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Mar 8, 2010

American cultural editor admires Blechacz' Bach

Jacob Stockinger (let me call him Jake), former editor of The Capital Times newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin
posted an article of Rafal Blechacz's playing Italian Concerto by Bach on his music blog"The Well Tempered Ear" on March 7.

Read "The Well Tempered Ear" as of March 7.
Blechacz is in the 2nd half of his article.




(Quote from Jake's article)
Readers know of my like for Rafal Blechacz (below), the young Polish pianist who won the Chopin Prize in 2005 and who has out a new and excellent recording of the Chopin concertos.

In addition to the Chopin, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven that Blechacz has already recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, I happened to mention to a loyal reader of the blog — Akiko Ichikura of Tokyo — that on his next CD I would like to hear Blechacz perform the music of J.S. Bach.

As you might recall, Bach was one of the two musical gods that Chopin worshipped — the other was Mozart — and Chopin was fascinated by Bach,. He played a dozen or two preludes and fugues form The Tempered Clavier from memory, according to contemporary accounts.

And as he aged he grew even more and more fascinated with Bach’s mastery of counterpoint and used it as a guide in his own late-life turn to contrapuntal music (the Op. 51 nocturnes, the Sonata in B Minor, the F Minor Ballade and many others).

Anyway, Akiko found the following video and audio recordings I want to share of Blechancz performing Bach’s well-known “Italian Concerto” — a favorite of amateur and professional pianists that prefigures Mozart and classicism in its style.

(Indeed I think that in the music of Bach you find not only Baroque music but also harbingers of Classicism and Romanticism).


-----Here Jake posts video of Blechacz's performing Italian Concerto by Bach @ 2008 Verbier Festival recital.
To watch the video of Blechacz's playing Bach, please visit Jake's website. -----------



I also noticed for a recital at Duke University Blechacz also programmed the Partita No.1 in B-flat Major of Bach. Maybe we will get to hear Bach, perhaps even a Bach-Chopin recital mix, the same sort that Richard Goode performed at Carnegie Hall.

I would like that.

How about you?

(End of quote)


----------------------------------
Let me thank Jake to write about Blechacz again, especially about his Bach that I do love very much.
And I must say that Blechacz's playing Partita No.1 during U.S. tour was exquisite with nobleness and clarity equivalent to that of Lipatti, in my impression.

Read another review by Jake on Blechacz's CD Chopin Concertos.


Philip Kennicott of Washington Post writes a review of Blechacz's recital at Kennedy Center in Washington DC on Feb.27
and he was deeply impressed by Blechacz's Bach Partita.

(Quote)
.....it was immediately clear from the first sweet, liquid notes of the Bach Partita No. 1, BWV 825, that Blechacz is a student only in the deeper sense: a musician in service to the music, searching its depths, exploring its meaning and probing its possibilities. He plays with humility and absolute clarity and you might even call his approach dutiful, but that would leave the false impression that he is dry and academic.
(End of quote)


「バッハのパルティータ1番BWV825の最初の精妙で流麗な音を聞いただけで、ブレハッチがより深い意味での学生だということは明らかだ。音楽に奉仕する、音楽の深さを探求し、その意味を追求し、その可能性を試そうとする音楽家という意味での探求者だ。

彼は謙虚さと完全な明瞭さを持って演奏する。彼のアプローチは「使命を果たそうとしている(dutiful)」と言ってもいいだろう。そのため、彼はドライで学術的すぎるとの、誤った印象を持ってしまうかもしれない。」(フィリップ・ケニコット、ワシントン・ポスト)

*ワシントンポストのレビューがあまりに見事に正確に書かれているので、部分訳を組み合わせた日本語解説記事を書こうと試みたのですが、最近のブレハッチの他の記事のあまりの多さに時間が取れず、挫折しました。↑これはその残骸です(LOL)
彼のステージその他を見ていると、ドライ、というかビジネスライクというか、To Do Listをただ粛々とこなしているような印象を持つことがあります。この記事のこの部分を読んだ時、ああ、こういうことなのかな、とちょっと見えた気がしました。私のような凡人のperceptionでは計りしれないところがあります。

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