On Sunday, December 12, 23:00 Polish time, Polish Radio 1 broadcast a full hour of Konkurs chopinowski program by Adam Rozlach entirely devoted to Rafał Blechacz. It was based on his recent achievements as well as a recollection of his victory in 2005 - all pieces played during the program were from Rafał's appearances during the 15th Int'l Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, 2005 and Rozlach emphasized that since then no other better pianist appeared on the world piano stage.
(thanks to Roman Frackowski for info.)
**Adam Rozłach, in the Polish Radio program “Najwybitniejsi polscy chopiniści (The most outstanding Polish Chopinist), presents the most eminent Polish pianists from Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Josef Hofmann, Aleksander Michalowski, and Raoul Koczalski, then Halina Czerny Stefańska, Adam Harasiewicz, Krystian Zimerman and Rafał Blechacz.
**"It was Rafał Blechacz’s competition".
"…I want to emphasize, during this competition nobody played Chopin like Blechacz did, and nobody was as close to Chopin as he was. This was a historic performance, we were witnesses to a great moment, I can say this without a shadow of a doubt."
(Adam Rozlach, from Gazeta, 22nd of Oct., 2005)
On December 15, BBC Radio 3 broadcast Blechacz’s recital at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on December 7.
Presenter: Petroc Trelawny
Commentator: Dr. Kenneth Hamilton: pianist, musicologist and writer
The program began with Rafał Blechacz’s words on Bach music. He reiterated his interest in polyphony of Bach, being incorporated into other composers’ works that he played in London; Symanowski, Debussy and Chopin. Trelawny added that Blechacz says that he uses other composers, Bach and Debussy, to prepare his Chopin and his interpretations of Chopin are enriched by them. Hamilton explained how Bach elements are used in other composers. For example, Chopin recommended that people play Bach and he practiced it hard before concerts. "Something of delineation of individual lines in Bach, a lucidity that you also get from Chopin. And if you hear the first of Polonaises, for example, in the middle section, you will hear different inner voices coming out (not the principle voice) but different voices being attracted into the orbit of the music and it is very similar to Bach."
Trelawny and Hamilton highly evaluated Blechacz’s performance, especially about Debussy’s Pour le Piano, as an exciting performance. Hamilton said that Blechacz’s performance was full of vibrant, sparkling energy and commended especially his playing Saraband, saying that “I was really transfixed by all this performance”.
He says this piece tends be “terribly dragging, boring” and he always teaches his students at Birmingham University not to be boring, which is the biggest “sin” in music.
They also praised Blecyacz’s performance of Polonaise opus 26 by Chopin.
Hamilton said that Polonaise in E flat minor, a somber, slightly ferocious piece, describes deep, profound emotions of Chopin with six flats, increasing sharpness. Unlike the Military Polonaise, it is rarely performed therefore, "credit should be given to Blechacz to play both of opus 26 polonaises which are fascinating, worth hearing, but not often heard."
"It was very mature performances", Trelawny said, adding that he is just 25 and you shouldn’t forget that. Hamilton couldn't agree more.
To conclude the program, Trelawny referred to the words by Blechacz's teacher;
she told him to treat the Chopin Competition as just one more stage in his development, and said,
"You could lose in every competition, but it is most important for you not to lose your love of music".
BACH: Partita No.1 in B flat for keyboard, BWV.825
SZYMANOWSKI: Prelude & fugue in C sharp minor
DEBUSSY: Pour le piano
CHOPIN: Ballade No.2 in F, Op.38
3 Waltzes, Op.34
2 Polonaises, Op.26
Scherzo No.1 in B minor, Op.20