Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Sep 30, 2009

Insight into Blechacz CD by Władysław Stróżewski

(from Deutsche Grammophon page for Rafał Blechacz;
This essasy is in the CD booklet except for the final paragraph.)

Rafał Blechacz Plays the Chopin Concertos

Chopin wrote his two piano concertos early in hiscareer, in 1829 and 1830. Those were happy years. Living in Warsaw among family and friends after completing his studies at the conservatory, he had time not only for composing and playing the piano but also for discussions and socializing with his companions, the intellectual elite of the Polish capital's youth.

During numerous excursions into the countryside, he visited villages of the Mazovia region, immersed himself in folk music, wrote prose and drew sketches. His musical talent had matured at an astonishing pace, quickly acquiring the traits of originality that he continued to nurture and develop until the end of his life. During this period, Chopin composed a great deal for his instrument, the piano: besides the two concertos, he wrote a set of Variations in B flat major, op. 2; the Rondo à la Krakowiak in F major, op. 14; the Fantasy on Polish Airs in A major, op. 13; the First Sonata inCminor, op. 4; some mazurkas and nocturnes, as well as chamber compositions, among them theGminor Piano Trio, op. 8 and the C major Polonaise for piano and cello, op. 3. He was a perfectionist, destroying - or asking his friends to destroy - the compositions with which he was not completely satisfied. Luckily, his friends did not always comply with his wishes.

The F minor and E minor Concertos (com­posed in that order - the num­bering corresponds to the order of their publication) both retain the Classical layout, but filled with a Romantic spirit: their rich emotional content co-exists with the formal discipline of an already mature artist. At the time Chopin composed them he was fascinated by the style brillant exemplified by such pianist-composers as Hummel, Weber and Kalkbrenner - to the latter he dedicated the E minor Concerto. This can be heard throughout both works, which allow the pianist great scope for virtuoso display. Yet, as Rafał Blechacz notes, Chopin never subjugated his musical thought to virtuosity - he never favoured sheer brilliance over emotional depth.

For Blechacz, that is most important for the pianist in these concertos: their emotional charac­ter and nuances. Youthful vigour - sometimes leading to moments of drama - comes to the fore in the opening movements of both concertos, while their finales are full of joy. “But it is the lyrical second movements", says Rafał, “that are the hearts of the two com­positions". In them Chopin has given expression to his deepest emotions, especially his feelings for Konstancja Gładkowska, his first love.

Writing about the Larghetto of the E minor Concerto, the composer himself declared that “a thousand beloved memories are conjured before my eyes". Here Chopin seems to be whispering, in a delicate, muffled voice, as though divulging his deepest secrets. A pianist can enjoy the greatest freedom here; however he must carefully convey Chopin's intentions and “identify" with his feelings. The basic challenge is to find the appropriate tempo and to make the subtlest use of rubato. The music must flow freely, “as though of its own ­accord", towards that inexplicable epiphany: the moment that crowns an authentically aesthetic experience.

This is something impossible to plan com­pletely. A certain freedom of interpretation is necessary toallow scope for the arrival of that moment of inspiration. This is why the conditions of the performance are so important: the atmosphere of the concert hall and - most of all - the pianist's rapport with the conductor. When he performs Chopin's concertos, Rafał naturally chooses to work with conductors who understand the works' particular aura, for example the finales, inspired by high-spirited folk dances: the mazurka of the F minor Concerto (where a double-bass drone imitates folk instruments) and the krakowiak of the E minor. The choice of tempo is just as important in these as in the preceding movements: not too fast, so that details are not lost, and not too slow, so that the dance character is preserved.

The two Chopin concertos were recorded in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Rafał Blechacz's favourite concert hall, with its incomparable orchestra, whose noble, “velvety" sound is particularly suited to this music, under Jerzy Semkow, the outstanding Polish conductor with whom the pianist has a special understanding. The idea for the recording took shape immediately after Blechacz's unprecedented triumph in the 2005 Chopin Competition, where he won the main prize as well as special prizes in all four individual categories. On that occasion he played the E minor Concerto. Also worthy of mention here is another performance of Chopin's two concertos which reveals another aspect of Rafał's nature: a concert with Poland's National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Antoni Wit in the pianist's hometown of Nakło on the River Noteæ. There, owing to the lack of a proper concert hall, the event took place in a church. It was a magnificent gift of gratitude from the pianist to his birthplace, as well as an extraordinary experience for the little town's inhabitants.

Rafał Blechacz is one of the finest young pianists in the world. Along with his extraordinary talent he possesses an exceptional intelligence that allows him to understand in depth the music he performs, and a degree of perception that allows him infallibly to grasp the aesthetic and spiritual dimensions of the compositions he interprets. One could say that his sensitivity is akin to that of Chopin himself, and this is perhaps why Blechacz seems predestined to interpret his compatriot's works. Performing Chopin, however, also opens doors to other composers who preceded or followed him. It isn't therefore surprising that Blechacz focuses on Classical and Romantic repertoire as well as Debussy and Szymanowski. His talent and other character attributes are rooted in a deep spirituality that has not only artistic but also metaphysical and religious dimensions. His numerous interests include philosophy, and his musical endeavours extend to the organ music repertoire. Those who get to know Rafał Blechacz personally note the charm and, above all, modesty that seems not to have been adversely affected by fame.

Władysław Stróżewski

German and French versions of this text are available at DG Blechacz page.
Please click on "INSIGHTS".

Polish text from Blechacz official website.

Blechacz CD review by Julia Spyker Oct.1, Germany

WDR3 TonArt (Germany) @ 15:05 - 17:45 (CEST) on Oct.1 will give
a review on Blechacz's new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos"
by Julia Spyker.

WDR 3 site
Please click on "Stream" on the right side to listen.

Blechacz talking of Chopin Piano Concerto in F minor at the recording session in Amsterdam Concertgegouw, June/July, 2009.

Sep 29, 2009

We wish Rafal a very Happy Nameday!

A very Happy Nameday!! to Rafał Blechacz

Kochany Rafale,
Życzymy Tobie abyś był zawsze szczęśliwy,
bo szczęście to rodzina,
szczęście to prawdziwi przyjaciele i miłość,
bo szczęście to uznanie dla Twojej pracy,
Twojej sztuki i niebywałego artyzmu.

Dziękujemy za przepiękna płytę.

Rafał Blechacz celebrates his Nameday (imieniny) on Sept.29.
(Rafał=Raphael/Rafael is one of the Archangels, meaning "God has healed".)

Dear Rafał,
We wish you are always a man of happiness and blessing,
as happiness is family,
happiness is true friends and love,
as happiness is a tribute to your work,
your art and unparalleled artistry.
Lovers of your music

Thank you very much for the beautiful CD.

(Picture of heart & message prepared by Dana)

Sep 28, 2009

Blechacz goes down in history -review & interview

From Deutsche Grammophon yellow news flash;

Rafał Blechacz: DG Yellow News Flash: Rafał Blechacz's new Chopin Recording is Crowned with Gold
Rafał Blechacz's new Chopin Recording is Crowned with Gold Yesterday at 12:08pm
Poles take an instant shine to Blechacz’s new Chopin release.

Rafał Blechacz’s second Chopin recording for Deutsche Grammophon – the two Concertos, with Jerzy Semkow conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – looks set to equal or surpass the huge success of the pianist’s Deutsche Grammophon debut. That recording of the complete Preludes by the 2005 Chopin Competition winner, which went platinum in Poland after only five weeks, has sold more than 60,000 copies worldwide. But the new album could well trump this remarkable achievement: it reached gold status in Poland on the very first day of its pre-release there on 18 September and is on the way to becoming a major highlight of Chopin Year 2010. The international launch is set for October 2009.

(Note: I'm a subscriber of DG yellow news but I haven't received this news yet.
I found this article on the internet=facebook.)

Other news from Germany

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

English (machine-translated)

In the final line, the article says that Blechacz will play Chopin Concerto in F minor
in Bad Kissingen on June 27, 2010 (concert schedule) posted a preview of Blechacz's recital in Hamburg on Oct.6
(or rather, it describes beautifully & accurately Blechacz as a pianist.)

English (machine-translated)


Przekroj.pldated on Sept.23 posted a review by Ada Ginał on Blechacz's new CD titled,
"Blechacz przechodzi do historii (Blechacz goes/passes down in history)".

English (machine-translated)

Rafał is 24, Semkow is 80 and RCO is 120 years old....Interesting!!

Ada Ginał says that there is a bonus of Mazurka op.17-4. Really? Fantastic!!

Interview with naszdziennik dated Sept.26, titled "O koncertach Chopina i wierze w Boga
(About Chopin concertos and the faith in God)".

English (machine-translated)

And....Blechacz's official website has made a long-waited update!! (←Bravo!)

And, and...this Empik page is usuful! by having relevant video, photos, CDs and articles.

Sep 23, 2009

Blechacz new Chopin CD Promo Video by DG

The Promotion Video of Rafał Blechacz new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos"
is now available on Deutsche Grammophon Blechacz site.

See the Promo Video on Deutsche Grammophon Blechacz page. 

The Promo Video has already been made available
on Amazon (Germany) and KlassikAkzente.

Size of the file:
YouTube: about 23.7MB
Deutsche Grammophon: about 33.2MB
KlassikAkzente: about 20.2MB
Amazon: about 18.8MB

Listen to parts of new CD (from DG site) posted the article of Deutsche Grammophon's 111 years of history, which includes Blechacz's greeting.

Full text of Rafał Blechacz's greeting for DG's 111 years excellence.

For a personal reason, I cannot update this website for the next several days.
I'm looking forward to seeing you again!
Rafal's music is always source of comfort and hope.

Sep 22, 2009

Latest news on Blechacz, magazine & product series

↓News from Mr.Roman Frackowski.
Thanks a lot!!

"Muzyka21, Polish monthly on classical music, is announcing on the internet that its October 2009 issue will be on Rafał Blechacz and his recent Chopin Piano Concertos recording (with Royal Concertgebouw, under Jerzy Semkow) to be released on Oct. 5, 2009 (already released in Poland on Sept.18, 2009). See cover design (a photo of Rafał):
About MUZYKA21 (English)

Na okładce październikowego numeru Muzyka21 jest Rafał Blechacz. Numer będzie mu poswiecony oraz jego nagraniu koncertów Chopina z Royal Concertgebouw pod dyr. Jerzego Semkowa, które ukazały sie w Polsce 18 września.

Deutsche Grammophon released 6-CD box of 111 tracks in commemoration of its 111 year-history.
The commemorative box includes Rafał Blechacz's Chopin Prelude G major.
(See the 8th track of the 1st CD.)

Amazon.UK site for this 6-CD box.

On October 16, in Germany, Deutsche Grammophon will release "Best of Piano (Classical Choice)",
the recordings featuring such DG artists as Argerich, Barenboim, Blechacz, Gulda,
playing compositions by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Mozart, Schumann, etc...
See Amazon Germany site.

Blechacz new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" will be available on Zona de Compras (Shopping zone) on October 15.
Spanish site (El español es aquí).
It looks like that it is a shopping site for Latin American countries plus France?!

Release dates of the new CD:
Oct.2, Germany via Amazon
Oct.5, international release date according to Deutsche Grammophon
Oct.7, Japan
Oct.12, U.K.
Oct.23, Italy

Sep 21, 2009

Blechacz new recording of Chopin was broadcast

↓ Information that I received from Mr.Roman Frackowski about radio broadcast in Poland.
Millions of thanks to Roman.

Sunday night, Setp. 20, at 11:00 p.m. (Polish time) Polish Radio Program
One broadcast Adam Rozlach's presentation of Chopin concertos recorded by
Rafal Blechacz in July 2009 in Amsterdam with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the direction of Jerzy Semkow. Concerto No. 1 (in E-minor) was broadcast in its entirety. Rafal plays beautifully - it is really a spiritual treat.
Release of the the CD with those two concertos took place in Poland on
Sept. 18, 2009, ahead of the European release scheduled for Oct 5.
Concerto No. 2 will be presented by Adam Rozlach in one of his next
regular weekly broadcasts Sundays, 11:05 p.m. (CET) Polish Radio, Program
1. (probably this coming Sunday, but he hasn't said so). His comments to
the Concerto No. 1 in Rafal's interpretation were ones of awe, admiration, and utmost praise.

W niedziele wieczor polskiego czasu o 23:00 w progr I Polskiego Radia Adam Rozlach prezentowal nagranie Rafala I koncertu Chopina (e-moll), nagrane w lipcu w Amsterdamie z Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra pod dyr. Jerzego Semkowa.
Plyta ta juz wyszla w Polsce w piatek, 18 IX. Wyjdzie w Europie 5 pazdz.
Przepieknie Rafal gra - cos niesamowitego! II concerto Chopina bedzie
prezentowane przez Rozlacha chyba w przyszla niedziele, choc nie powiedzial dokladnie ; podal tylko, ze w najblizszej przyszlosci. Sam Rozlach mial bardzo dobre wprowadzenie dzisiaj i nie szczedzil komplementow i wyrazow zachwytu.
Serdecznie pozdrawiamy,

Ps. Oto zapowiedz z ramowki PR Pr I na niedziele 20 X 2009 ;

Below is the Polish Radio program note about the Sunday (Sept. 20, 2009)
broadcast by Adam Rozlach:

20.09.2009, 23:05 - 00:00

autor: Adam Rozlach

Po raz pierwszy na antenie Polskiego Radia, prezentacja najnowszego nagrania Koncertu fortepianowego e-moll op. 11 Fryderyka Chopina w interpretacji Rafała Blechacza, zwycięzcy XV Międzynarodowego Konkursu Pianistycznego im. F. Chopina w Warszawie, któremu towarzyszy Królewska Orkiestra Concertgebouw z Amsterdamu pod dyrekcją Jerzego Semkowa. Z płyty Deutsche Grammophon (2009)

Please check the program page of September 27. (As of Sept.22, the program is not announced yet.)

Polish Radio2, Sept.28, 16:50-17:00, part of the new CD to be played.

Sep 20, 2009

Blechacz interview with Jacek Hawryluk posted

Rafał Blechacz gave an interview to Polish Radio 2, which was broadcast on August 9.
He mainly talked about the new CD "The Chopin Piano Concertos" and the recording sessions he had in early July in Amsterdam.
The interviewer was Jacek Hawryluk from Polish Radio 2.

This interview's transcription has been posted on Gazeta Wyborcza on Sept.20,
titled Blechacz: Wciąż szukam swojego stylu. (Blechacz: Always questing for my style.)

Please read the interview (Polish).

English (machine-translated)

Related story (introduction of the CD by Jacek Hawryluk) (Polish)
English (machine-translated)

The outline of this interview was already posted on this website Preludia.
Please read the outline of the interview (1) (English)
And (2)

 (←5th design of logo for DG Blechacz Chopin Concertos page.)

Sep 18, 2009

Rafal Blechacz new CD release October 23, Italy

Rafał Blechacz's new recordinig "Concerti per pianoforte n.1, n.2 (Chopin The Piano Concertos)"
will be available in Italy on October 23, 2009.

Rafal Blechacz new CD released in Poland today

Polish Radio External Service reports that Rafał Blechacz's new album is to be released today, on September 18 in Poland.

"New Blechacz CD on early release

18.09.2009 10:00
A CD featuring both of Chopin’s Piano Concertos performed by Rafał Blechacz hits the music market in Poland today, two weeks before its worldwide launch.

The Polish pianist is accompanied by the Concertgebouw Orchestra from Amsterdam under the direction of famous Polish conductor Jerzy Semkow. The CD is Blechacz’s third under an exclusive contract which he signed with Deutsche Grammophon in 2006. The young pianist’s two previous CDs for that label featured Chopin’s Preludes and a selection of sonatas by the Viennese classics.

Rafał Blechacz is the winner of the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2005".

Sep 17, 2009

Review on Blechacz CD Chopin Concertos (Poland 2)

Review written by Jacek Marczyński, posted on Rzeczpospolita, Sept.16, 2009.

The Pole follows in the footsteps of masters
By Jacek Marczynski

Deutsche Grammophon heavily invests in the young Pole. And it believes in his talent, since the recording of Chopin's two concertos provided him with an excellent team. Rafał Blechacz is supported by the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, regarded as the best orchestra in the world ranking of the world's critics, published by the British magazine "Grammophone”.

Deutsche Grammophon also has in its catalog quite a fresh CD of Chopin's concertos performed by the biggest superstar on stages now in the world, Chinese Lang Lang. Specialists from the German company acknowledged, however, that the Pole could stand with him to the musical rivalry.

They are almost of the same age. Rafał Blechacz - born in 1985, Lang Lang - three years older. The recordings do not see, however, generational convergence. Chinese treated Chopin with youthful aggressiveness, while the Pole, expressively refers to the pianistic tradition. If we do not know who's playing, we recognize that we listen to the interpretation of one of the great virtuosos of the past.

Rafał Blechacz, however, does not copy anyone. His expertise enables him to sense the mysteries of Chopin's music, even those of the specific tempo. References to folk dances do not make him a problem. When in the final of concerto in F minor he plays with the rhythm of the mazurka, the piece seethes with joy, which contrasts notably with the nostalgic, beautifully performed Larghetto in the middle.

Blechacz is excellently prepared, but he doesn’t remind us of a student for the exam, his playing is characterized by the wonderful naturalness. He freely leads the narration, and we do not feel falsehood in what he has to convey. Today, when almost every pianist tries to - often by force - mark his individuality, he returned back to the talent for Chopin's music. And he won, because he is a hero of the album. Concertgebouw under the baton of maestro Jerzy Semkow sounds beautiful, but very dignified.

Another review written by ks. (Father) Arkadiusz Jędrasik posted on IAP and "Nasz Dziennik" 2009-09-17.

English (machine-translated)
This English is nearly perfect.

Part of the interview with Jacek Hawryluk has been posted on on Sept.16.
I think it comes from this interview.
(I've lost the original Polish article. Sorry!!)

Sep 16, 2009

Review on Blechacz new CD Chopin Concertos(Poland) on September 16 posted a review on Rafał Blechacz's new album "Chopin The Piano Concertos"
written by Magdalena Talik
titled "Phenomenal recording of Chopin's concertos".

…Chopin piano concertos with the best orchestra in the world - the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam under the baton of Jerzy Semkow is a musical masterpiece, which can be seen on fewer discs.

With Chopin, Blechacz doesn’t try to polish up, infect impeccable technique to seduce the audience. On the contrary, he remains humble, while describing as always in all detail. So beautiful triumphs of ornamentation, such as those in the chronologically first (albeit the second as opus) Concerto in F minor, not admired for a long time. Not touching on the full power, but without aggression or abuse of any impact.

Piano sound is colored with youthful energy, which is hardly surprising, because Blechacz is much older than Chopin, at the time when the composer wrote the work. And growing in similar environments as the composer (loving family, attentive and sensitive teacher), Blechacz developed the sense of fraternity with Chopin, which is not found in many young pianists seeking for fame. Rafał remained delicate, full of subtleties, deep listening to the music, and absolutely devoted to it. So is the performance. He is pursuing Chopin's concertos with warmth and intimacy, as well as with a variety of characteristic of a youthful age.

Album opens with the Concerto in E minor, which the Pole has kept as repertoire ever since the Chopin Competition. Fans remember how great and beautiful he executed the final of this composition, which ultimately gave Blechacz victory. The album we get is a live recording, so it would seem more meaningful. What is the most amazing of the concertos? Above all, it is the sound of Chopin. It is the Polish sound, despite the fact that Jerzy Semkow directs the Dutch orchestra. But from what is white – was made lively feeling.

Recently, one of the leading Polish conductors spoke somewhat disparaging about Semkow, in a way to depreciate his achievements, because sometimes they lack the spectacular nature. He should listen to it – what an elegance, sophistication, in a perfectly straight-cut style of Chopin that Semkow conducted. And what a dialogue without words exists between him and Rafał Blechacz. How wide is the epic in phrase, but at the same time how warm, full of charm.

Blechacz and Semkow rise from here on the heights of joint music-making, even though you do not hear that any of them tried to achieve the effect that others will applaud. Perhaps thanks to unpretentious approach of this album, people naturally give ovation. With standing.

English of the review (machine-translated)

Magdalena Talik introduces Blechacz's new CD (Aug. 2009)
Magdalena Talik's review on Blechacz's CD "sonatas - haydn, mozart, beethoven" for Newsweek, Oct, 2008

Sep 15, 2009

Blechacz congratulates DG's 111 years (revised)

Universal Music Germany posted Rafał Blechacz's congratulatory remarks to Deutsche Grammophon for the label's 111 years' history.

I found that his message I saw on DG's website is not a complete one.
The following is the full text (I suppose) that Blechacz offered for the label.

I hope that DGs's website administrator will be aware that its posting at DG site has missed the first part of Blechacz's remarks and Martin Lovett's greeting is mixed with Blechacz's.

(↑The Blechacz's greeting was corrected and now there is no missed part. But the other person's greeting is still hanging. as of Sept.17)

"My first contact with Deutsche Grammophon was a Christmas present I received 18 years ago: Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.

I already had a pretty big classical collection when I was a first-year music student, and I soon realized that the recordings I chose and enjoyed listening to most often had a yellow cartouche.

That logo told me to expect the highest artistic quality, to expect excitement and emotion from the music on those yellow-labelled records.

I am happy and grateful to be one of the Deutsche Grammophon artists celebrating 111 years of its history.
This 3-digit number is a triple confirmation of the company’s fidelity to classical music,
to its professionalism,
and to its willingness to share the beauty of art with millions of music lovers all around the world.

I also firmly believe that Deutsche Grammophon’s respect for tradition and never-ending quest for perfection
will ensure that these words are still true 111 years from now.

Rafał Blechacz "

DG released a special 6-CD box of 111 tracks to represent its 111 year-history, which includes Blechacz's Chopin Prelude G-major.
Blechacz's Prelude is at 8th track of CD 1.

Sep 13, 2009

Promo Video Blechacz Chopin concertos @Amsterdam

Promo video of "Chopin The Piano Concertos" by Rafał Blechacz has been released on KlassikAkzente and Amazon German sites.

Please see the video @ KlassikAkzente. I Recommend it, larger screen

Also available @ Amazon

You can see the recording sessions at Amsterdam Concertgebouw with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the direction of Jerzy Semkow.

Rafał Blechacz mainly talks about Chopin Concerto in F minor.

This video reminded me of the review written by a Dutch critic Divine Blechacz became Chopin.

I could also imagine how it is like if Blechacz conducts an orchestra.

Sep 12, 2009

Rafał Blechacz congratulates DG's 111 years

Rafał Blechacz offers congratulatory remarks to Deutsche Grammophon for the label's 111 years' of excellence.

"I am happy and grateful to be one of the Deutsche Grammophon artists celebrating 111 years of its history.
This 3-digit number is a triple confirmation of the company’s fidelity to classical music,
to its professionalism,
and to its willingness to share the beauty of art with millions of music lovers all around the world.

I also firmly believe that Deutsche Grammophon’s respect for tradition and never-ending quest for perfection
will ensure that these words are still true 111 years from now.

Rafał Blechacz "

See DG page for Rafał Blechacz and other DG artists messages.
(In Blechacz's column, Martin Lovett's greeting is mistakenly mixed up.)


Nordsee-Zeitung, Daily newspaper in Bremerhaven, Bremen Germany, on the on-line version on Sept.13,
introduces new albums in autumn,
of the artists young and old, including Horowitz, Murray Perahia, Yuja Wang, David Theodor Schmidt, Nikolai Tokarev and Rafał Blechacz.

As for Rafał Blechacz's new album "Chopin The Piano Concertos" to be released on Oct.2 in Germany, it says:

"....The reception of the two piano concerts by the young Pole Rafal Blechacz shows that one can absolutely increase the value of many-scolded orchestra parts by Chopin, due on October 2 by Deutsche German gramophone. Jerzy Semkow lets the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam make music so color-rich that the 24-year old pianist can advance like on a carpet. As Blechacz known already in his Preludes to tickle his Chopin enormously - far beyond any salon attitude. Here is a pianist who brings out 88-key all out, which is possible. Fantastic! "

(↑ I had no time to verify this machine-translated English....sorry.)

English of the full text (machine-translated)

10月2日にリリースとなる、若いポーランド人ラファウ・ブレハッチの新譜を聴けば、あまり評判のよろしくないオケのパートにも付加価値を与えることが必ずできるのだとわかる。イェジー・セムコフは、コンセルトヘボウ管弦楽団をとても色彩豊かに演奏させたので、24歳のラファウ・ブレハッチは魔法の絨毯に乗って、前に進むことができた。前奏曲のアルバムで独自のショパンの魅力をとてつもなく発揮したブレハッチ、サロン音楽のレベルは遥かに超えていた。88の鍵盤を生かしきることが出来るピアニスト - これができる演奏家もいるのだ。なんと素晴らしい!
(↑ 多忙につき、機械翻訳による独→英の検証ができていません。その不確かな英語をタテにしたものです。あしからず・・)

Sep 5, 2009

Blechacz interviewed before CD release (Poland)

Rafał Blechacz's interview just before the release of his new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" was posted
on as of Sept.4.

He talks about audiences, instruments with words of admiration for the tuner in Amsterdam,
choice of orchestra and maestro, his management in 12 countries,
plans for Chopin year & Liszt year (2011), how he prepares repertoire
and study of philosophy (axiology).

First Blechacz characterizes audiences in different countries; Japan with the audience reacting very emotionally and joyfully, he has a fan-club, who follows him to all his concerts in Japan, some also traveling for him to Europe. Audience in Germany is his favorite, listening to concerts with great reverence and concentration. He says Germany is a unique country of music with many great halls and people coming to concerts dressed festively in order to experience something beautiful. Finally, he mentions about Holland whose great audience enthusiastic and quickly react and are very sophisticated, with a daily access to great bands, soloists and orchestras.

Blechacz says although he doesn’t travel with his instrument, like Krystian Zimerman, he’s heard Alfred Brendel traveled for many years not only with his piano, but with his tuner, who prepared the instrument for him before each concert. Also Maurizio Pollini was with two pianos, which are chosen depending on the acoustics of the hall and repertoire. Blechacz says that instruments may be different, even only with the Steinway and some well-known, prestigious halls’ pianos are very good, well-prepared and sometimes he has choice from two or even three instruments. One of the reasons he recorded the new CD of Chopin concertos at Amsterdam Concertgebouw was that he knew the instrument and the tuner there who prepares the mechanism suitable to a particular intonation or hall repertoire.

After talking about the orchestra and the maestro whom he collaborated with for the recording and how he manages his artistic activities through agencies in 12 countries, he mentioned about Chopin year 2010 when he will play in US, Europe and Japan and Liszt year 2011 which he will start in February and March with Concertos by Liszt with Philadelphia Orchestra directed by Charles Dutoit in US.

He then talked about how he prepares for concerts. Like other artists, he wants to have the “second ear” to be able to obtain ideas from others who are knowledgeable on the pieces he works on, e.g. Zimerman, Pollini or Maria Tipo. He is now working on pieces of Szymanowski and Debussy and when it’s done and he feels ready he might want to consult with other artists, but independence is quite important in this development.

About studying philosophy, he says that it should be a springboard to music, but the more he’s engaged in reading, especially in the field of axiology, it raises greater awareness of treating music and enriches his personality, and therefore interpretations. He is fascinated by the works by Roman Ingarden and Prof. Władysław Stróżewski.

English of the interview (machine-translated)
The English is understandable.

Please see his interview with Polish Radio 2 (1) and (2), as contents are similar to this interivew.

To Japanese readers:

↑ ....と思ったのですが、ポーランドのファンの方から「ラファウが日本のことを率先して話してるのに、なぜ?」とNGが出まして、それもそうだな、と思い、冒頭部分も追加しました。(9月6日追記)


Sep 4, 2009

Rafał Blechacz at Moscow Conservatory (2006)

From my archive, Rafał Blechacz playing a recital (Chopin program)
at Bolshoi Hall, Moscow Conservatory, 2006.

"....Performance in the concert hall of Moscow Conservatory, belonged to one of the most stressful,
but also moving moments in my entire career
- before me there were after all Rubinstein, Richter, Gilels, but also Gould..."
(Rafał Blechacz during the interview with Dziennik, July 2009.)

Souce:Kawai Music Association in February 2006

Sep 1, 2009

Blechacz Salzburg recital webcast Sept. 12 & 13

Rafał Blechacz recital in Salzburg in August 2008 will be broadcast
by Klara Radio (Belgium)
at 16:00 (CEST) on Saturday September 12 and 13.

(1) Sept.12 - Klara Radio program page

Johann Sebastian Bach: Italian concerto in F BWV 971
Franz Liszt: The concert studies La Leggierezza - Waldesrauschen - Gnomenreigen
Claude Debussy: Estampes: Pagodes - La soirée dans Grenade - Jardins sous la pluie

(2) Sept. 13 - Klara Radio program page

Frédéric Chopin: Sonate in bes op 58
Frédéric Chopin: Mazurka in e opus 17/2
Frédéric Chopin: Wals in cis opus 64/2

Please press "LUISTER LIVE/NOW ON AIR" on the top-right of the page.

New CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos"

KlassikAkzente page for Rafał Blechacz was updated to give news of the new CD release.
The release date of "Frederic Chopin: Klavierkonzerte Nr. 1 & 2" in Germany is October 2.

Product detail
iTunes store

U.K. (UK)
Preorder of "Chopin Piano Concerti" accepted now, release date Oct.12 in UK.

Empik (1) ←Polish edition. (2)

Release date of "Chopin Koncerty Fortepianowe PL" is September 18 in Poland.
International version will be on Oct.5.