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Aug 20, 2010

Congenial virtuoso and poet to Chopin - German Award goes to Blechacz


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Klassikakzente posted the news that Rafał Blechacz was given this year’s Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (Prize of the German Record Critics) again on Aug. 19.



(quote)
The jury of the "Prize of the German Record Critics" has decided: Rafał Blechacz among the winners.

Every year, the group of more than 140 recognized German music critics and journalists in the fields of classical and jazz / pop selects up to 11 artists or re-issues who are outstanding for their special quality from the substantial amount of annual publications. Two artists from the Universal House are the winners this year: For his remarkable recording of Chopin's Piano Concertos No. 1 and No. 2, the Polish pianist of next generation Rafał Blechacz receives the sought-after  prize in the category Classical. Second, the prize in the category of pop goes to the "American Album VI: Ain't  No Grave" in 2003, by late rock 'n' roll legend Johnny Cash. Seven years after the death of the great musician, the master producer Rick Rubin completed this album with the six-part cycle of "American Recordings" that the two worked together and played. 
(unquote)

The eleven award winners in 2010 are: 


"He is not only a virtuoso, he is also a poet," wrote Heinrich Heine on Chopin. In 1829 and 1830 when he composed his two piano concertos, he was just 20 years old.
175 years later, a congenial virtuoso and poet triumphed, also only twenty-year-old Pole Rafał Blechacz with the E minor concerto at the 2005 Warsaw Chopin Competition.

The recording of two works by Deutsche Grammophon benefited from the impressive Acoustics of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and its excellent orchestra. Blechacz’s playing, supported well by the conductor Jerzy Semkow, boasts of impeccable technique and youthful verve. More than that, the creative power of the young performer affects. His beautifully balanced rubati, extract melodic phrases with a restrained magic and plunge us into the 'sweet abyss' (Heine) that makes Chopin's art so compelling. 
Prof. Lothar Prox, chairman of the jury)

„Er ist nicht nur Virtuose, er ist auch Poet“, schrieb Heinrich Heine über Chopin. Als er in den Jahren 1829 und 1830 seine beiden Klavierkonzerte komponierte, war er gerade 20 Jahre alt. Kongenial virtuos und poetisch triumphierte 175 Jahre später der ebenfalls erst zwanzigjährige Pole Rafal Blechacz mit dem e-moll-Konzert beim Warschauer Chopin-Wettbewerb 2005. Die Einspielung beider Werke durch die Deutsche Grammophon profitierte von der beeindruckenden Akustik des Amsterdamer Concertgebouw und seinem hervorragenden Orchester. Blechacz’ Spiel, bestens unterstützt vom Dirigenten Jerzy Semkow, besticht durch makellose Technik und jugendlicher Verve. Mehr noch berührt die gestalterische Kraft des jungen Interpreten. Seine wundervoll ausbalancierten Rubati, die den melodischen Phrasen ihren verhaltenen Zauber abgewinnen, stürzen uns in die „süßen Abgründe“ (Heine), die Chopins Kunst so unwiderstehlich machen.
(Für die Jury: Lothar Prox)






This article from "general anzeiger bonn"dated August 11 compares the German Record Critics' Award to ECHO award.  If the glamorous "Echo" is above all an echo of the sales charts and when a CD is leading the charts for weeks, it will be successful at the Echo Awards, this Record Critics' Award is about outstanding quality of recordings and DVDs, selected by an independent jury of over 140 critics with expertise.


(Note: Blechacz's recording "Chopin Complete Preludes" received the Echo Award in 2008.)


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