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Jul 21, 2010

Blechacz's winning at 4th International Music Competition of Morocco, 2004 (review)

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From my archive, quote from Maghress.com dated March 16, 2004, reporting the final stage of the 4th International Competition of Morocco, in which Rafał Blechacz won the grand prix among the four finalists.

Maghress.com on March 15, 2004 reports the result of the final.

1er prix : Rafał Blechacz (Poland)
2e prix : Davide Franceschetti (Italy)
3e prix : Sergei Salov (Ukraine)
Grand prix du public : Avan Yu (Canada)

(quote from the article on March 16)
The final of the fourth International Music Competition of Morocco took place Saturday, March 13 at Theatre Mohammed V in Rabat. A final whose watchword was confrontation. The jury has selected the Pole Rafał Blechacz for the first prize this year. The theater Mohammed V was packed in Rabat on Saturday night. Essentially the young and also the old, were attending uncommonly. It was the final of the International Music Competition of Morocco, devoted to the piano, now in its fourth edition. 
…………

The four (finalists) had their part to confront the Moroccan Philharmonic which has accumulated experiences, professionalism and assurance. And all were faced with the Moroccan audience more and more numerous, more and more knowledgeable in classical music. Enough to give more heat to a tough test, there were two concertos in which the eternal brilliance of Rachmaninov and his Concerto No. 2 were to prevail vis-à-vis the profound subtlety that marks the works of Chopin, with his concerto No.1.  A work presented at that time by Chopin of 18 years old, the age of the one who would interpret first, namely the Polish Rafal Blechacz. Serene and peaceful, with calmness he played that romance, equally calm and melancholic. 

The accompaniment has been almost muted, with violins whose string sounds were decreased. Almost in contrast, we found a concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninov where tonalism and pianistic density outweighed dynamism. 

Virtuosity a bit brutal, very externalized, the Ukrainian Sergei Salov (21) performed “con brio” and with much nervousness. A nervousness that assimilates an act of will to dominate the piano, a feeling that reinforces the great pianist's stature. Then followed the Sino-Canadian Avan Yu (Chopin) and Italian Davide Franceschetti (Rachmaninov). If Franceschetti was effective in showing himself before the jury, chaired by Japan's Yuko Yamaoka, and occupied the second position in the end, Avan Yu has nonetheless captivated the public, winning the Grand Prix of public, an innovation that makes the charm and distinctiveness of the contest. 

The nervousness and shoulders of the Ukrainian (third price), meanwhile, had to give way to quiet spirit of the Pole, who shares not only the country of the great Chopin, but also his sensitivity. Thus he was crowned the top prize for this year's event. It was an edition in which the Philharmonic has also distinguished itself, particularly through its technical prowess, having played four shows in one evening, more than four hours of performance, coupled with four additional hours of rehearsal in the morning on Saturday. More than a competition, this contest was a way to raise the standing of young Moroccans in helping them discover the most promising talents for the piano, with input from the Artistic Director, Marian Rybicki. 

The occasion also for the organizers, headed by the President of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Morocco, Farid Bensaid, of returning to the attacks in Spain, at the same time making a warm tribute to the Spanish people, scarred by this crime, to whom this event was dedicated. 


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