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Mar 23, 2010

Blechacz interviewed by Fred Child in US (podcast)

Rafał Blechacz was interviewed by Fred Child, the host of Performance Today in NPR studio Washington DC on March 2 when he stayed there for US tour.

He talks about himself, about Chopin, Mazurkas and performs pieces by Chopin and Mozart in the NPR Washington DC studio.

Listen to the program here (podcast)
Please click on HOUR 1, Listen



Blechacz's US debut @Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Kalamazoo, Michigan, April 2008

(Some points of the interview)
00:00-06:00
Introduction with Chopin Prelude in C sharp minor from CD "Complete Preludes"

(06:00-23:00 different contents than Blechacz's interivew)

23:00 - interview begins.
About the 2005 Chopin Competition
Why Blechacz feels Chopin's music is close to him.
Something special happened when he played Mazurka op.17 or.4 in a concert.

26:55
Blechacz plays Chopin Mazurka op.17 nr.4 in the studio.

31:05
About the tempo rubato.
Blechacz says it's important to keep the right balance between the tempo and rubatos. It differs among pieces and composers.

32:40
Fred Child says he was impressed by the varying speed of for example the initial phrase of the Mazurka op.17 nr4 and Blechacz plays it again.
Fred Child, impressed by the constantly changing speed, saying "It's like a human speech!"
Blechacz says, "For me the most important is to keep and respect the composer's intention".

34:15
Why Mazurkas are important for Chopin.
Does Blechacz play differently when playing for the Polish audience?

35:50
About Mazurka op.50 nr.2

36:52
Blechacz plays Chopin Mazurka op.50 nr.2 in the studio.

39:58
Blechacz says this Mazurka is lively, optimistic, with elements of a typical Polish dance especially in the middle section; and a few fragments are polyphonic where the middle voice by left hand is interesting,
and he plays the mazurka by emphasizing the middle voice.

42:35
Blechacz says that Chopin loved Mozart's opera getting inspirations and
plays Mozart sonata in B flat k570, the final movement.

46:50
Blechacz says that it's amazing Mozart composed such an optimistic, energetic piece when he lived a very difficult life.
He says that he can apply tempo rubato to Mozart music for ritenuto or accelerando but not too much because of the different style from Chopin.

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Picks by Tom Huizenga of NPR of representative playing with a "Chopin touch" of years; Paderewski in 1917 through to Blechacz in 2007 (Raindrop from his CD) and to 2010 with audio presentations.
Comments on Blechacz begins at 8 minutes 40 seconds

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In Poland, "Chopin's birthday".(Urodziny Chopina), a reportage of Chopin Birthday Week will be broadcast by TV Polonia
on March 25 @22:20 (CET) and
on March 26 @04:00 (CET).
(Thanks to Beata and Dana for the info.)      

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