo. Interestingly, when I played in New York, exactly at the same time began concert by Martha Argerich, who played Prokofiev. At the time of my show in Paris, Yundi Li played at the Salle Pleyel.

How do you maintain fitness? 
- I run less frequently now than before, but when I come home, I try to work out sports regularly. Recently Nordic walkingfascinates me. This helps a lot also in the concert tour, when I must play the same works twelve times. 

What books do you bring to the plane?
- I read several books on philosophy. I started with the doctoral studies in Philosophy at the UMK Toruń. Actually in the course I am very casual, but carefully read the entire set of literature and it makes me very much satisfied. In the booklet for the next CD there will probably be my conversation with the philosopher, Professor Władysław Stróżewski. These studies help me in the very essence of musical meaning. And while in the air I often sleep to take rest. Increasingly, moreover - if possible – I travel by car. I like driving, it relaxes me. Moreover, sometimes traveling by car is less longer than by plane, taking into account the time to check, delays and route from the airport. 

What do you listen in your car? 
- Preferably not my recordings (laughs), unless I get it from the label for acceptability

Do you often make amendments? 
- Yes, but only at the stage of recording. I listen to recordings several times at different times of day to catch all the details. After recording it is not likely to make changes. I believe that there is no sense to over-focus on nuance, consider whether the note played too softly, or as loud, because you may overlook the whole, lose the musical narrative. You have to listen to music, not just sounds. That's why I listen to good music in the car, where the natural noise lets me focus on music, not details. This is somewhat as if listening to music through black CDs (?). Sure, however - and sometimes even with a stopwatch - the length of breaks between songs. This was the disc of sonatas, between the first and the second parts of sonatas by Haydn. The first part ends in E flat major chord, the second begins in E major chord. It is surprising that Haydn decided on such a "harmonic dissonance'', but if you pause too long, the listener doesn’t hear the transfer of one half tone. If this is too short – the sound doesn’t extend, the listener is not prepared to change the mood. Fractions of a second often determine the quality. I should also note the way of recording. For example, Maurizio Pollini prefers a little more spacing of microphones - it gives the impression of being in the concert hall. I like the closer, because it provides the possibility of handling nuances of dynamics so-called “microdynamics”, which cannot be examined at the concert hall. There are various solutions - usually recording with six microphones, some of them standing about 8 meters away from the piano to "collect" natural reverberation. This is the great art to choose an appropriate proportion.

Krystian Zimerman takes his piano in route, you are passed to the various instruments. Can foreign pianos play tricks? - Grand pianos can be a surprise. Sometimes the old Steinway can sound more beautifully than a new instrument. It all depends who is caring for the instrument, and in what conditions it is stored, and if there are large differences in the room temperature, etc. I am of course committed to my Steinway, which was funded by Orlen, but my favorite piano during concert tour is the instrument at Royal Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam. Maintaining this marvelous instrument tuned, by a real magician. It is with this instrument that I will record a new album.

Also the audience in the Netherlands belong to your favorites. - Because it is unusual audience. Even in smaller cities interest in concerts is very high. People listen very carefully, and in absolute silence and spontaneous reaction. German audience is similar. Before I went for a concert in Germany, I was warned that the local audience is distant and cold, and that even if they like the concert, this will not be proved spontaneously. And here I was surprised: cheers, standing ovation, encores. Today, the German public is one of my favorites. I feel that people know the works which I play, listen with strong commitment and, as it turns out, are able to reward the performer.

You had the opportunity in the halls through which the great musical legends turned out. Are you aware of that? - Exciting and awareness every time a great joy. When you go back to these halls, they no longer seem so great but (laughs).

The double triumph in Paris could turn your head (get you conceited). - I remember so well, how work and self-deprivations you achieve may turn your success to succumb to temptations.
A musician whose head is turned by the success is already doomed to failure as an artist, because he stops seeing the future and problems that still must be overcome.

Does the global crisis impact you in terms of concert halls? - Fortunately, no, although everybody is talking about this.

In addition, the music industry worries about slow death of the CD as a carrier. Sales of music are increasingly shifting to the Internet.- It's true. When recording two CDs, I recorded short tracks that are only available on the Internet. This form of sale is already very popular in the United States, but it is surely only a matter of time of its dissemination in Europe.

Your music could be appreciated with even online pirates. - Many people said to me about it. But what shall I do? This is the world.
I'm more nervous about amateur recordings of concerts that appear on the Internet,
because the sound quality of these recordings is very poor.

Krystian Zimerman recently caused outrage in the United States, with his statements about the country's involvement in the war. Don’t you opt for commenting of real world?
- Krystian is 52 years old, I’m 23. For many pianists politics come to the floor, Zimerman is a courageous person who never hide his views. He has always called for peaceful resolution of conflicts, with the diplomatic way of resolving them. Two years ago, before the concert in Aachen Krystian turned toward the audience and said that instead of wasting money on armed conflict, it could be better to improve classroom acoustics, where the concert was held. I think that for the courage Krystian is recognized. I enjoyed the strength of the impact of his words, which in the concert hall via the media, spread to the whole world.

But you do not start from the view of the political message? - No, although sometimes it is hard to escape from politics.

Have you given up your own compositions
- Once I wrote a few piano pieces, and even a string trio. Today, I do not have the time to, or internal needs, and to do something against the state of mind does not make sense.

Is this state of mind ready to accept other than classical music? Some musicians allow to each other an affair with jazz.
- It's good that there are such experiments, because they attract people to the consequences of music. I do not have to if necessary. But for example, harmony of Gershwin is interesting for me and perhaps soon I will perform one of the composer's works for encores. Recently in Paris I had the opportunity to talk with Mark Tomaszewski of the famous duo Marek and Wacek. I heard a lot of interesting technical observations, improvisations.

New tours, new songs, new CD, which is a scenario for the next 20 years? - Ten years ago I said that if I can be in different places in the world for people to play the piano, I will be happy. I now carry out this scenario. If in 20 years I play for the audience, I hope that I will also be happy for that reason.

How is the preparation for new repertoire?
- I have the time in the intervals between a tour and another. I close it at home and work. Preferably in the evening or at night.

Do the family walk on their toes?
- Parents already feel without words when they leave me. I am glad that I have good conditions for further development and continuation of artistic creation.

What can we hear under your current window? Piano concertos by Chopin, which can be found on the third disc. Label helped me choose the orchestra and conductor with whom I want to collaborate on this recording. So I chose my favorite Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam This orchestra has a unique color and velvet sound, not harsh, not matt, just perfect for concertos of Chopin. Musicians have excellent sense of wavering rhythm in Chopin to feel without words, and very flexible to respond to the pianist. I hope that it will be beautiful adventure. Furthermore, the conductor will be Jerzy Semkow, with whom I always wanted to play. So I will realize another dream.

In the latter half of the interview, the interviewer refers to recent remarks by Zimerman in US.
Remarks by Zimerman in US in April 2009 (Los Angeles Times)
Remarks by Zimerman (Gazeta Wyborcza) (Polish) + Chopin Ballad No.1 performance ←super!

May 17, 2009

The most beautiful day in Paris -a fan of Rafał Blechacz

On May 14, 2009, Rafał Blechacz played piano concerto No.2 by Saint-Saëns at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
with L’Orchestre national de France directed by Fabien Gabel.

A fan from Poland attended the concert and expresses how she was impressed by the performance.

Concerto like a dream

"Paris is the town filled with the art since centuries. You feel it everywhere.
Parisians love music. This concerto was a proof of it.

The hall was almost full I saw only single free seat.
Rafał went on stage as usual smiling, bowed to audience, orchestra
and shook hands with the concertmaster who was blond woman of middle-aged.

The beautiful story was beginning from first note.
Rafał with orchestra took us away to magical world plenty of different feelings, world of Saint-Saëns.
They were together painting magnificent pictures full of harmony of colour and beauty.
You heard joy of play like a dialogue between Rafal and orchestra.

When I listen to Rafał's concerto I have feeling that he knows the whole score
not only for piano but for all instruments.

After the first movement some people were giving applause,
I think the novices who became music lover thanks to Rafał,
but stopped at once and a dead silence reigned as if all was still in music,
no coughs, coughing fits, conversations.

The second movement lively and funny.
Public was in high spirits, you can feel it but still in silence.

And the third movement very fast. The emotions grew in strengh.
After that, huge ovations and shouts "bravo".

The most moving person of this concerto was conductor Fabien Gabel.
He snuggled very warmly Rafał and embraced him.
he was really enchanted to make concerto with Rafał
and orchestra too, they gave ovation with bows.

Rafał was happy. His dream was realized, nobody coughed; there was silence. 
Concerto was so beautiful that all forgot about their physical body.

Two encores. The first Mazurka No.2 op.56 and then Preludium No.7 op.28.
When he played encores women violinists were smiling with the big admiration.
Rafał won their hearts, their faces were full of joy.

One woman gave Rafał a bunch of white roses.
It was the most beautiful day in my stay in Paris.
Thanks to Rafał and orchestra.
I am still there.
Thank you Rafał, thank you orchestra!
Best regards and love,
Dana "


Thank you Dana. It is one of the most beautiful "reviews" of Rafal's stage that I read in May.
She says she felt something surreal or dreamy as if she were in the world of paintings.
It tells what the true music delivers.
Genuine music lovers accept what strikes on their heart, honestly express it as it is
and expand the resulting happiness to many others.
I could see the stage where Fabien Gabel hugged Rafał while musicians warmly smiling.

Frédéric Chopin's grave,
Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris

May 15, 2009

Big success again in Paris - Rafał Blechacz

"Rafał had a big success in Paris' Théâtre des Champs-Élysées tonight playing Saint-Saëns' Concerto No. 2.
with L’Orchestre national de France under Fabien Gabel (in the first part of the evening).

The applause was overwhelming, and voices of "Bravo! Bravo!" were heard from all over the hall.
He had to come out to bow repeatedly and gave two encores.

The whole tour from London through the Netherlands and Spain to Paris was a big Rafał's success
and is an unquestionable evidence of his great talent and his eagerness to share a beauty of his playing".

↑ The news that I received from Mr.Roman Frackowski at 23:15 on May 14 (Paris local time).
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Roman for letting us know such a good news.

Let me also express our heartfelt congratulations to Rafał Blechacz and his family for his continuous success
and gratitude from the bottom of our heart for bringing us the great source of hope and happiness
through the beauty of music.

Dziękujemy bardzo and arigatou gozaimashita♪

Many Polish media didn't waste time before reporting Blechacz's second success at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.

Wprost 24 (Polish) was the earliest, posting the news at 2:52 am on May 15, four hours after the concert in Paris.
It's headline is:
"Blechacz kidnapped (captivated) the French".

"In less than two months after the triumphal recital in Paris, Rafał Blechacz again captivated French audience.
...daring execution by Blechacz's second concerto by Saint-Saëns caused avalanche of applause
leading to double encores to which the artist has chosen his favorite Chopin.
Among the audience was Roman Polanski, the director of "The Pianist".
The virtuoso was not allowed to leave the stage for a long time".

Rafał "Fryderyk" Blechacz ←byści

"Blechacz played in such way that knocked the French down to their knees".

"Rafał Blechacz has conquered Paris".

Polish Radio report (English)
"Blechacz takes Paris audience by storm".

And many more...

My impression is that the media coverage of Blechacz's two-fold appearance at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
is more enthusiastic than in Jan. 2008 when Blechacz had the first recital in Paris
or in Feb. 2008 when he toured in Italy, although it was covered very extensively by Polish and Italian media.
A star growing more brilliant far off in the universe..

May 14, 2009

One milestone at Music Academy - Blechacz, 2007

From my archive;
Two years ago, on May 16, 2007, Rafał Blechacz completed education at Feliks Nowowiejski Music Academy, Bydgoszcz with MA.

Excerpt from the article as of May 17.

Original article (Polish)

Blechacz, Master of Arts
by Mariusz Owczarek

The winner of 15th International Chopin Competition on Wednesday received master's degree
and medal from the university.

Rafał Blechacz was in the concert hall at the Academy, where he did not take all examinations
and performed Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op. 28,
and together with Peter Kępińskim, Sonata in D major for two pianos by Mozart.

Immediately after the concert, the pianist defended his thesis before the Examining Board.

"Subject is exactly this: The specificity of artistic performance in terms of competition, stage and recording.
With the examples of myself, Glenn Gould and Krystian Zimmerman, I write about executions in these three cases
- at a concert, in the competition and studio recordings", the artist summed about the theme.

The recital for diploma, at the request of the pianist, was made in the same conditions as offered to other students.
The only difference was the diploma was handed immediately after the defense,
and not at the college ceremony, which will take place only at the end of the academic year.

"I'm thinking of further course of development, education.
Fortunately, I got it, that after the competition I have the opportunity to meet with various artists,
with various pianists and personalities.
I think that now the study in this aspect will be very interesting,
that at some time I have come into contact with different people, for example, Zimmerman
and I'm convinced that such a meeting offers a lot "- says the artist.

At the concert for diploma only invited guests can enter- representatives of provincial and municipal authorities, parliamentarians, the family and friends.

After the announcement of the decision by the faculty board Rafał Blechacz received the first honorary medal of the university.

Rafał Blechacz studied at the Academy of Bydgoszcz, under the direction of Professor. Katarzyna-Popowa Zydroń,
who represented Poland at the Chopin Competition in 1975.
Studies took place in the individual course curriculum.

May 12, 2009

Review on Blechacz Beethoven concerto (Spain)(2)

On May 8, Rafał Blechacz played concerto No.4 by Beethoven
with Orquesta de Valencia directed by Paul Daniel
at Sala Iturbi, Palau de la Música, Valencia.

Overture: Consecration of the House op.124 by Beethoven
Piano concerto No.4 by Beethoven
Sinfonia da requiem by Britten
Variations (? Prelude) and Fugue by Britten posted a review on the concert written by JOAQUÍN GUZMÁN.
ABC is the third largest national newspaper in Spain.

Original review (Spanish)

I'll excerpt the part related Blechacz.

The new Zimerman?


Consecration of the House by Beethoven that will not get into the annals opened this atractive concert
in which we had the good fortune to meet an interesting director, Paul Daniel,
and a young Polish pianist, Rafał Blechacz, candidate of worthy successor to the great Krystian Zimerman.

Back in the 1980's, a young pianist emerged from Poland and recorded wonderful concertos
by Beethoven and Brahms with Bernstein.

Today he remains as one of the greats.
Until the arrival of this young man -winner of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw,
no one had not appeared in that country, the cradle of great pianists,
with expectations to be called a successor to Zimerman.

Blechacz has Apollonian pianism of very precious pearls.

However I noticed some coldness and distance in this Beethoven
which is not appreciated, for example, in his live version of concerto No.1 by Chopin.

He dominates perfectly the dazzling fingering and is less eloquent with dynamics.
The enthralling moderato, however, was perhaps the best of the evening,
with the exception of some trills.
He gave gifts of Prelude by Chopin and Scherzo by Beethoven.

(comments on Britten by orchestra.)

Review on Beethoven No.4 in Valencia, Spain (1)
Review on Beethoven No.4 in Warsaw March 2009
Review on Beethoven No.4 in Japan, Feb. 2009 (1)
Review on Beethoven No.4 in Japan, Feb. 2009 (2)

Preview of Saint-Saëns with L’Orchestre national de France directed by Fabien Gabel on May 14

"......For his first rendez-vous in Paris with orchestra,
Rafał Blechacz interprets the Second Concerto of Saint-Saëns in a program of French music...
... L’Orchestre national de France is directed by Fabien Gabel, former assistant to Kurt Masur".

Fabien Gabel, born in 1975 in Paris.
Trumpeter and conductor.
(Oh, A.Nelsons was also trumpeter...!)

As for Blechacz's recital at the same venue, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on March 27,
Polish media
quotes Edouard Four Caul-Futy, for his high esteem and praise of Blechacz's playing
as he called him an extraordianry pianist and a star of the day.
(Thanks Roman.)

May 11, 2009

Review on Blechacz Beethoven concerto (Spain)(1)

On May 8, Rafał Blechacz played concerto No.4 by Beethoven
with Orquesta de Valencia directed by Paul Daniel
at Sala Iturbi, Palau de la Música, Valencia.

Overture: Consecration of the House op.124 by Beethoven
Piano concerto No.4 by Beethoven
Sinfonia da requiem by Britten
Variations (? Prelude) and Fugue by Britten posted a review on the concert written by Alfredo Brotons Muñoz.
The same reviewer wrote the review on Blechacz's recital on May 5 in Valencia.

Original review (Spanish)

Let me excerpt the first part (Blechacz related) only.

by Brotons Alfredo Muñoz

The history of musical performance has opted for understanding of Beethoven
as a composer in which the force is a critical component.
So much so that for some musicians, Beethoven has converted from inescapable into exclusive.

The first part of this evening served to prove that not only the muscle is consistent with the refinement,
but also the combination of both, with various balances, is desirable and possible.

Paul Daniel (Birmingham, 1958) presented the overture "Consecration of the House" from these parameters.
Thus, the emotions of tumult and vigor in the solemn passages never resulted in lack of clarity,
while the inserts of lyrical mood were rightly appreciated as contrast.

Playing Beethoven concerto No.4
Feb.2009, Fukuoka, Japan

In the fourth concerto by Beethoven, the score makes it very difficult for the accompaniment
not to cover the soloist,
or with modern pianos, very difficult for the soloist not to cover the accompaniment.

The problem was solved thanks to the magnificent quality exhibited by all the players.

The young Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz (Nakło nad Notecią, 1985) revalidated the great success in the recital four days earlier
(certainly, it's a great idea to have the double contract with Blechacz).

His sound may be fragile but surprisingly favorable for Beethoven
in the same manner as it was favorable for Mozart or Chopin,
and his fingering was nearly perfect.

In the 1st and 3rd movements some discrepancies were noted with the director
who was seen a little uncomfortable to such a high speed.

In the central movement, the long chords contrasted very beautifully
with the utmost tenderness displayed on the keyboard
which finally took over the rage contained in the orchestra in some trills of nightmare.

To the strong applauses Blechacz responded with two tips:
the Fourth Prelude by Chopin,
and again, the Scherzo of the Second Sonata by Beethoven.

(The second part two works by Britten very different in nature and purpose, ...)

May 10, 2009

Summary of Blechacz tour in Europe (spring '09)

Rafał Blechacz have been in London, the Netherlands and Spain since late April.
To help you review the reviews of these concerts,....

April 22
Recital, London Wigmore evening debut
News report by
"Our Pianist" - interview by Polish weekly "Cooltura"

April 24
Recital @ Friesland Bank zaal, de Harmonie, Leeuwarden
Report by a fan of Blechacz who attended the recital

April 25
Recital @ kleine zaal, De Oosterpoort, Groningen

April 26
Recital @ Rabobank Zaal, Eindhoven
Review by Eindhovens Dagblad (Eindhoven Daily)

April 28
Recital @ Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona
Review by AVUI, newspaper in Catalonia, Spain
Review by Jaime Arroyo Moya, young Spanish man

Palau de la Música Catalana (declared a UNESCO World Heritage site)

April 30
piano concerto No.2 by Saint-Saëns with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
directed by Víctor Pablo
@ Auditorio del Centro Social Caixanova, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain
Review by La Voz de Galicia calling Blechacz "Global phenomenon".

May 1
piano concerto No.2 by Saint-Saëns with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
@ the Opera House in La Coruña
Review published by El País, biggest daily in Spain calling Blechacz "The star of piano of 21st century".
Review posted at laopinioncoruna comparing Blechacz to the film "The Pianist".

May 5
Recital @ Sala Rodrigo, Palau de la Música, Valencia
A review by a man in audience
Review by Alfredo Brotons Muñoz, newspaper in Valencia

May 7
Concerto No.4 by Beethoven with with Orquesta de Valencia directed by Paul Daniel
@ Auditorio y Palacio de Congresos, Castellón

May 8
Concerto No.4 by Beethoven with with Orquesta de Valencia directed by Paul Daniel
@ Sala Iturbi, Palau de la Música, Valencia, May 8
Review by Alfredo Brotons Muñoz, newspaper in Valencia
Another review by JOAQUÍN GUZMÁN on

May 9, 2009

Review on Blechacz's recital in Valencia (Spain) posted a review on Blechacz's recital in Valencia on May 5.
Original review (Spanish)

by Alfredo Brotons Muñoz

All the vectors in the history of Western music converge into Bach or depart from him.
Among the latter, nothing is more interesting than the vector passing toward Chopin,
and as a representative of a few intermediate steps, no one is so ideal as Mozart.

This could be the sense that, with Szymanowski as a possible continuation of the journey,
the program was presented by the Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz (Nakło nad Notecią, 1985).

The winner of all the prizes in the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2005;
from the outset, it was clear what the maximum specialty of this young star of actual pianism is.

Indeed, beyond the discussion of the adequacy of current piano to interpret the music of Cantor of St. Thomas,
his version of Italian concerto was so busy and muscular that only the people of purism could admire the undeniable technical excellence.

In the Sonata K. 570 by Mozart, he continued something similar.
However, taking into consideration, for example, the value of the episodes of the Adagio,
continuing the above discussion may be wasteful.

Especially his highest value is the tight control of different intensities of the pulse in each hand,
with a perfect balance between melody and accompaniment.
And the closing Allegretto also almost anecdotally displayed clean legato
in comparison with the music produced by the special spicing;
with some ephemeral slowdowns he gave flavor to the phrasing of conclusive expressiveness.

Variations op. 3 by Szymanowski became somewhat disoriented
not only because of its position at the end of the first part,
but because it is a work of Chopin epigone who however looks at Brahms more.

In addition to the unitary character, there were outstanding effects in his performance; for example,
subtle stress of mazurka underlining the melancholic third,
the attractiveness of the lento dolce and cantabile in the fifth,
the felicitous contrast between the exuberant seventh and eighth the funeral,
and more importantly, the brilliant clarity of the twelfth and the final.

With these precedents, the great Chopin was expected.
Not so was the third ballad, very agitated but superficial,
or the Nocturnes op. 62; the first was phenomenal in the passage of trills but overall something boring in the tone.

On the contrary, excellent were Mazurkas op. 17 and the Polonaise op. 53,
where the abstraction of the rhythmic and melodic lines did not suffer from any interference,
and he never spared his potentiality.

The audience that nearly filled the Rodrigo was delighted.
The Scherzo of the Second Sonata of Beethoven was offered as encore.

May 8, 2009

Huge ovation and two encores in Valencia

"For the completion of Rafał Blechacz Spanish tour tonight he played Beethoven's Concerto for Piano No. 4
with Orquesta de Valencia, Conductor, Paul Daniel in Sala Iturbi at Palau de la Música in Valencia.
This big music hall of 1800 seats was filled almost to the last seat with an enthusiastic audience.
Rafał played the Concerto in the first half.

Afterwards huge ovations erupted and Rafał couldn't leave the stage before giving two encores:
Chopin's Prelude e-moll and Scherzo from Beethoven's Sonata he recently recorded with Deutsche Grammophon.

He will play Saint-Saëns in Paris next Thursday".

Special thanks to Roman for the beautiful news♪

Congratulations to Rafał Blechacz for successful conclusion of the tour in Spain.  

Nous vous souhaitons un succès à Paris.

How a Spaniard saw Blechacz recital in Valencia

I found four or five Spanish blogs writing about Blechacz's recital in Valencia on May 5.
The following one describes the recital quite comprehensively.

The author (male, 30-40 years old??) writes many reviews on music performances in his blog,
not an enthusiast of Blechacz (he says that he has not yet heard Blechacz's CD "sonatas",
but he observes meticulously how Blechacz performed and how people reacted that night.

Original review (Spanish)

(Introduction of Blechacz:competition, contract with DG)

Rafal Blechacz yesterday gave an exciting concert at the Sala Rodrigo of Palau de la Música in Valencia,
in the cycle of 'International Chamber and Soloists' for the audience in Valencia,
with a program devoted mainly to the Polish composer.

He began his performance, however, with the 'Italian Concerto' by Johann Sebastian Bach,
a composer that Chopin deeply loved .
When starting the primary rhythm, he showed the elegance and majestic fingering and millimeter accuracy
to characterize the evening.
A flawless technical execution, nothing exhibitionist but far from cold.
With the apparent simplicity, he combined with the devilish speeds of the final Presto
with the intimate profoundness of the Andante.

The "heir" of Chopin,
"His hands are like a pair of white doves."
says another female Spanish fan in her blog.

It was pity that in this most beautiful second movement,
all the subtlety of the Polish interpretation becomes damaged
by a pair of terrorists' cough, gulped mucus and fierce sneezing.

I do not know if it is the result of swine flu,
but given the pig-like behavior by the offenders, it might be.
Actually, the behavior of the public yesterday at the Palau de la Música was infinitely more respectful
than in other times and venues.

Blechacz lovingly cleaned the keyboard and his hands, which is a gesture he repeated before starting each piece,
Then he ventured into territory of Mozart by "Sonata in B flat major KV570" of Salzburg school.
Blechacz here confirmed his prodigious technique and interpretative strength,
however it was the only time of the recital that some signs of coldness were intuitively sensed.

The 'Variations in B flat minor op. 3 ', also the Polish Karol Szymanowski,
were flowing in a stream of notes gradually increasing emotional intensity,
and despite the difficulty of enforcement, Blechacz gave a deep and touching reading, full of nuances,
of this most beautiful piece, resulting in a passionate end to the first part of the recital.

And the better had not come yet.
The second half was devoted entirely to Chopin,
and Blechacz showed why he is considered a specialist in interpreting the music of his compatriot.

The 'Ballade in B flat major op.47 No 3,' is a piece of an amazing beauty,
which Blechacz demonstrated deep musical maturity, not matched by the young, 23 years old,
and handled the instrument with an elegance and enormous cleanliness.

Two Nocturnes op. 62, composed in the last years of life of Chopin,
there are features that clearly indicate an evolution towards musical impressionism in the future.

Here and in the 4 mazurkas op.17 that followed,
the lyricism in the implementation by the interpreter reached extreme heights without boasting gesture,
caress our ears with the sensitivity and poetry
that he could draw from each note in his pristine and eloquent phrasing,
leading finally to captivate the audience that remained, this time,
in monastic silence full of emotions during the performance.

(Here the author shows video of Blechacz performing Nocturne op 62-1 )

Sala Rodrigo of Palau de la Música in Valencia

After cleaning the keyboard once again embarked, and finally, the 'Heroic Polonaise in B flat major op.53',
an epic piece which is usually performed with excessive enthusiasm, almost histrionically by some interpreters;
but Blechacz kept the precise tempo and volume of flawless performance of other pieces,
strong and clean at once, again flooding the room with emotions
by his intelligent reading of the score, not by banging the instrument patriotically.

A very long and deserved ovation, with many bravos, was awarded to smiling Blechacz,
who was forced to repeatedly greet the public
and finally gave the Scherzo of the 'Piano Sonata No 2 in A major Opus 2 No. 2' by Ludwig van Beethoven
as encore full of grace and vividness.

The music of yesterday and easy if badly called. Heard a thousand times, it could be.
But for that very reason, it is much more worthy of trying to get the audience moved as he did yesterday,
this very young Polish, who was also seen enjoying his interpretation,
and who is now called "the star"if not yet.

(Now the author shows Blechacz's Polonaise "Heroic" in video.)

The author compares loud coughs to terrorist deed.
I noticed similar bombardments of coughs when I heard radio-broadcast Blechacz's recital in Paris (March 27),
Hopefully they should have covered their mouths with hands when coughing.

In an interview last year, Blechacz was asked what his ideal audience would be like.
His answer was:
"One that doesn't cough, that switches off its mobile phones,
that doesn't unwrap sweets and that doesn't fall asleep during the concert.
That is simply listening. But I know that this is impossible".

Oh, I don't think it is impossible.
At least, most of Japanese audience are quiet and attentive when listening.

Blechacz - big success in Castellon, Spain

"Rafał Blechacz achieved a big success againt, this time in Castellón near Valencia, Spain.
He played Piano Concerto No. 4 by Beethoven with Orquesta de Valencia, Paul Daniel, conductor,
in the first half of the evening at the Auditorio y Palacio de Congresos.

There was a continuous ovation after he finished
and he had to come out many times to bow and acknowledge the applause.

He eventually played an encore".

Heartfelt thanks to Roman for the beautiful news.
Rafał es realmente como una estrella.   (estrella = ☆ )
!Qué pianista!

May 7, 2009

Blechacz recital in Valencia a big success

The recital Rafał Blechacz gave Sala Rodrigo, Palau de la Música, Valencia on May 5 was again a big success!

He played so beautifully that ovation couldn't cease.
Voices of "Bravo! Bravo!" were heard all over the hall.

Rafał Blechacz bowed to the audience demand and gave one encore.
(encore:Beethoven sonata No.2, Scherzo)

Palau de la Música, Valencia

Sala Rodrigo, Palau de la Música, Valencia, May 5
423 seats,
reverberation time: 1.5 seconds

Program of recital @ Sala Rodrigo, Valencia

A mountain of thanks to Roman for the excellent news♪

Blechacz will play concerto No.4 by Beethoven with Orquesta de Valencia directed by Paul Daniel
on May 7 & 8.

May 7
Auditorio y Palacio de Congresos, Castellón
Please click on "AUDITORI" and then Orquesta de Valencia.

↑What is written in Catalan is approximately like this:

Overture: Consecration of the House op.124 by Beethoven
Piano concerto No.4 by Beethoven
Sinfonia da requiem by Britten
Variations (? Prelude) and Fugue by Britten

Blechacz, piano
He has received numerous prizes and awards in international competitions worldwide.
Currently has the agenda of the next two years completely full,
with planned performances in major cultural centers of Europe, North America and Far East.

Paul Daniel,director
From this year takes the place of principal conductor and artistic advisor
of the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Perth.

Auditorio y Palacio de Congresos, Castellón. May 7
Opened in Spring, 2004 as one of the five major cultural centers in Spain.

May 8
Sala Iturbi, Palau de la Música, Valencia

Sala Iturbi, Palau de la Música, Valencia, May 8
1817 seats or over
reverberation time: 2.1 seconds

May 5, 2009

Pontevedra saw a phenomenal pianist-review (Spain)

"La Voz de Galicia" (The voice of Galicia) posted a review on the concert by Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
at Auditorio del Centro Social Caixanova, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain, on April 30, 2009,
which includes Rafał Blechacz's concerto No.2 by Saint-Saëns.

In the review, Leopoldo Centeno admires Blechacz as "global phenomenon".

Andrés Gaos: Granada: poema sinfónico
Camille Saint-Saëns: Concerto No.2, op. 22
Antonin Dvorák: Symphony No.8, op. 88

Original review (Spanish)

Sensational concerto by Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz

(Introduction, comment on Granada)

Concerto for piano and orchestra No 2 in G minor, Saint-Saëns, made the public excited
and it was not just by the beauty of the score of the solo instrument and orchestral treatment that it contains,
but by the exuberant, sensitive interpretation and virtuosity
by the young (23 years old) Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz.

Global Phenomenon
It is really unusual for a work that requires such highly technical and mental maturity
can be interpreted with such clarity, vigor, expression, sensitivity, virtuosity, pedal management
as shown by young Blechacz.

Something exceptional.
A pianist as the crown of a pine tree (=extraordinarily excellent).
He made us remember his countryman Arthur Rubinstein.

The orchestral musicians and the director himself showed thier admiration at the end of the concerto.

Rafał, if continuing to progress, as suggested by his qualities,
in ten more years he can be a global phenomenon..
It does not surprise us if he has the agenda fully occupied for the next two years.

At the same time, it is also fair to recognize the quality in conducting the orchestra by Victor Pablo
and ductility of the entire broad range of orchestra, to achieve such success.

Three minutes of intense applause made Rafał Blechacz offer a brilliant tip of the piano solo.

It was really a stunning concerto.

(comment on Dvorák: Symphony No.8)

May 4, 2009

Previews on Blechacz's recital in Valencia May 5

Several websites in Spain posted a preview of Rafał Blechacz's recital scheduled on May 5, 2009.

The recital will be at Sala Rodrigo,
Palau de la Música, Valencia

Bach Concert italiano
Mozart Sonata KV 570
Szymanowski Variaciones op.3
Chopin Balada núm. 3
Chopin Nocturnos op.62
Chopin Mazurkas op. 17
Chopin Polonesa op.53

Preview by Palau de la Música (Spanish)
El país (The most circulated paper in Spain.)
In addition to Bio, introduction of the program, it says;
"The critic praised his refined technique and his "great maturity and expressive musicality"
despite his youth.

Another sites posting previews:
"Las Provincias -Valencia" front page as of May 5
And many more sites!

Similar contents: Bio and achievements after Chopin Competition.
You can get what is written by following proper nouns
such as DG, names of maestros, famous halls, festivals, etc...

La Vanguardia posted an article about the audience manner at Palau de la Música in Barcelona,
where Blechacz held a recital on April 28.

The author complains bad manners by some of the public.
Of course it is not possible to ban a cough but the author says
that there must be a monitoring system at the hall to ask a person
who cannot behave appropriately in the first half to leave the hall during the intermission.
(referring to using cell phone or alarm clock, for example)

He says;
"A test performed in the concert hall shows that a simple cough,
measured instrumentally, is equivalent to the intensity of a note "Mezzoforte" issued by a tuba".

He also says;
"The concert on April 28 to Palau was by a wonderful pianist Rafał Blechacz.
Some poorly educated offenders could ruin the concert,
the people who made all kinds of noises in the seats,
dropping items on the floor,etc ...
If they had been made out after the first part the concert,
we could have certainly got more in the second".

LaVanguardia (Catalan)

I think readers of this site Preludia have read the reviews which praise the excellent performance by Blechacz
at this recital in Barcelona on April 28.
If the description of the audience here is true, Blechacz should have an amazing concentration.

I sincerely hope that people behave themselves at any concerts.
Especially Blechacz's beautiful music deserves respectful quietness by the listeners.

May 3, 2009

How young Spanish saw Blechacz's recital (Spain)

Review written by Jaime Arroyo Moya, young Spanish man with an extended musical knowledge,
on Rafał Blechacz's recital in Barcelona on April 28, 2009.

Born in Madrid on March 20, 1982, Moya has worked for several publications including daily "ABC", magazines and website.
He has worked in an attempt to spread music among the young, as manager of the "Mozart Foundation."
Also, since three years ago, is in charge of the section of classical-jazz music as expert on classical music in

Original review is here. (Spanish)

Wednesday April 29 2009
Rafał Blechacz : Youthfulness by the Polish piano
When Blechacz entered last night at the stage of Palau's amazing modernism
by Domènech i Montaner (=name of architect),
it seemed as if a delegate of class or an excellent student had entered.

At the age of 24, Rafał Blechacz has reclaimed the place that Chopin deserves today with the way of interpretation.
Example is the superb CD that he signed with DG.
Blechacz has come to be a current Krystian Zimerman,
as being the triumphant winner of the prestigious Chopin Prize in Warsaw, two years ago.

The young pianist began with Johann Sebastian Bach's Italian Concerto in F major.
The twenties, despite his apparent fragility, practiced the magic with his impetuous way of fingering,
reminding me of Gould in 1950's with such clarity, precision and speed that (Gould) would show off.
The deep and meditative Andante gave path to Presto combining enjoyable and devilish keys.

Sonata no 17, Mozart, defined the chameleonic nature of the prodigious youth
by the way of understanding the Salzburg school,
getting into a multitude of notes with the dizzying speed.

And still less time was left for the arrival of the best of the evening: Szymanowski and Chopin.

Szymanowski, recovered more and better by the erudite voices of conductors such as Antoni Wit and Simon Rattle,
has now encountered his compatriot as a perfect partner for the piano.
The yellow label, which the artist has signed with, should take this into account for future works.

Despite the difficult parts in terms of expression and keys, the tireless speed by Blechacz had no brakes.
As if possessed by something, the naturalness and lightness of phrasing were flowing.

While my right ear received two unnecessary environmental sounds,
a candy that was opened and a cough from uncontrollable dimensions,
Blechacz kept focused on action and fascinated in so much good music.

Variations, of Szymanowski, were emerging as a spring morning
despite the music with complexity of interpretation and fervent development.

He didn't disappoint us with Chopin, which was reserved for the end of this second part.
His synchronized hands seemed to recollect original life in the dancer's interconnection.

We were trapped by the aura of the Nocturnes, and delighted by the possibilities of the piano
and his attack on the Mazurkas
with his regulator to capriciously intensify or lessen the actions.

After cleaning the keyboard, the Heroic Polonaise was detailed and intensified by Rafał Blechacz.
Sympathetic encores as the gesture of gratitude to the pianistic value at zenith.

by Jaime Arroyo Moya

Review on Blechacz's Saint-Saens @ La Coruna(1)

El País, the biggest daily newspaper in Spain posted a review on its website
on the concert by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia on May 1, 2009
at the Opera House in La Coruña,
which includes Rafał Blechacz's performance of piano concerto No.2 by Saint-Saëns.

Original review (Spanish)

Debut by Rafał Blechacz in La Coruña -extraordinary Polish pianist


Looks like a high school student premiering the first tuxedo for his appearance on New Year Eve.
He is called Rafał Blechacz, born in 1985.
In 2005 he won the Chopin Competition; Polish as Chopin
and on Friday he let the audience drop their jaws in the Opera House in Coruña.

And do not doubt it: he will be the star of piano of the 21st century..
By his impeccable piano technique, his musicality,
which will be able to further grow and mature.

He will. Because he is hungry for music:
when finishing the essay of the Concerto No. 2 Saint-Saëns, he remained at the piano, studying.
(comparison to a diligent student who continues to study even after the essay or exam.)

And above all, his blessed hunger is united with the great modesty:
while the audience broke La Coruña with clapping hands and shouting bravos,
Blechacz requested permission from the concertmaster of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
to give two encores. Yes please let the boy play.

(comment on other performances by the orchestra follows.)

Review on Blechacz's Saint-Saens @La Coruna(2) posted a review on the concert by Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
at the Opera House of La Coruña on May 1, 2009,
which includes Rafał Blechacz's concerto No.2 by Saint-Saëns.

It was the last concert of the season at the Opera.


Original review (Spanish)

The Pianist

In the film "The Pianist" directed by Polanski, a Polish artist played for his life before the German officer.
Those who saw the film will never forget the scene.

Another Polish artist-in another time and other circumstances-
caught one thousand seven hundred people in the Opera House in La Coruña.

Blechacz is also Polish, also young (twenty-four years) and thin.
Here he did not have to save his life before the audience (collective, in this case),
but he also won their heart.

After the concerto of Saint-Saëns, he received one of the most important acclamations
heard in town given to those many geniuses of the keyboard who had visited before.

Prodigious technique, expressiveness, absolute cleanliness, equal touch, light, dynamic and agogics ...
For his age, he has surprising maturity and absolute ease of playing,
like those greatest masters without apparent effort.

Compared to the greatest masters, he also has another quality, modesty:
before each of his encores he requested a permission from the concertmaster, Spadano-absent, Víctor Pablo (conductor), to play them.

These were the Scherzo of Sonata No. 2, Beethoven and Prelude opus 28 No 4 Chopin,
which renewed the thundering applause and shouts.

(comments on other works by the orchestra follow.)

Blechacz sometimes talks about the film "The Pianist" in interviews.
An example (in 2004)

May 2, 2009

Blechacz enchanted La Coruna, Spain

Rafał Blechacz won again a big and unending ovation and shouting voices "Bravo, bravo!"
when he finished his palying Piano Concerto No. 2
by Saint-Saëns with Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
at Palacio de la Opera, La Coruña, Galicia, Spain on May 1.

The demand from the audience was so high that he had to give two encores.

Next leg of his Spanish tour is at Sala Rodrigo in Valencia to give a recital on Tuesday May 5.

Program at Palacio de la Opera, La Coruña

Program at Sala Rodrigo, Valencia
Notice by Palau de la Musica, Valencia

Thanks to Roman for the good news♪

May 1, 2009

Our Pianist -Rafał Blechacz interviewed in London

Elżbieta Sobolewska of the Polish weekly "Cooltura" in London interviewed Rafał Blechacz on 22 April 2009,
right after his recital at Wigmore Hall.

The interview was posted on as of May 1, 2009.

Original interview (Polish)

Our pianist
by Elżbieta Sobolewska

Magnificent, nearly 24 years old pianist, who won the Chopin Competition in 2005, 
once again appeared in London.  Rafał Blechacz gave a ravishing concert at Wigmore Hall.

After Bach and Mozart he received a fervent applause.
After "Variations" by Szymanowski they whispered: "phenomenal".
And when he played Polonaise in A flat major, so-called "Heroic", the audience went mad.
They began with encores and afterwards took Rafał with themselves at home.

"Please write that the British haven't got enough CD's of our pianist,"
said to me in confidence a female music lover and poet who wrote a poem when he played.
The poem she will send by post and after the concert she read the first fragment to Rafał,
asking for his autograph.

We have a quarter of an hour to have a conversation.
Tomorrow, first in the morning he will depart for the next concerts and his father accompanies him as usual.
In autumn of this year, his music lovers will welcome the third album
which will be recorded by the most important publisher of classical music in the world :
Deutsche Grammophon".
As in the case with the first CD, it will be again Chopin.

"He is very close to my heart.
In the end I thank him for giving the possibility to play around world.
I came through to music of Chopin by studying works of different style,
first classical music as well as impressionist.
My sensitivity to colors, timbres of sounds and hues, so important in case of Chopin's music to a great degree
was shaped by Debussy and that helped me to feel and understand Chopin's works.
You can say that I've matured it through exploring other composers,” says Rafał Blechacz.

He has never run away from piano; has always been friendly with it.

“I had willingness in myself to play from the beginning.
All music exercises which polished up technique of playing,
as a pupil afterwards as a student,
let me say that I had to "do my homework" but without it
I could not think about further development of artistry and interpretation,” he continues.

He likes giving a concert.
He doesn't feel under pressure but pleasure, mobilization and eagerness, but no stage fright.

“Although I would rather not be slave to the public performances
and sure I don't want to live from one concert to another.

The fame has never been my purpose either;
it is like a side effect of my job.
There is no need in me to compete, but I knew that Chopin Competition is the only way
by which I can begin performing concerts.
As long as I feel a need to play to the public, I will do it,” he says.

Konzerthaus in Vienna, November 2007

His life it not only music; the philosophical study which he has begun recently
helps him to develop ability of interpretation.

“If I restrict myself only to music I would lose it.
When I am creating a work I search for inspiration mainly from life,
different experiences that I have and another fields of art like paintings or literature.

Philosophy is so extensive and enriches deep cognition
that it allows me to explore literature and art
and thus obtain a broader view to develop my personality.
Reading philosophy of music or aesthetic has a positive effect.
My study is therefore, reflected on the music that I play.

What has always been the most important for me is the wish to share the beauty of music with people,
which I now realize all over the world."

When he won the Chopin Competition, people were standing under the windows of his home in his native town Nakło
in order to listen to how he practiced.
Now they got used to it, that they have their famous pianist..
Honorary Citizen of the town and even the hero of poem.

Thanks to Roman for the data and to Dana for the translation.

One of Japanese fans said that she notified her friend in UK of the Blechacz's recital at Wigmore
and the friend attended the recital with her husband on April 22.

The couple were deeply moved by his performance.
She quoted her husband as saying
that he was amazed by the matureness of Blechacz's music albeit he is very young.

Her daughter attended another recital by Blechacz in Paris on March 27.

Pleased to know there are beautiful encounters between the artist and audience
here and there through the love for music.