Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Oct 28, 2009

Blechacz new CD release in Slovakia, China, Korea

From the new CD column of Spiegel Wissen, Germany, issue as of October 28

Frédéric Chopin: "Die Klavierkonzerte"Rarely, a performance of these pieces really succeeds, because they are not artist's fireworks or symphonic mountains.
Rafał Blechacz knows this and has a solution:
The Polish young star recognizes long chamber-meditations in them, which he listens closely to know anew.
The Concertgebouw orchestra under Jerzy Semkow seconds (supports) him splendidly with it.

New CD release
Slovakia shopping site.
The CD was released on Oct.26.

China, released on Oct.13, but it is not a shopping site. It says "Go to". (=US)
(I was informed by my friend in US that she pre-ordered the CD in early October but the delivery delayed and she must wait for another week before delivery although site says the CD is in stock.)

Korea, to be released on November 3, 2009.

The young master, the winner of 2005 Chopin competition, the holy pianist of Poland returned back to Chopin.
The second Album of Chopin by this marvelous pianist will be released domestically on November 3.
The pianist who made a spectacular debut by selling over 60,000 discs world wide draws more expectations as he recorded both of Chopin’s concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Oct 27, 2009

Blechacz congratulates Deutsche Grammophon (Video)

Rafał Blechacz congratulates Deutsche Grammophon for its 111th anniversary in Polish. 

"Wszystkiego najlepszego dla Deutsche Grammophon." = "All the best for Deutsche Grammophon."
(↑ Am I correct?)

This video was posted on October 26, 2009.

Watch the video with a bigger screen.

On the same day, the Promotion Video for Blechacz's new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" was posted anew.
It was withdrawn once and re-posted. Therefore, the number of views was reset starting from this day.
I don't know why. Many of the previous postings by DG were withdrawn on this day.
Very glad to see this beautiful video of his beautiful concerto restored.

Rafał Blechacz - Chopin Piano Concerto

Watch the video with a bigger screen.

Oct 26, 2009

A.Rozlach review/interview on Blechacz new CD

Adam Rozlach's program by Polish Radio 1 "KONCERT CHOPINOWSKI" on October 11
reviewed Chopin concerto in F minor by Rafał Blechacz from his new CD.

Dana listened to the program and provided the review by A.Rozlach in English.
A lot of thanks to Dana for her help.

Adam Rozlach's review on Chopin Concerto in E minor

First movement:
The beginning is lively enough- although the tone is lyrical as well as the sound.
The soloist begins plying beautifully and delicately.
He slows down and accelerates in an extraordinary, subtle way.
The gentlest places are simply at the limit of hearing but they are so soft so noble that they sound twice as interesting.

All is very distinct, harmonious, extraordinary.
The music sounds clear when Rafał goes forward, but in these lyrical parts he never forgets about the poetical reflection.
He plays with the musical figures.

The culmination of orchestra is quite restrained in the presence of the determined piano.
Maestro Semkow shows his majesty here. The reprise is again beautifully softened then develops by interesting contrasts of dynamics.

The first movement is very interesting. It leaves in memory very subtle touches and fantastic precision of technique in playing.

The second movement:
Larghetto is like a dream. Beautiful sound of piano spreads in space.
It is the art which Rafał Blechacz is impressing us. All in delicate frames, it is Chopin's magic.
The beautiful narration, the master articulation.
All is very interesting especially by music.

The third movement:
The calmest of all, stable.
French horn wakes us up by its phenomenal interpretation especially of the second signal, calling the rest of the orchestra to play with the pianist.

This CD is a musical tribute to Chopin for his 200 anniversary by our extremely talented pianist.
We are grateful to the pianist, listening to his interpretation gives a lot of joy to everybody.
(The end)

Twoja Muza posted a part of the text of interview that Rafał Blechacz gave in July shortly after he recorded Chopin's two concertos in Amsterdam.

The interview was broadcast by Polish Radio 1 hosted by Adam Rozlach.
After the broadcast, the outline of the interview was posted on this site Preludia,
thanks greatly to the contribution done by Dana♪ 

See the interview on Twoja Muza site (Polish).
The subtitle of the article is "Thank God, it's beautiful!"
The text covers about half of the entire interview.

English (machine-translated)
I believe the readers can understand what he says.

Yundi Li, the winner of 2000 Chopin Competition, will tour in Japan in April, 2010.
The concert management office:Japan Arts announced the schedule a few days ago.
It's "All Chopin Program".
Yundi will have eleven recitals nationwide from April 6 to April 25.
The schedule is very tough. He goes back and forth, between the north and south repeatedly and must travel a long distance every two days.
Shunan (near Fukuoka)→Sendai→Sasebo (2 hours from Fukuoka)→Sapporo→Tokyo→Osaka→Nagoya→Tokyo→Fukuoka→Mibu (100km from Tokyo)→Yokohama.
It's cruel to the artist!
I hope that more reasonable schedule will be set for Blechacz's Japan tour in October 2010.

Oct 23, 2009

Blechacz new CD already platinum status (Poland)

Rafał Blechacz's new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" has attained the platinum status in Poland
in only five weeks after the release on September 18.

Please see Empik site

Oficjalna Lista Sprzedazy (Official List of Sales)
(Sales for the period between Oct.12 and Oct.18)

As of today (October 23), Blechacz's CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" is at 13th place, down from 5th of last week
and his CD has been ranked in the hit chart for 5 weeks now.
The ☆ mark shows that his CD is at the platinum status.

Please remember that this is the chart of all kinds of music, where Blechacz's CD is ranked the highest in classical music.
Other musicians given the platinum are, e.g. Madonna, Michael Jackson, etc...

Thanks to Dana for the news.

In Taiwan, the new CD will be released on October 29.
"布列哈茲"= Blechacz
"鋼琴" = piano
"謝姆庫夫" = Semkow
"阿姆斯特丹大會堂管弦樂團" = Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra
"波蘭" = Poland

"適度的華美" = moderate brilliance and beauty
"音樂中純粹的魔力" = the magic of pure music".
(↑ For Japanese people who can recognize traditional Chinese characters used in Taiwan and Hongkong, it's very interesting..)

At the beginning, the article says;
"In Poland, the CD topped the gold record status on the first day of the release".

After describing Blechacz's bio, it concludes;
"Among the younger generation of musicians today, Blechacz has a rare personality; his graceful, delicate and poetic interpretation of Chopin's works is indispensable; his solemn temperament and moderate brilliance and beauty conveys the magic of pure music".

Taiwan’s newspaper “Takungpao” posted an essay titled "Recordings by Rookies”, written by 赖建群 (Lai Jian-Qun)
on its website on Oct.22.

“Recently, many new recording have been released, among them there are wonderful works from a number of New Horizons.

High-profile and preferred one is by Chopin International Piano Competition First Prize winner, Rafał Blechacz, the recording of the Chopin concertos. He is a pianist whom I have recently paid much attention. In the generation of young pianists, he is better equipped with the fundamental techniques to hone out the playing. In addition, with his sweet nature, his playing is natural and also the most precious”.

After Blechacz, the author writes about other young promising musicians such as Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, young Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko and young pianist Cheung Wai-ching.

Oct 22, 2009

"Four years ago" and Today.

Congratulations!! on the fourth anniversary of Rafał's winning.

Time flies, isn't it?
Four years have passed since Rafał Blechacz was awarded the gold prize
in an unprecedented manner in the 2005 Chopin Competition.

Since then, or even since before that, his music has always been the source of happiness,
relaxing our minds,
purifying our hearts and
fulfilling in our lives.

Thank you Rafał Blechacz.
It's always very difficult to express our deepest appreciation to you with words.

Yesterday, I posted an interview that Rafal gave during Japan tour in February.
It reminded me that after the Japan tour, I received an e-mail from an admirer of Rafał's music in Korea.
She came to Japan to go to Rafal's recital at Tokyo Opera City on Feb.14.

(First, she writes about her impression of Mozart sonata C dur played by Rafal.)

"It's beautiful, clean, delicate and warm.
Particularly I love his pianos".

"Last February, I attended Rafał's recital at Tokyo opera city concert hall.

His pleasure of playing the piano spread to me
and concert hall seems to be purified by his playing,
so I felt as if I were in a beautiful dream.

Rafał's piano always gives me energy, dream, and love for art.

Best regards, Yewon"

This is what Beata, another admierer in Poland, said about his new CD "Chopin Concertos".

"When I go to job and Rafał's concertos stay at home,
I have the impression that the peace of my heart stays at home too."

Thanks to Yewon and Beata.
I believe there are many who are of the same view.

"Kampai (toast)!!" to the happiness of our beloved pianist and all music lovers.

Oct 21, 2009

About playing organ, Bach, Chopin, Paderewski & recording of Chopin Concertos -Blechacz interview (Japan)

"Record Geijutsu (recorded music, art)" November, a monthly issued on Oct.20 in Japan carried an interview with Rafał Blechacz that he gave in Feb. this year during his Japan tour.

Interviewer: Tsutomu Nasuda

This photo was taken in the summer 2007 for another interview in Japan.


For the past four years since his phenomenal victory at the 15th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, he has stably built up a career as a concert pianist by playing for concerts and recording CDs. He will release the third disc “Chopin The Piano Concertos” for Deutsche Grammophon in October following the “Chopin Complete Preludes” and the “sonatas”. I had the opportunity to talk with 24 year-old Rafał Blechacz, the young genius from Poland alongside with his visit to Japan in February when he performed a soloist for Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Blechacz came from Nakło nad Notecią in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodership , Poland. A pious Catholic, he used to play organ since he was a young child in church in the neighborhood. Does this give influence to his soul and pianism? My question began from this.

Playing organ is useful for playing piano
RB: I’m willing to play organ even today if time allows it. First it was not piano but a small pipe organ that attracted my musical passion. Small organ with one set of keyboard and registers were probably fifteen or so. The organ at the church of my hometown Nakło is a little bigger with two sets of keyboards and about 20 stops. I’ve played this organ several times mainly for mass and church services. If I have additional time after that, I’m willing to play to enjoy myself. I’ve held organ concerts several times although they are on small scale.

-- You really love playing organ! It’s between ourselves (laughing), but which instrument do you have a stronger passion for, organ or piano?

RB: Today it is piano, definitely. But I must say that playing organ is useful for playing piano in various ways. I love Bach and play his pieces with piano. I sometimes try to make sure timbers with organ. Apart from Bach, I recognize parts of some piano works are quite similar to organ music, such as the beginning of piano concert in G minor by Saint-Saëns, some portions of variations by Szymanowski. Chopin Prelude No.20 is another example.

--If you look at technique, how do you relate organ to piano? I know someone who points out that piano music by Beethoven stems from organ’s touch. 

RB: For me it is more about how to interpret music. But organ is useful for technical aspect, too. For example, playing organ enhances the ability for legato. You can play legato relatively easier with piano, but with organ, you need to express it with fingerings only. 

-- Do you love polyphonic music?
RB: Absolutely. There are quite a few polyphonic pieces by Bach and by Chopin in his later period such as Fantasie, Polonaises and Nocturnes. What is interesting is when playing organ, you can change sounds using stops; but when it comes to piano playing, you need to express the changes by various touches. Here organ is useful to identify the image of desirable sound.

-- What kind of music do you listen to in day to day life?

RB: I like classical music but I tend not to listen to piano music. These days I listen to ..well ..operas, organ, symphonic pieces and chamber music. When I’m with my sister, we hear pops. While driving I usually turn on radio and probably choose pop music. It’s dangerous to hear classical music when I’m a driver because it takes my attention too much (laughing).

1st Partita by Bach – I really want to play
-- If you have the opportunity to record works by Bach, which pieces would you like to select?

RB: Partitas, Goldberg Variations, Well-Tempered Clavier, Italian Concerto….well when it comes to recording, I must think it seriously. Actually there are a mountain of beautiful pieces with each of them giving me inspiration. The Art of Fugue is also impressive. I would like to play the 1st Partita in 2009/2010 season. By any chance, I might want to record Bach by organ (laughing). Of course I don’t know. 

-- Do you have in mind any specific organ in church that you would like to play for recording?

RB: I have my house in a village which is a little bit beyond Nakło, and I would like to play a concert there in a church in Częstochowa in the near future.

(This is what the original Japanese text reads. I’m not for sure which church he refers to, a church in Częstochowa, or Jasna góra in Częstochowa or a church in the village of his house.)

The church has a large, beautiful organ with more than 30 stops. In Poland, we have many Catholic churches with organs. I must say the organ in Oliwa is excellent among other things. The Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw also has a wonderful organ. I had the opportunity to play that organ for three hours in that hall after the organist gave me a permission. There was no one else in the hall and I had the luxury to play at will. It was just four days after the Chopin Competition completed, so for me it was a special prize. A very pleasant memory. Regrettably, though, Chopin didn’t write a piece for organ. But I know some Preludes sound very beautifully when played by organ and there is a story that Chopin used to play organ at church when he lived in Warsaw. Another story is that he played organ for an accompaniment to the songs sung by Konstancja Gładkowska. Let me say that these experiences definitely helped him get inspirations for the 2nd movement of his piano concerto No.2. 

Polish tradition in playing Chopin
-- Are you one of those who take sufficient time before playing a new piece of music?

RB: It all depends on the piece. If the piece is bigger in scale, it takes more time to make it my own; it requires considerable time to be able to convinced that I’ve mastered it. When I try to expand my repertoire, first I select a new piece assuming that it will be eventually recorded. Then I play it in a relatively small hall in Poland to check it and then bring it to a bigger hall. Once I’m convinced of mastery, then I would bring it to the recording studio. This was the case for recording “Complete Preludes” by Chopin. I performed these Preludes before the audience during my tours in Japan, for example. Accumulating experiences of playing gave me confidence to go ahead. After feeling “It’s O.K.” I recorded them in the studio in Hamburg.

-- Halina Czerny-Stefańska frequently came to Japan in her late years. She made effort to teach young Japanese mazurkas and polonaises of Poland by giving lessons and holding seminars. Do you have a sense that you are connected with the Polish tradition of playing Chopin?

RB: Polish people including myself possess a deep musical tradition. I often listen to the recording by Raul Koczalski. He was a student of Karol Mikuli who was a student of Chopin. Therefore, Koczalski is a second-generation pupil of Chopin. He left a lot of pieces recorded and I have a lot to learn from them. Of course style and trend of playing may change as we go forward in time. However I think that there is an invariable tradition regardless of such changes. Another thing that I can count on is the letters written by Chopin and writings by those close to him. Reading such a literature, I can understand how Chopin played clearly and completely. It is written that Chopin played the Concerto in F minor so smoothly as if he was walking in heaven. I like performances of Chopin’s music by other Polish pianists such as Paderewski and Rubinstein, too. Listening to them is quite informative. 

Summer in 2007 for different occasion of interview.

Paderewski - already my flesh and blood

-- How do you like the new Ekier edition?

RB; I was given a set of scores of the Ekier edition as an additional prize of the Chopin Competition. I use them sometimes. But for the Competition, I performed based on Paderewski because I had always been using Paderewski and didn’t want to change it just before the competition. In Poland, many people use Paderewski edition even today.

-- What is your personal view of the Ekier? Any chances to play with it in the future?

RB: Paderewski edition has already been my flesh and blood. It is difficult to imagine changing it all. But I have an impression that there is something interesting in fingering in the Ekier. Sometimes, therefore, I refer to it. For example, Polonaise in A flat major (Mr.Nasuda's note: Heroic Polonaise) has a part where a tone of C with accent is repeated obstinately in a very quiet scene. The Ekier edition gives an instruction to play them with the thumb. Following the instruction allows me to generate a natural accent. When using other fingers, I need to be careful to accentuate. This is an example that I like to use this particular edition for.

Recording Chopin's Concertos with compatriot maestro

You are going to record the two piano concertos by Chopin. How do you characterize maestro Semkow?

RB: He is energetic and excellent from a musical viewpoint. In the Piano Concertos by Chopin, there are times when orchestra must echo the same part as the piano solo part; Expressing appropriately tempo rubatos and agogics requires the highest level of delicacy and sensitivity. I think he has a full-fledged understanding of it and we will be able to effectively collaborate. I strongly believe that it is meaningful to play Chopin with the musician who has grown in the same land as Chopin. I would like to let people listen to the Chopin music grounded on the Polish tradition.

-- How do you spend your days off? For example what books are you fond of?

RB: I began studying philosophy at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń last year. Studies of Plato and Aristotle. Also, there is a Polish philosopher Roman Witold Ingarden who has interesting writings of philosophy of music. I’m interested in and read his books. Ingarden was a student of Husserl, the phenomenologist. Therefore, I read books on Husserl, too.

-- Do you go to church on Sunday during your stay in Japan?

RB: Yes, I’ve already been there twice. I will go to another mass when I go to Osaka later this week. The church in Hatsudai (name of a town in Tokyo) I went to recently had a new organ installed and it sounded fabulously.

-- You don’t play piano on Sabbath day?

RB: Of course I don’t play when I’m at home – I’m joking. Actually I spend more time playing piano on Sunday than usual. Last week I held a recital on Saturday (at Tokyo Opera City Hall), so exceptionally I didn’t play piano in the following day or on Sunday. This Sunday was the only day off for me during the Japan tour. But basically I’m like a bird who has no day when he doesn’t fly. I have no day when I don’t play piano (laughing).

-- What is the relationship between faith and music for you?

RB: It is meaningful that faith is a support for me to live. Faith supports me as a human and as a musician when I do various activities wherever I am. It is something that I always count on. For Bach, Mozart and many other artists, faith was of great significance from a different angle. Bach had to write cantata for Sunday mass; for Mozart, requiem was one of the most important works. Many musicians have found a profound meaning in faith; in the same manner, for me faith is essential.

-- Thank you very much for your time. I wish for your continued success.
(End of the interview)

Small and slim built with a boyish face, Rafał Blechacz was a quiet, sincere and intelligent man– the same as the music he performs. I had this interview with him eight months ago. Today, I received his new CD “Chopin The Piano Concertos”. As is always so, there is nothing that he tried to do something especially differentiating. His playing is never aggressive or pretentious. His graceful touch and purest expression bring out the music naturally spreading fresh and juicy spirits everywhere. While listening, I was taken back to the time when I heard these Concertos for the first time and was deeply moved. His concerto in F minor is especially touching. Only a youth of delicate and pure soul like him can perform it in such a way to purify your heart and mind.
(by Tsutomu Nasuda)

Nasuda's review on CD "sonatas"
Nasuda's review on CD "Preludes"

Oct 16, 2009

Fryderyk Chopin - Collection of 20 CDs (Poland)

Polish Radio Program 2 assumes media patronage over the 20-volume collection of "Fryderyk Chopin" from the catalogue of Universal Music (Deutsche Grammophon & Decca).
The collection includes performances by such distinguished pianists as Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Stanislav Bunin, Yundi Li, Krystian Zimerman and Rafał Blechacz.
To be issued beginning on Oct. 17, 160th anniversary of the composer's death.

Polish Radio 2 site
Volume 16 "Preludes" + Mazurka op.50-1 (previously unreleased in Poland) is by Rafał Blechacz.

Gazeta Wyborcza gives brief descriptions of each volume.
For volume 16:
"A collection of recordings without Rafał Blechacz? Impossible. The young pianist, winner of the Chopin Piano Competition in 2005, playing the Preludes. We look at his debut album, published in the Deutsche Grammophon label in 2007, Chopin 24 Preludes, composed in the winter 1838/39, staying with George Sand in Mallorca. Schumann beautifully wrote of them: "They are sketches, outlines of etudes, or, if you will - the ruins, loose eagle's wings, a strange combination of works ..."Blechacz arranges them in a logically developing cycle that has its intensities and climaxes. With the interpretation of the Preludes, he gives out youthfulness and joy of playing....a surprise, never-before released Mazurka in G major, Op. 50 No. 1. Gift from Rafał".

Jerzy Semkow - one of the most distinguished Polish conductors, who this year completed 80 years - received the Diamond Baton, a prestigious music award granted by the Board of Polish Radio.

Polish Radio site (Polish) (Audio interview included.)
English (machine-translated)

Oct 15, 2009

Fidelity to Chopin, score& rapport among musicians

Review on Rafał Blechacz's new recording "Chopin Piano Concertos" by Tomasz Sztuka
posted on the site of Gazeta Prawna (Poland) on October 10.

URL of the original review:
Please scroll down to the photo of Blechacz to select the review.

Blechacz's new recording is impressive
by Tomasz Sztuka

When I was able to listen to Rafał Blechacz playing Piano Concerto in E minor by Chopin in 2005, I was convinced that he should win the prize in the Chopin Competition, and certainly he would conquer hearts of music lovers. With hindsight I can say that he was able to do both. Recently he released his latest CD with the concertos by Chopin.

Blechacz became the first "valuable export" of Polish music.
He signed a lucrative contract with the famed label Deutsche Grammophon, which previously Krystian Zimerman only managed to do, and went onto the world. The CD with two piano concertos by Chopin released in late September shows that Blechacz has both talent and rare ability for deep interpretation. Blechacz’s music clearly shows his inner needs and is characterized by emotions. Therefore, the style is different from Zimerman, which is often called – by his whole perfection- "mechanical".

Blechacz tries not to be pigeonholed as just the chopinist.

After the release of the first disc for DG with preludes by Chopin (2007), he recorded rather quickly very well received sonatas of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. CD with concertos of Chopin, as the underlying artist, is related to the upcoming year of Chopin.

It seems to me that the return to the Polish composer, is also a nod to the viewpoint of listeners who on the success of Blechacz in 2005, were waiting for the complete recording of the concertos.

It is worth noting that his execution is not show-off, he doesn’t have revolutionary characteristics.

Our young pianist draws upon several performances.
He relates to the tradition, but at the same time keeps his own thought out style. The ultra-lightness, freshness, and at the same time fidelity to Chopin’s tradition made me a comparison with old but the model recordings of concertos performed by the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Witold Rowicki, Regina Smendzianka (F minor) and Halina Czerny-Stefańska (E minor), both concertos recorded in 1959.

Recorded concerto in E minor, is by far the better than the previous recording for DG executed by Yundi Li and the Philharmonia Orchestra directed by Andrew Davis, where the conductor weighed volume rather than accuracy of interpretation.

Important feature of the new recording is the absolute harmony between the orchestra, the pianist and the conductor.

Neither party takes top. The pianist does not try to gain momentum for priority, which is characteristic of many other recordings such as the one by Lang Lang.
Blechacz does not grab cheap tricks, not making it strange. He masterfully interprets and allows the eminent Dutch orchestra to exist on equal.

It seems that for an example of not being consistent is the concerto recording by Olga Kern and the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Antoni Wit (ed. Harmonia Mundi, 2006). where liquid playing by the pianist deviated from heavy style orchestra.

Blechacz had a rare privilege of choosing both the conductor and his favorite orchestra to record the concerto. The choice he has made turned out to be very accurate.

In December 2008, the prestigious professional magazine "Gramophone" gave the Dutch Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra the title of the best orchestra in the world. (Ranking by Gramophone Magazine)

Today rarely touring, a great Polish conductor Jerzy Semkow extracts from Chopin concertos what is most important to them:
youthful lightness, sometimes belligerence, all in good tempo, without the bravado and bluff. I am sometimes under the impression that this recording extracts notes out of the score which are" missing" in many other recordings - vanished, drowned or would not sound to the end because of the imposed tempo. Surely a big merit is the chaste sound of instrument by Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Chopin wrote the concertos just at the beginning of his career.

Before he left Poland in 1830, it belonged to the world of canon concert. Both works clearly refer to the form and concert convention created in brilliant style, typical of initial nineteenth century, compositions also including those by John Field, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Carl Maria von Weber, in Poland, for example, by Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński ..

Chopin also intended to compose a third concert. Trail of this idea is the Allegro de concert in A major, Op. 46, 1841, for piano solo. Third Piano Concerto, however, was never created.

In Australia, Blechacz's new CD was released on October 9.

UK's release was on Oct.12.

Universal Music Italy has release news for Blechacz. To be released on Oct.23. Italy

Denmark, you can place an order here.

The new CD was released in North America too. (US, Canada)
My friens there (Konstancja and Kuma) were able to listen to the new CD.
They are very happy.
I'm very happy too to know that.

Let me report that in Japan quite a few admirers of Blechacz’s music obtained the new CD (import version) at the first day of this month, a week earlier than the release of domestic version.

“I’m already addicted to the beautiful playing by Rafał-san. I read the essay by Prof. Stróżewski in the booklet and look at the photo of Rafał-san’s playing the concerto at his parish church (2006) as it is referred to by the Prof. I’m so happy, believe you are of the same feeling; I’ll be absorbed in listening to it for some more days”.

@ St. Lawrence's Church, his parish church in Nakło nad Notecią,
Sept.2, 2006

“I’ve listened to the concertos played by Rafał-san with other orchestras and maestros. The latest one is however definitely different from them. I feel something noble, exalted and enthralled unprecedentedly. Although these are the pieces that I’ve listened to countless times, still I feel I’m listening to it for the first time if it’s played by Rafał-san. There is real depth in the orchestra’s sound, too”.

“Fantastic!! His playing lets me feel as if I’m spoken to by the artist”.

“I love the Concerto in F minor in this disc. We can hear this concerto next year (during his Japan tour in October 2010), am I correct?”

Oct 13, 2009

Pundits admire Blechacz Chopin Concertos (Poland)

The following URL is for a review on Oct. 10, 2009 by Tomasz Sztuka in Gazeta Prawna.
It was sent to me by Roman who says that the review is very good.

Thank you very much Roman for your kind & warm support (as always).

Unfortunately, I couldn't access this site. I don't know what is wrong. I tried to reach using two different PCs and different browsers (IE and Chrome), trying to access from google search, to read cache... with no avail.
Maybe some IP addresses aren't routed to the site....
Hope that this is an isolate incident.

Anyway, if you can read Polish, plrease read this "good" review.
From the URL, please scroll down to the picture of Blechacz to select the article.

↑ After posting this part, I received the Polish text of the review copied by Dana.
Thaaaaank you!!
Now I'm occupied by my job and I'll read & work on this (maybe) the day after tomorrow...

...And it was posted (English)

The following segment is a comment on Chopin Concerto in E minor from Blechacz's new CD
by Adam Rozlach from his program of Poland Radio 1 "KONCERT CHOPINOWSKI"
which was broadcast on September 19.

Dana listened to the program, prepared the English description and sent to me for all of us.
Deepest appreciation to Dana for her strong commitment to supporting her favorite artist (as always).

The sound of this album is magnificent. You can admire the concerto E-Minor for its swing, impetus, energy, you can taste it, its music is poetry and an example of master articulation.
This Concerto is above all played in a very natural way, during which all the time you can feel Rafal's thinking. The play continues to go forward, there is the great impetus but there is at the same time a great finesse of play and the refinement very typical of Chopin. From the presentation of the theme Blechacz takes us to another heavenly straight realm of feelings, melancholic melody enchants us by subtleness but also by a pearly articulation. The sounds glisten the noblest shades and what is the most important the pianist doesn't lose this finesse even in the most dramatic places, the culminations he never escapes from the beauty, the poetry of sound. After the spiritual lyrical poem at once he directs the dramaturgy by the tensions. All is logical and everything very cohesive as the whole.
In the details the dialogue appears here between the piano and the French horn, we admire simply the common breathing of musicians.
The first 20 minutes pass very quickly as if the 1st movement lasted just a couple minutes.
It is a very absorbing play, concentrating the attention, which can't fall.
It is clear, distinct and convincing. There is no single sound which is not important for the music itself or the sound. What's more, the amplitude of colours of his piano is unbelievable, so large and so rich.
Blechacz's performance is an absolute masterpiece. The orchestra follows him in an incredible way, so incredible way, so softly, so sensitively with an amazing musicality.
The romance is poetry, great poetry of sounds arranged and realized. At the beginning slow and delicate then everything goes further giving us a stunning combination of the first three sounds with violins tremolo on the background, we have the impression that those sounds are like sleeping, what a superb effect. No place for reason, no place for pretending anything. The bells sound magic in the crucial moment. Blechacz's touch is beyond any possible description, the way he touches the keyboard with his fingertips is just stunning.
In the 3 rd movement everything goes quite fast, sometime perhaps even too fast, but Blechacz wouldn't be Blechacz if he would not set back a little. All this is full of finesse, virtuosity and this rush and temperament wins in the daring finale.
The entire concerto is very cohesive and homogeneous, perfectly arranged excellently performed by all.
The choice of Maestro Semkow and RCO by Blechacz is the evidence of his wisdom and maturity. Nowadays he is aware of what he ought to do and what priorities he has.

The end
One listener said,
"Blechacz's CD is the diamond on my CD-shelves".

Oct 12, 2009

Blechacz new Chopin CD available in US, Oct.13

Rafał Blechacz's new CD "Chopin Piano Concertos (Import version)"
will be released in the U.S. on October 13
via page
Preorder is accepted.

In Canada, the CD was released on October 6 but now it is temporarily out of stock.
Amazon Canada
But please order now and it will be delivered when available.

World-wide delivery is provided from site (Switzerland-based shopping site)

111 years of Deutsche Grammophon box CD will be released via in US on October 20.

↑ Thanks a lot to Konstancja (=alias of a friend of mine in US) for these great news.
Your amazing net literacy always helps me making me happy.

Chaos, Melborne, Australia based website will release the CD on October 12.
It seems that you can place an order to this site from anywhere in the world.
Please check delivery/cost pages of this site.

"Beethoven Magazine" to be circulated in Autumn includes an interview with Rafał Blechacz
in line with the planned events of Chopin Year next year.
See Beethoven Org. site.
(Thank you Konstancja again!!)

Oct 11, 2009

A.Rozlach reviews Chopin Concerto in F, Oct.11

Adam Rozlach will review Blechacz's recording of Chopin Concerto in F minor
with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra directed by J.Semkow
by his program of Poland Radio 1 "KONCERT CHOPINOWSKI".
@ 23:05, Sunday, October 11 (Poland local time).

Prgram site of Poland Radio 1

Listen to the program from this link.

Thanks to Dana for the good news.

SWR2 Treffpunkt Klassik will cover Blechacz's recording of Chopin Concerto in F minor
by SWR2 Treffpunkt Klassik
@ 10:30 - 11:57 on October 16 (Germany local time).
SWR2 program site
Please click on "Webradio horen" to listen to the program.

Oct 9, 2009

Newsweek praises Blechacz new CD Chopin Concertos

The following article from Newsweek (Poland) with English translation was sent to me by Mr.Roman Frackowski.
My deepest thanks to Roman♪

Filip Lobodzinski placed in Newsweek Polska (No. 41/2009, Oct.11, 2009, p. 111)
a review from the Concertos by Chopin recorded by Rafał Blechacz with Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest
under Jerzy Semkow (CD released in many countries in Europe on Oct. 5, 2009,
just a day before Rafał's recital triumph at Laeiszhalle, Hamburg, Germany).
Here is the Polish text (without Polish diacritics):


Pierwszy raz slysze koncerty Chopina zagrane tak, jak chcialem je slyszec, bez poznoromantycznej maniery na lzawo albo patetycznie.
Chopin wyrosl przeciez w konkretnej tradycji, uwielbial Mozarta i Beethovena, i to wreszcie slychac.
Blechacz zdjal go z mszlanego cokolu i jest to teraz muzyka zadumana, gdy trzeba potezna,
ale bez triumfalizmu, a momentami wrecz figlarna.
Takie jest finalne allegro vivace z koncertu f-moll, z pomyslowo zaakcentowanymi partiami instrumentow detych.
Allegro maestoso z koncertu e-moll z kolei to niemal roztanczona dworska zabawa.
To przede wsyztskim zasluga orkiestry amsterdamskiego Concertgebouw pod batuta Jerzego Semkowa.
A nasz solista? Nic sobie nie robi z peanow - gra w skupieniu, ale ze swoboda,
swietnie laczac emocje z intelektualnym cwiczeniem.
To nie jest wirtuozerskie "ja, Blechacz", ale przemyslane "ja, muzyk".

__ Filip Lobodzinski ___

Below is the English translation:

It is the first time I hear Chopin's Concertos played as I always wanted them to be played,
without the late-Romanticism manner, tearful, or pathetic.
Chopin, undoubtedly, was raised in a particular tradition; he admired Mozart and Beethoven,
and one can hear this at last.
Blechacz put him off the ceremonial pedestal and his music is now dreamy, powerful when needed,
but without triumphalism, and sometimes frolicly.
Such is finale's allegro vivace from the Concerto in F Minor, with thoughtfully accented parts by the wind instruments.
In turn, allegro maestoso from the Concerto in E Minor one can feel as a joyful courtly dancing.
Here the Amsterdam Concertgebouworkest and Jerzy Semkow, the director, deserve a high praise.
And how about our soloist?
He is not concerned with the peans - he plays concentrated, but at the same time relaxed,
excellently combining emotion with an intellectual exercise.
It is not a virtuosity "I, Blechacz" but a thoroughly thought through "I, the artist".

______Filip Lobodzinski___

I'm grateful to know that Blechacz receives high acclaim also in a printed media in Poland, which is not available to me.

My friend Dana said that she read the Newsweek review too and found that the maximum level of stars was given to this album,
with the evaluation of "great".
She also read interviews in another printed media such as music magazines "Muzyka 21", "Twoja Muza" (Adam Rozlach writes.)

Overall reactions to Blechacz Hamburg recital

Chopin 2010 website (English) posted an article of overview of media/public reactions to the recital
that Rafał Blechacz gave in Hamburg on Oct.6, 2009.

Chopin 2010 website (Polish)


Rafał Blechacz performed on 6th October at the Großer Saal of the Hamburg Laeiszhalle as part of the "Piano Masters" ("Die Meisterpianisten") series. The concert was organised by the Rudolf Goette Konzert Direktion Pro Arte agency together with the Polish General Consulate, and was a direct prelude to the Chopin Year celebrations in Hamburg.

Rafał Blechacz performed a recital featuring compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach (Italian Concerto, BWV 971), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Sonata in B-flat major, KV 570), Karol Szymanowski (Variation is B-flat minor Op. 3) and Fryderyk Chopin (4 Mazurkas Op. 17, Ballad in A-flat major no. 3 and Polonaise Fantasy in A-flat major Op. 61). The young pianist's first Hamburg performance was excellently received by the audience and his latest record was chosen the album of the week by the listeners of a culture programme broadcast on the North German radio station NDR.

The concert's reviews were published on 8th October by **Die Welt: "Blechacz is one of the greatest hopes of the world of pianism (...), in the future he may become one of the greatest pianists"; and by *Hamburger Abendblatt: "the pianist's power lies in his lyricism and the ability to tell stories by means of music (...), technique is not a problem for him, which he proved performing the murky and magnificent variations by Karol Szymanowski. In Chopin's Polonaise Fantasy he gave the introductory movements a distinctive timbre, while at the end he showcased the heroic rhythm of the polonaise - simply excellent".

The artists was invited to perform in Hamburg in the Chopin Year together with the NDR symphony orchestra.

* Review by Hamburger Abendblatt (German)
English (machine-translated) The English is understandable.

The reviewer is especially impressed by his playing Bach.

** Review by Die Welt (German)

(↓ Sorry for the rough English!)
A young master-pianist in the sincere fight about the art
By Peter Krause
8. Octobers 2009, 04:00 o'clock

His tuxedo loose, the hairdo resembles that of a cloister-brother. And yet this young 24 year-old man is one of the greatest hopes of the world of pianism. Rafał Blechacz on Tuesday rightly opened the pro-art-cycle “the Master Pianists” in the music-hall.

He just looks like a model student; when he sits at the Steinway, he struggles for the art, that Bach and Mozart left to us, about interpreting of each phrase, about finding answers on the questions.

Rafał Blechacz places Bach of "Italian concert in F-major" at the beginning of the evening. And he plays a courageous Bach, whose voice-network he makes braiding audibly. For the dreamy beautiful andante Blechacz almost slows it down to the adagio in order to then tackle the final Presto especially swiftly with sharpened contrast.

Mozart's "Sonata in B flat major KV 570" looks for in the fast movements somewhat casual, and arrested the playing resonant motion types(und dem Spiel tönend bewegter Formen verhaftet), while in the slow movement unfolds a narrative force that acts afterwards in Karol Szymanowski rushing Variations in B flat minor "compelling.

In the music of his Polish compatriot Rafał Blechacz is not afraid of the pianistic attack, however he denies himself the really extravagant gesture; we amply admire the discipline, culture and articulate interpretive honesty by this controlled (mastered) artist.

For his Chopin, whom he regards all too innocent, we wish that Blechacz might soon experience the vicissitudes (changes) in life directly. Although such aspects are not yet flown in his playing (Wenn auch Letztere noch in sein Spiel einfließen), in the future he may become one of the greatest pianists.

Another review by Thomas K Thornton on Musicweb International (English)
The reviewer says this Hamburg recital was recorded by French-German TV Channel Arte. ←Fantastic!

Oct 8, 2009

Argerich/Ashkenazy/Blechacz/Pletnev CD Nov.20

"Argerich/Ashkenazy/Blechacz/Pletnev/+Romantic Piano Music" will be published on Nov.20
from Universal Music Vertrieb - A Division of Universal Music Gmb (Germany)
with Deutsche Grammophon label.
Preorder is already accepted.

Argerich/Arrau/Pollini/Zimerman/Blechacz/+ "Chopin-Edition GA" will be released on Nov.13.

"Best of Piano" CD (Argerich/Barenboim/Blechacz/Gulda with Deutsche Grammophon label
will be released on Oct.16.

Oct 7, 2009

Review by E. Richter + Blechacz voice (Germany)

I found the audio version of Review by Elisabeth Richter posted on NDR kultur site (Germany) on Oct.5.

Please listen to the review by Elisabeth Richter (German) with Blechacz's voice.

It is an audio version of her review "Red carpet with Blechacz for his Chopin Concertos"
combined with Blechacz's remarks from Promo video by DG (YouTube)

So everybody can understand it!

Hamburg gave Thunderous Bravos to Rafal Blechacz

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009, 19:30,
Rafał gave in Hamburg, Laeiszhalle, a powerful, brilliant and full of expression recital
(Bach, Mozart, Szymanowski and - after the intermission - Chopin).

After each piece there were thunderous bravos and at end the audience requested two encores.
He gracefully responded by playing Chopin and Beethoven.
It was really a beautiful evening thanks to Rafał.

A portrait of Rafał, a 50 minute documentary for the Maestro Series was shot by the Arte TV
(aired chiefly in France and Germany) a day before in Jenische Park in Hamburg
and also in Laeiszhalle (Viktor Grandits, director).

↑↓ The great news that Roman sent to me after midnight local time.
I would like to offer my heartfelt appreciation to Roman. Arigatou-Gozaimasu!!

Rafał gave an interview to Radio Klassik (a nationwide classical music radiostation in Germany)
in the following day in Hamburg.
He met with some media people;
they all congratulated him on evertyhing he played, but most of all the Italian Concerto
by Bach.

Muzyka21 Oct.2009

Oct 6, 2009

Back to pure music - Blechacz (review in Germany)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the silence of the Pomeranian forests

by Ilja Stephan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 5, 2009

Red carpet with Blechacz for his Chopin Concertos

Review by Elisabeth Richter posted on NDR kultur site (Germany) on Oct.5,
the date of international release of Blechacz's CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos".

Rafał Blechacz: Chopin - Piano Concertos
Presented by Elisabeth Richter

Audiences and critics are full of praise for Rafał Blechacz, who gives recitals around the world and was taken by Deutsche Grammophon under the (exclusive) contract. Two CDs have been released, and now Blechacz gives an unofficial jump-start of the Chopin Year 2010: He recorded the two piano concertos with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam under Jerzy Semkow.

Frederic Chopin was barely twenty years old as he wrote his two piano concertos, in 1829 and -30. He lived in Warsaw with his family, he composed a lot, he was in love, there were heated discussions with friends. During trips to the country he studied folk music, wrote prose texts and drew sketches. He quickly developed a distinctive personal style that he refined for life.

Rafał Blechacz is not only a Pole as Chopin, but he is also approximately of the same age as Chopin, when he composed his piano concertos. He at least has the best conditions, a pole knows the typical Polish facets of Chopin's music far better than a non-Pole. And then Rafał Blechacz says - and we pay tribute to him for this - that as a pianist he should let Chopin's emotions revive again.

Monstrously fine and exact

Blechacz's playing has something very subtle and delicate, he plays incredibly elegantly, quite easily, technically effortless. It should be respected, because playing easily is not for this music. At the same time, Blechacz beautifully internalized the proud, heroic characteristic style of Chopin’s piano-concertos. This sounds upright, honest, but not intrusive.

Furthermore, Blechacz is a very exact pianist, he doesn't work sloppily, doesn't cheat, in that he puts in the pedal too much, there every sound is well audible. The attack is perfectly balanced and rich in nuances. A stroke of luck is that he also has Conductor Jerzy Semkow and the Concertgebouw orchestra. Please follow the pianist of big sensitivity and versatility, and roll out the red carpet with him for Chopin’s concertos.

Oct 4, 2009

Blechacz CD Chopin Concertos ranked 5th (Poland)

Rafał Blechacz new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" appears 5th plance in ranking of all music category
as of Oct.4 in Poland.
All highly ranked discs are pops except for Blechacz's.

Blechacz gave an excellent recital in Baden-Baden

"Rafał Blechacz gave an extraordinary recital-matinée in Baden-Baden's Festspielhaus
on Saturday, 3rd of October 2009:

Bach, Szymanowski, Chopin.

He played extremely well and the sound was aired in the hall brilliantly.
It was a treat as always when he plays.
He was applauded during the recital after each piece and got a standing ovation after the concluding encore.

For encores he played one of the Chopin preludes and Scherzo from Beetoven's Sonata.

The house parter which is used for matinée was full".

The news I received from Roman who attended this matinée recital.
Thank you very much! I was waiting for the good news!!

Blechacz will play next recital at Laeiszhalle in Hamburg on Oct. 6.

Ticket is here.

Hamburg - Laeiszhalle

Oct 3, 2009

German radio hr2-kultur presents Blechacz CD Oct.5

German radio hr2-kultur/Klassik-Zeit will introduce Blechacz new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos"
by its program "Die CD-Tipps"
at 15:05 - 17:00 on October 5.

Program page of Die CD-Tipps

To listen to the program, from this link, please select Windows Media stream or MP3 stream.

Voices from admirers of Rafal's music on new CD

You are becoming Chopin

When you are listening to so unbelievably beautiful music you feel a huge space at the same beginning.
RCO has a warm, unique, almost classical sound which gives feeling of the space, fabulous impression of power, aesthetic sense.

Against this background, Rafał tells Chopin's romantic tale about his emotion which becomes yours.
You are running into them. You experience them. You feel them by every note, every pause, every passage.
Every sound is very important and brings something weighty into this story.
You are becoming Chopin. You are Chopin.
You know what he felt at the moment. You felt his joy of life, his love, you dance with him.

And you can listen to this tale again and again, always you will hear something new.

So unbelievably beautiful music Chopin wrote, really great works which you can know first time thanks to Rafał.
Surprising, astounding recording...

Rafał thank you very much.
(by Dana, Poland)

For my mother's peaceful departure

As many people say, I felt Rafał is akin to Chopin especially when listening to the Concerto in F minor, 2nd movement.
I saw him live-performing this concerto last year at the open public dress rehearsal in US for the first time.
He played like a god.
Then this concerto became very special to me.

When Rafał is immersed in playing music, his noble face often reminded me of my mother
when she enjoyed hearing or singing her favorite music. (I don’t know why. They do NOT resemble).

Not officially educated for music, she had good ears and memorized words of all kinds of songs
that happened to be in her surroundings; children’s songs that she was taught by grandma,
pop & folk songs and some classical music.
Her favorite included “Woman” by John Lennon and “Voi che sapete” from Marriage of Figaro.

She passed away in late September.
It was not an easy death and I wonder why an honest woman like her had to suffer so much for so long to leave this world.
But she was able to hear Rafał’s Mozart and Bach in her final days.

The Chopin Concertos played by Rafał, full of youthful joy and hope, are becoming her requiem;
I now feel she is sitting with me praising Rafał’s brilliant and crystalline sound.
I believe her soul rests in peace and joy (she is even dancing!)
And the Concertos by Chopin became even more special to me.
Thank you very much, Rafał Blechacz.
(by Akiko, Tokyo)

Oct 2, 2009

Preview on Blechacz CD Chopin concertos (Germany)

KlassikAkzente (Germany) posted a preview on Blechacz's new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" on Sept.30.

KlassikAkzente (German)
English (machine-translated)

The essence of romance

...."Both concertos are closely associated with feelings that connected Frédéric Chopin with his first love Konstancja Gladkowska. For Rafał Blechacz this background plays a role especially when it comes to the implementation of the quiet second movements in the form of the lyrical works. They are the heart of the concertos and require just as much dedication from the pianist, as they offer creative freedom. The music must flow freely, and this requires above all being as intelligent as possible and at the same time intuitive use of the Rubatos, the precise, cliche-free use of the dynamic pathos, but also playing with the boundaries of the emotional charge of the musical text.. Rafał Blechacz seems to have command of this art; with the virtuosity governing the remaining movements with a security; only a few pianists succeeded with it before him, almost from the very foundation of their personality. And yet this is also the result of an intensive study that integrates many philosophical and spiritual facets of the pianist in the implementation of the concertos..."

"...The reviewer of the Zürich daily summed it up on the occasion of a live concert of the e-Moll concerto with following words (Sept.2006):
The fact was that Blechacz transformed the technical brilliance into an aesthetic quality that Chopin’s work represents with his almost glassy, crystalline sound, bringing the innovative kick – as a clever restorer of Chopin; image of salon and all deposits of decadence were deliberately removed..."

"...A stroke of luck for the piano world; a tremendous success has been already seen in advance. Because in Poland, where the album was released on September 18, it was already sold on the first day so rapidly that it can be a gold record presented to the artist. What a view of the Chopin Year 2010!"

Rafał Blechacz will play a recital @ Baden-Baden - Festspielhaus, Germany
on Oct.3,
playing Bach, Mozart, Szymanowsky and Chopin.

We sincerely hope that this will bring out another great success
and fabulous experience full of happiness for Rafał.

Festspielhaus program site
It says that after the recital, there is a discussion with the artist at the foyer.

Another site for the ticket

Baden-Baden - Festspielhaus

It will be followed by another recital @ Hamburg - Laeiszhalle, Germany
on Oct.6.

From Chopin 2010 website, CD release announcement.