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Jan 31, 2010

A big success for 2800 listeners in Rome- Rafał Blechacz

↓ The news of Rafał Blechacz's successful perforomance in Rome, in the evening of Jan.30 came from Mr.Roman Frackowski, US. 
I would like to appreciate him for bringing such a good and important news!!





From the good source we know that tonight in Rome Rafał Blechacz, Andrey Boreyko, a conductor, and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra won a big success with the Roman audience playing Chopin's Concerto No. 2 (F Minor) to the full house (Sala Santa Cecilia of Academia di Santa Cecilia sits 2800 people!). 

There was no end to the enthusiastic applause. 
Rafał responded with two encores, both Chopin's mazurkas: A Minor Op. 17 and A flat Major Op. 50. 

After the intermission the Orchestra played two other pieces: one by Gustav Holst and one by Meyers. 

Before the concert there was the Chopin exhibition opening in the lobby of the Academia (a manuscript of Chopin's mazurka E Major Op. 6 No. 3 is on display).

During the intermission Rafał gave an interview to the Polish TV (will be broadcast in Poland probably on Sunday). 

Polish Press Agency (PAP) already issued the news about the tonight Italian Omaggio a Chopin inauguration by Rafał Blechacz:

PAP news

Rafał will play a matinee concert on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010, 12:00 noon 
evening concerts on Feb. 1 & 2, 2010 (same place, conductor and orchestra)

Jan 30, 2010

Blechacz tours in Italy (previews)(4)

Rafał Blechacz will play Chopin's Piano Concerto in F minor
with Andrey Boreyko conducting the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia,
at Auditorium Parco della Musica - Sala Santa Cecilia, Rome, Italy,
on Jan.30, Feb.1 & 2 as well as on Jan.31.


Preview posted on "Comune di Roma" (Italian)



Rome, January 29 - Two major events at the Auditorium Parco della Musica opens the celebrations of 200 years since the birth of Fryderyk Chopin:
Concert, Saturday 30 January at 18:00, the young and already great Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, directed by Andrey Boreyko will be an interpreter with the Orchestra of St. Cecilia's Concerto in F minor, Op. 21 by Chopin, and the exhibition "A Passo Mazurka - from Poland to the world", which will be open to the public from 31 January to 8 March.

"A Passo Mazurka - from Poland to the world" is a temporary exhibition devoted to Chopin and particularly the genre of the mazurka. The exhibition, staged in the spaces of MUSA - Museum of Musical Instruments in Santa Cecilia, is in collaboration with the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw and the Polish Institute of Rome, which also participated in the realization of the concert.
For the first time in Italy will be exposed to the public manuscripts and editions, the historical and contemporary imagery, scores and important documents, plus a selection of texts is particularly significant for the interpretation of the mazurka. Of great importance and interest is the presence in the exposure of the manuscript of the Mazurka in E major, op. 6 n. 3, the only autograph text of this composer preserved until today. The manuscript, which Chopin titled Mazur, was written by the composer in Vienna in 1830 on two sheets torn from a diary. The Mazurka in E major was included by the composer in Opus 6, the first work containing Mazurkas that Chopin dedicated to Paulina Plater.

The 2005 winner of the latest "Chopin in Warsaw, the most important of the international piano competitions crowning in the past musicians of the class of Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich and Krystian Zimerman, Rafał Blechacz is already considered among the best performers today, and the great Polish musician, revered at home as a hero to pay tribute. In the Season of Chamber Music Academy, also Krystian Zimerman (10 February) and Maurizio Pollini (February 24) will appear. The Concerto in F minor was dedicated to the Countess Delphina Potocka, beautiful friend and compatriot of Chopin composed in 1829, was performed for the first time by the compoer in Warsaw March 17, 1830.



With Antoni Wit (not Andrey Boreyko)
Blechacz will perform Chopin's Concerto in F minor with Wit in Warsaw
on Feb.22, inaugurating Chopin Birthday week



In the second half of the concert, the suite for large orchestra "The Planets" by Gustav Holst, written during the years of World War I and executed in public for the first time in London on 15 November 1920. As is evident from the title, the composition is dedicated to the planets, but does not take into account ours and then an American musician and astronomer Randall Meyers added the missing planet: “Gaja”, our Mother Earth, to be presented in world première . Directing the Orchestra and women Chorus of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Russian Andrey Boreyko, after the resounding success achieved in 2007, returns to the Parco della Musica in Rome.

Saturday, January 30 hours 18 - Monday, February 1 at 20.30
Tuesday, February 2nd 19.30
Auditorium Parco della Musica - Sala Santa Cecilia

Director Andrey Boreyko
Rafał Blechacz piano



Previews by
culture.pl (English)
culture.pl (Polish)
↑ This preview says that Blechacz will play Chopin's Concerto in E minor, but it will not be the case.

It seems that there have been some glitches somethere in the communication of organizers and some people expected the Concerto to be played is F, while others are not informed so and prepared for Concerto in E.
Blechacz will perform the Concerto in F minor in the end.

In the similar token, the recital program in Treviso (Jan.27) had not always been rightly communicated to the public. I remember I saw two different programs on different websites.

The recital program that Blechacz performed was as follows: (the same program as Milan)

Johann Sebastian Bach
Partita Nr. 1 B-Dur BWV 825

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sonate Nr. 17 B-Dur KV 570

Claude Debussy
Suite "Pour le Piano"

INTERMISSION

Fryderyk Chopin
Scherzo Nr. 1 h-Moll op. 20
Three Mazurkas op. 50
Polonaise fantaisie As-Dur op. 61

(Info. source: Roman Frackowski)  

Review of Blechacz Chopin CD by RONDO, Germany

Review of Rafał Blechacz's CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" written by Jürgen Otten, for RONDO magazine, posted on Jan.30, 2010.

Original review (German)


Well again now Chopin. The house-God is the still very young Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, he is – after an extremely successful trip into the so-called Viennese classicals, to the early sonatas of the hero Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven – again object of the artistic desire.

Concretely the two piano-concertos, of which there are estimated 1001 fantastic recordings. This means: The terrain actually is sufficiently cultivated, and Blechacz ventures here, not least so far out of the window if you only consider that his compatriot Krystian Zimerman, one of the greatest pianists of our time at all, recorded these works on multiple plates– and in every case, although always different, always fantastic results.

But why the hat is off before Blechacz. Because his interpretations work in the seriousness as a continuation of the Zimerman’s ethos in the Chopin’s case.

Any superficial gesticulation, every virtuoso imperious conduct is foreign for them. It prevails, and that deeply moving seriousness in both piano-concertos, more deeply, lyric inwardness prevails. The works are made simply not to the show, therefore "demonstrating." No, they are rather fathomed in their structure, vertical and horizontal.

The The Chopin-picture, after it was brought into even more severe crooked-situation by numerous artificially foamed "interpretations", comes again to his right place.

And it becomes – also because of the extremely subtle accompaniment by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra under cautious Jerzy Semkow, credibly evident, that this composer was not emotionally overcharged neurotic but through and through a heritage of the romantic Beethoven.

To have placed this into a type of musical chamber-scene, is indeed, yes you must thank Rafał Blechacz.

And I ask him to stop by for Beethoven once again.
The late sonatas by Beethoven would be interesting.
Chopin then again another time.



Yes, late Beethoven please... 





Rafał Blechacz's "Chopin Complete Preludes" diamond

↓ This is p.84 from February issue of BBC Music, which features Frédéric Chopin for his 200th birthday.



This page in its entirety is used for a review of CD "Chopin Complete Edition", a set of 17 CDs to cover all the pieces by Chopin;
played by Arrau, Vladimir & Vovka Ashkenazy, Blechacz, Bunin,Yundi Li,
Luisada, Pires, Pollini, Ugorski,Zilberstein, Zimerman a.o.

at first glance, I thought it is Rafał Blechacz's CD review! because of the picture, but it isn't...

About Blechacz, the reviewer writes,
"Of younger contributors, Rafał Blechacz plays the Preludes mellifluously, with classic poise,
a lovely tone quality and some personal, imaginative touches;"




About Chopin Complete Edition


By the way, did you know that Rafał's CD "Complete Preludes" attained the Diamond disc status in his country?

"płyta sprzedała się w „diamentowym” nakładzie!", which is the words often used for ad of his CDs on CD shops' websites,
(example from Empik shop site, meaning,
"CD sold in the copies of "diamond"!"
Dana reminded me of this recently.

According to Dana, in Poland, CD must sell 60000 copies to attain the status of Diamond, whereas, for Platinum 10000 and for Gold 5000.
The criteria is different among countries because of the difference of the size of population.

According to the Polish wikipedia for Platinum disc, Rafał Blechacz received Double Platinum Disc for his "Chopin Complete Preludes" and Single Platinum Disc for his "sonatas". Maybe there was an update to the status after this article was posted and Preludes is at the highest class of Diamond.

Deutsche Grammophon's Blechacz's site says that "Preludes" sold 60000 world-wide.
I expect the CD "Chopin Complete Preludes" will continue to sell this year of Chopin
and more people will be able to rejoice in
the "lovely tone quality and some personal, imaginative flair" presented by Rafał Blechacz.


"Viva Rafał and viva the new promising level of pianism today".
(An Italian listener at the recital in Milan, on Jan.26)     

Rafał Blechacz gave two encores to enthusiastic Romans

On Jan.30, PAP has reported that Rafał Blechacz played Chopin's Concerto No.2 in the prestigious hall in Rome, fascinating the Italian audience.

PAP news flash on Wyborcza.pl (Polish)



In Rome, the Chopin Year celebrations inaugurated
PAP2010-01-30, last updated 2010-01-30 21:25

# There is information about evening concert #
30.01. Rome (PAP) - an enthusiastic ovation ended Saturday's concert by Rafał Blechacz at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, who inaugurated the Chopin Year celebrations in Italy. Arrived at the ceremony was Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Bogdan Zdrojewski.

In a prestigious auditorium in the Eternal City, well known to the Italian audience, the winner of the Chopin Competition of 2005 has performed with the orchestra of the National Academy of Saint Cecilia, conducted by Andrey Boreyko, Piano Concerto in F minor by Chopin. The enduring, lingering applause of the listeners, who were fascinated virtuoso Rafał Blechacz, was rewarded with two encores.


News flash on wiadomosci.wp.pl (Polish)
The same news about Blechacz's performance.
Introduction of other Italian VIP guests and a speech by Minister Bogdan Zdrojewski is briefly described.

Jan 29, 2010

Rafał Blechacz interview in Milan

Japanese


Preview of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Milan, including an interview with the artist, written by Enrico Parola, posted on Corriere della Sera on Jan.26.

(I delayed in posting it because of the "mountain" of articles of Blechacz's Italian tour...)

Original (Italian) 



From website of Polish Consulate General in Milan


Blechacz the phenomenon: "I, my Chopin and the żal"

Music “Globalization” 

"Like the times of Frederyck, now a Polish artist who wants to grow and establish himself must leave the country and go to the world"
Rafał Blechacz 


MILAN - żal is thePolish equivalent of carioca saudade, a word translatable only through extensive paraphrases that includes sadness, frustration, longing, loneliness. And it is the secret of Rafał Blechacz to play Chopin so well. The 24-year-old pianist, who was recognized in 2005 as a worldwide phenomenon, winning not only the first prize, but also all the category awards in the competition, "Chopin" in Warsaw (the second award was not even allowed for the excessive gap), performs tonight in Milan, hosted by the Quartet. The first Partita by Bach, Mozart and "Pour le piano" by Debussy in the first part, his beloved compatriot in the second. "A pattern that I adopted in the Japanese tour - he explains - it seems to me the best way to embrace all tastes and expectations of the people."

In Milan, as in the rest of the world, especially the public expects "his" Chopin. To explain this affinity so deep is it enough that you are both Poles?

"It may sound obvious, but the answer is yes, at least as a premise. If I were to define the music of Chopin with a word, I would use żal: it is the mode we have to sum up a condition that unites us. He had to abandon his beloved homeland and loved ones, wishing or dreaming in the works he composed in distant places, like Paris. Similarly today, a Polish artist who wants to grow and establish himself must leave the country and go elsewhere."

This is the premise, but also the essence of the bond that unites Rafał with Fryderyck:

"Playing is a way to understand each other deeply. Following the feelings of the composer, the interpreter must get to the bottom of his heart. With joy and surprise, I found my own Chopin in myself. His affections, his longing for the absolute and freedom."

For Rafał method ( "If I'm at home the days are almost always the same: Wake up early, exercise, breakfast, two hours to learn new songs, because the mind is fresh. Then the afternoon and evening devoted to rehearsing, a total seven hours at piano) and philosophy (joining the University in Toruń, delighting in Plato, Aristotle and Husserl), everything has to be read from a Chopinistic perspective.

"Chopin adored Mozart and Bach, from whom he learned polyphony, and Debussy is instructive to understand the colors and timbers.

By Enrico Parola



Preview of Milan recital posted on il giornale
Blechacz reaches a homage to Chopin and Debussy:

Introduction of Blechacz – swept all the prizes in the 2005 Chopin Competition overwhelmingly, continues to be under the wing of the most famed label Deutsche Grammophon, recorded Chopin’s two concertos with the orchestra believed to be the best in the world at Concertgebouw Hall, although conductor was not Mariss Jansons. Born in Nakło nad Notecią supported by an oil company PKN Orlen. Krystian Zimerman is a good mentor.  

Jan 28, 2010

Blechacz received a big admiration from Milanese

↓ News sent to me by Mr.Roman Frackowski. (A milliard of thanks for the good news )



(info from a reliable source):
Last night, Jan 26, 2010, at Sala Verdi del Conservatorio in Milan, Italy, Rafał Blechacz won a big admiration and a hot, enthusiastic recpetion from the usually cool and very demanding Milanese concert-goers.

They were mesmerized from the very beginning of his recital and could not stop clapping at the end.
Present was also Alfred Brendel, a famous Austrian pianist.

To this big applause Rafał responded with two encores.

Tonight in Treviso there is his second 2010 Italian tour recital.



This picture is not in Italy, it is in Katowice, Poland, 2007 

Superb recital in Treviso, Italy

↓ A very good news again, from Mr.Roman Frackowski.


This time from Treviso:
very good recital, entusiastic audience, big applause and an encore Rafał couldn't refuse.

Blechacz impressed a Milanese-from a blog in Milan

A comment of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Milan on Jan.26, written by a woman in the audience and posted on her blog on the following day.

Orinigal (Italian)

Rafał Blechacz, born in 1985, is one of the most quoted Chopin performers of recent years. Not by chance: in 2005 the young pianist literally swept the fifteenth edition of the Chopin Prize in Warsaw. He gained not only a gold medal as the best performer, but the other side four trophies: best performance of mazurkas, polonaise best execution, best execution of a sonata and best performance of a concerto. One of the judges has shrugged: "Blechacz was so superior as to prevent the award of the second prize to the other finalists." Not bad for the twenty-four whose face is so neat that it is hard to tell his real age. But Rafał has a secret: his passport = The Polish like Chopin. And Polish-ness is his Chopin music. Nervous, lightly poetic but snappy, very far from saccharine languors stratified by years of vulgate Paris.



In Poland, Jan.2007


Precisely for this reason I was very happy to hear it live at the Sala Verdi in the season of Società del Quartetto (the Society of the Quartet). Tickets at 5 euros for those under 30, big precious opportunities for young classical music lovers and performers of the most acclaimed landscape today (the next one is Murray Perahia).

I admit having been tired of all the same interpretations of Chopin, making extensive use of rubatos, even where it could well done without.

And Rafał, for this, I was not disappointed.
The first part of the concert was devoted to three giants of historical pianism: Bach (Partita No 1, good), Mozart (Sonata KV570, excellent), Debussy (Pour le piano, a suite of three times amazing: Blechacz executed lightly the French impressionist piece which often tends to fray, restoring a structural clarity that is a miracle of composition. And the final Toccata has left me open-mouthed).

The Polish brought Chopin in the second part. And the only concern for me was the arrangement of songs, probably strategically starting with the Scherzo No. 1 and ending with the Polonaise-Fantasie looks like a descending climax, but there you are. Anyway, the spotlight will be on the slender figure and ephebic oath (an oath for a young person to become a full-fledged citizen in ancient Greece) by the pianist.

Technically impressive, he shows maturity.
His Chopin is not manneristic, but just as with Debussy, reveals the structure of the composition.

Not losing sight in the emotion. Scherzo, three Mazurkas Op. 50 and the Polonaise-Fantasie, with his alternating fits of inspiration at thoughtful times.

Half an hour flied and evoked an internal Polonia, which is a state of mind, not the most stereotyped popular culture.
Ovations and two encores much appreciated.

Viva Rafał and viva the new promising level of pianism today.


Universal Italy site for Blechacz ←very beautiful!!

Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia, introducing Blechacz, Zimerman and Pollini for its series of "Homage to Chopin".    

Review of Blechacz CD Chopin Concertos (US)

A review written by John J. Puccio, a retired American teacher, posted on his blog.
Not a full-time music critic, John gives a very balanced view to this CD.

Original review

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Chopin: The Piano Concertos (CD review)

Rafal Blechacz, piano; Jerzy Semkow, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. DG 477 80888.

To begin, a couple of observations: First, DG did not record the album in front of a live audience. Count that a definite plus; maybe the record companies are doing better financially. Second, it's good to see both of Chopin's Piano Concertos on a single disc. There was a time not too long ago that we got only one or the other of the Concertos per disc. These are refreshing signs.

Polish composer Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) was only around twenty years old when he wrote his two Concertos, actually writing the Concerto we know today as No. 2 before No. 1, but not publishing them in the order he wrote them. So if Concerto No. 1 seems more mature and has become more popular, it's because it wasn't his first attempt in the genre. Anyway, the reason I mention the composer's age is because it's doubly appropriate that not only is pianist Rafal Blechacz Polish, but he's also quite young. What's more, the conductor, Jerzy Semkow, is Polish. I'm sure Chopin would have been pleased.





Blechacz may be young, but he is not youthfully overexuberant or careless. He applies a delicate, graceful, flowing touch to Chopin's dreamily contemplative themes, the performances more about nuance of feeling than about sheer technical brilliance. Although, to be sure, Blechacz appears to possess a good deal of virtuosity as well.

These are largely gentle readings, even though Blechacz treats the opening movements with lavish joy and the closing movements' liltingly dance-like rhythms with verve. However good they are, though, it is the middle Larghettos that Blechacz sees as the core of the works, and not only does he present them lovingly and poetically, he blends their lyrical tone nicely with the more-vigorous surrounding movements. This may seem surprising, especially since Chopin marked the final sections Vivace ("very quick, lively"), but Blechacz is able to do just as Chopin requested while maintaining the rhapsodic mood of the center movements. He is always aware of the nostalgic, sentimental Romanticism at the heart of the Concertos. Of course, it also helps that the pianist, conductor, and orchestra play as one to accomplish their goal, and they pull it off nicely.

DG pull off the sonics nicely as well. The orchestra is the Concertgebouw, whose wonderful hall has always produced some of the most-glorious acoustic effects possible, giving the ensemble a warm, glowing, but never overpowering ambient bloom. In this 2009 recording the audio engineers manage to create a big, full, smooth, dynamic sound, with moderate transparency and good punch. More important, they reproduce a beautifully rich, solid, and vibrant piano sound, a mite close perhaps, but very lifelike.

Maybe young Blechacz's new recording does not entirely displace some established favorites in the First Concerto from the likes of Pollini (EMI), Argerich (EMI), Rubinstein (RCA), or Li (DG), but surely he deserves mention as an entirely viable alternative.


**
I saw that this review was quoted by others, on other website and by the Twitter.
Recently I see more Twitter messages chatting about classical music and sometimes Rafał's topics being discussed by this instant messaging method.


**
Website in Ukrine, introducing Blechacz's CD Concertos.
It is the first time that I saw an article of Blechacz written in Ukranian.

"It is easy to predict that next year will be full of music of Fryderyka Chopin. In Bicentennial of the birth of the romantic genius, the world prepares seriously and with magnitude. An announcement already has been done by the disc by the Chopin contest winner, the most popular young Polish pianist of our time, who is often compared to the famous compatriot - Rafal Blechacz. His recording of two Chopin piano concertos performed with the orchestra of the Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam) under the direction of Jerzy Semkow for "Deutsche Grammophon", was put on sale already in October, almost immediately after the official release. Those who like the 24-year-old pianist, will be able to feel a range of emotions of his peer to be conveyed - even a century later".

Review of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Milan

A review of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Milan on Jan.26, posted on the site of Il Giorno, a national newspaper of Italy based in Milan.

Original review (Italian)
I couldn't find the author's name...


And Chopin flies on the fingers of the enchanter of the piano

Sounds very nice, Rafał Blechacz. But this was granted to the man who trounced a monster-like Chopin Competition in Warsaw, and who already recorded discs accepted with great interest by all the music magazines in the world. Don’t forget the Concerto No. 1 by Chopin which he played at the Verdi two years ago, the interpretation outperformed by more refined and articulated recording but already on the same line.

The focus of the concert at Milan’s Quartetto was thus first of all to verify - in an artist so young - the 'acceptance' in public, and the public that in fact crammed the hall of the Conservatory. And then how he’s articulated among them the stages of a program very stimulating. Putting Bach (Partita I) before Mozart (the Sonata K570, whose apparent simplicity has made it rare in performance practice, but by considering architecture of Haydn he composes a serene well balance, the very feature of Mozart music) and adding Debussy’s "Pour le piano," or his first piano masterpiece, which launches the neoclassical aesthetic with which all late romanticism and nineteenth centuries are overridden, to return him to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with Bach as a guiding beacon. All the second part was devoted entirely to Chopin, thinking exactly most of these structures.

BUT Chopin in Mazurkas (the three of Op. 50), that is the intimate pages of the diary of the Polish exile who thinks of Poland time and again, Chopin in iconoclastic whirlwind of Scherzo (no. 1), which comes to demolish even an organized structure such as a Polonaise (Polonaise-Fantasie op. 61, where the upheaval is colored by his contemporary autobiography, such as the painful breakup with George Sand) here, plotting in one evening a mass exegetics (biblical interpretations) so demanding - that is, showing that precise choices are the basis for drafting a program but it is anything but simple.




No problems with his fingers. Indeed, so admirable is their certainty (from octaves of Polonaise to the crossroads of Giga from Bach, to the arpeggios of the Scherzo) to allow a phenomenal transparency. Essential to the work on timber first of all (which is Debyssy!), and across this on the rhythm, translating in a luminous song, like almost springwell, that breathes through a prodigious use of rubato (too slippery in molasses (sugar syrup), too little in mechanical rolling, but the correct mean is a rare thing), and that singing as solo like a great vocal enchanter.



www.ilgiornale.it/pag_pdf.php?ID=124704
↑This is the link to the page of Il Giorno on Jan.25, where a preview of various concerts is shown, including Blechacz's Milan recital.
A straightforward introduction. 

Jan 25, 2010

Blechacz tours in Italy (previews)(3)

voceditalia.it posted a preview of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Milan on Jan.26,

titled, "New race for the Quartetto in Milan
Rafał Blechacz at the Conservatory
Begins the cycle "pianist in the Quartetot," with great artists through April"

The description is almost the same as the previous one.

milanocorriere.it

Another preview of the recital inTreviso on Jan.27.
A similar content.

From tvp.pl (Polish), notice of the concert in Rome on Jan.30, etc...




I'm now in Niigata, a local city near the Sea of Japan, to work for the Conference on economy of North-East Asia tomorrow. This is the 2nd time that I work for this annual conference and last year's meeting was held in Feb. when Blechacz toured in Japan. Coincidentally, one of the presenters I interpreted for was a professor from Poland. During a break, I enjoyed a pleasant conversation with her. The topic was (of course) Rafał Blechacz. She looked very happy to have the opportunity to talk about the young hero of her country when assigned to give a lecture in an unfamiliar country in the far east.

Tomorrow, Blechacz will give a recital in Milan, appearing there for the first time in two years.
Sincerely hope that he and the audience will share a splendid time with the beautiful music. 

Jan 24, 2010

Blechacz tours in Italy (previews)(2)

resiaartists.it (Italian) provides a concert calendar and bios of the artists.
Rafał Blechacz is introduced for the recitals he is giving in Milan and Treviso on Jan. 26 & 27.
You already know about what is written here but I'm posting this as an example of promotional notices of artistic activities well done in Italy.

------------------------------------------------
Born in Naklo nad Notecia in 1985, Rafał Blechacz began studying piano at age of 5 in a music school of his hometown. At age of 8, he was enrolled in Arthur Rubinstein School in Bydgoszcz in the class of Jacek Polanski.

In the period 1996-99 he has won numerous awards in national competitions and in September 2000, he started taking courses under Katarzyna Popowa- Zydrón at the Academy of Music in Bygdoszcz.

In 2002 he won the 2nd Prize at the International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Arthur Rubinstein in Bygdoszcz and the following year he was the joint winner of the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan and in 2004 he won the 1st Prize at the International Piano Competition in Morocco.

These successes culminated in the 1st prize for Rafał Blechacz that he won unanimously in October 2005 at the Warsaw Chopin Competition (second prize was not awarded).

Besides the top prize, was also awarded three special prizes: the Polish Radio Award for "best performance of mazurkas, the Polish Chopin Society Award for" Best performance of Polonaise and the Warsaw Philharmonic Award for "the best concerto performances. He also won the award instituted by Krystian Zimerman for "the best performance of sonatas.

The jury had no hesitation to crown Blechacz, and Andrej Jasinski, secretary of the jury (the only teacher who ever had Zimerman) said: "I realized from the first round of the competition that the candidate of 1st Prize was Rafał Blechacz. The competition involved many virtuosos, but beyond the virtuosity we need to hear the right approach to the music of Chopin and Rafał owns it. "

Following his triumph at the Chopin Competition, Rafał Blechacz is in great demand for recitals and concerts in various musical capitals of Europe and the Far East. In 2006 he played in the Hall of the Warsaw Philharmonic and the Tchaikovsky Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev.

Having his replaced in July 2006, at short notice, Lang Lang in Verbier Médran Hall, the English critic has so written in the newspaper Le Temps: "Chopin fits him well like a glove. In much the same way Zimerman performs this music with the astonishing ease. Its control, the noble phrasing, the ability to defuse a melody without affectation - all this gives him a special connotation. "

Next projects committed until the end of 2006; the Zurich Tonhalle, in twelve major recital halls in Japan, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Herkulessaal Monaco, Wigmore Hall in London, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels .

However, despite being in great demand, this artist wisely prefers to maintain an agenda that will allow him to develop fully the music he plays.

In a recent interview with Rafał Blechacz he says:
"I choose and organize the concerts programms to transmit freshness and joy. In my interpretation, I try not to be influenced by other pianists, because this could alter the internal balance that I should have reached after a long preparation. Another thing I want is to broaden my repertoire and that takes time to prepare. I prefer to work on pieces at home, quietly, and show to the public only later " 

Jan 23, 2010

Blechacz tours in Italy (previews)

Rafał Blechacz is going to Italy to give recitals and play Chopin's concerto in F minor four times starting next week.

January 26, 2010
Recital @ Conservatorio G.Verdi , Milano
Quartteto Milano program page

(Recital program in Milan)
J.S. Bach - Partita No.1 BWV 825
W.A. Mozart - Sonata K 570
C. Debussy - Pour le piano
F. Chopin - Scherzo No.1 op. 20
F. Chopin - 3 Mazurkas op. 50
F. Chopin - Polonaise-Fantaisie op. 61


Jan.27, 2010
Recital @ Teatro Comunale, Treviso
Teatro website


January 30-February 2, 2010
Chopin concerto No.2 with Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia,
Andrey Boreyko: Director
@ Sala Santa Cecilia, Rome

Program page of Santa Cecilia for Jan.30, Feb.1,2
Program page for Jan.31 - family concert



Conservatorio, Milan



Preview by Corriere della Sera for the recital in Milan:

With the soul of Chopin
Debut at SOCIETÀ DEL QUARTETTO of the Polish Rafał Blechacz 24,
revelation of piano with his "national" composer

A couple of years ago he arrived in Milan, the fresh winner of the International Competition in Warsaw.

Rafał Blechacz is back to us today (on Jan. 26) after having confirmed his talent by international live performances and recordings that brought him the triumph in 2005 for "Chopin" (at the time, acknowledging his superiority, the judges decided not to award the second prize) opening the doors of the most prestigious spotlight.

Invited for the first time by the " SOCIETÀ DEL QUARTETTO, Blechacz will inaugurate a piano festival that will bring in Milan great interpreters of the keyboard, such as Perahia, Schiff, Andsnes, Lucchesini and Lupu.

A pianist with a brilliant technique and a sharp and sensitive style, but also capable of poetic outbursts in total control of every musical detail, the twenty-four year-old Polish is regarded as a natural interpreter of Chopin and with the great compatriot the young pianist will end his recital at the Conservatory (Scherzo No. 1 op. 20, three Mazurkas Op. 50 and the Polonaise-Fantaisie op. 61).

But before that he puts his talents with Partita No 1 BWV 825 by Bach, the Sonata KV 570 by Mozart and "Pour le piano" by Debussy.
By Daniela Zacconi

[Corriere della Sera (Evening Courier) is a daily newspaper, first in sales, published in Milan, among the oldest, most reputable and widely read Italian newspapers. ]


Another preview of Milan on concertodautunno.it

Like other big winner of the Chopin, from Pollini to Zimerman, to the young Polish pianist, the Quartetto is home for his recital debut in Milan.

The young Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz opens a sort of festival in the season at the Quartetto, which in a few weeks, will house a range of performers of exceptional standard.

Revealed with the resounding victory at the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2005, Blechacz expresses a new vision of the romantic piano, playing in a more dry and nervous manner.

There is not only Chopin; Blechacz has technique, style and personality that make him an ideal interpreter of the entire piano repertoire.

As demonstrated in this program, he reveals his origins by Bach and Mozart, and with Debussy, development of the style of Chopin, who changed history of music.



Sala Santa Cecilia, Rome

 Preview of Chopin Concerto in F minor in Rome by Daniele Battaglia posted on controluce.it on Jan.22.

Accademia di Santa Cecilia - events from 30 January to 5 February
Written by Daniele Battaglia

Season of Music Symphony Orchestra 2009-2010
- Auditorium Parco della Musica - Sala Santa Cecilia

With Blechacz and Boreyko – for the celebration of Chopin
For the last concert of the Symphonic Season in progress in January, Saturday 30 January at 18.00 at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, Accademia di Santa Cecilia is home for the first time the young and already great Polish pianist, Rafał Blechacz.

The 2005 winner of the last "Chopin in Warsaw", the most important of the international piano competitions that crowned in the past such musicians as Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman, being already among the best performers today, Blechacz will perform on the stage of the Sala Santa Cecilia the beautiful Concerto in F minor, Op. 21 by Chopin, thus inaugurating the celebrations for the bicentenary of the birth of the greatest Polish composer of all time, revered at home as a hero. To pay tribute to Chopin, in the Season of Musica da Camera dell'Accademia, we’ll also have Krystian Zimerman (10 February) and Mauritius Pollini (24 February).

The Concerto in F minor, dedicated to Countess Delphina Potocka, a beautiful friend and compatriot of Chopin, was composed in 1829, and performed for the first time by the composer in Warsaw March 17, 1830.

No less difficult, though less spectacular than Concerto No 1, is perhaps more revealing of the intimate, secret poetry of Chopin. Lyrical, dreamy, wistful, elegant, this set comes alive with a dramatic flare just in the central part of the second tempo. The Finale sets off the mazurka, his national dance, during the time of Chopin, little known outside Poland in the circle of European culture.

(In the second part of the concert, the suite for full orchestra by Gustav Holst The Planets, written during the years of World War I and executed in public for the first time in London on 15 November 1920…..)

Jan 20, 2010

Chopin Year related sites (Poland, France, US)

Beata & Dana sent to me a link to the beautiful PVT site for the 2010 Chopin Year.
Thank you very much as always!!


PVT site for Chopin Year (English)
Polish


from Gallery of this site, with Professor Andrzej Jasinski


French site for "Chopin 2010 in France"

and

US site, "Washington celebrates Chopin's bicentennial 2010 with concerts, films and lectures ".

The plans of the two cities, Paris and DC, include Rafał Blechacz's recitals, on June 14 and Feb.27, respectively.


In Poland, a gala concert is in the foyer of the Parliament building on Jan.20 to mark the 200th anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin’s birth. The National Philharmonic Orchestra under Antoni Wit will perform Chopin’s Concerto in E minor, with Piotr Paleczny, as soloist.



Rafał Blechacz will leave for Italian tour in a few days.

     

Jan 17, 2010

Diapason d'Or of the month given to Chopin album

"Chopin Complete Edition" was awarded The Diapason d'Or of the Month.
Rafał Blechacz's Preludes are part of this complete set of Chopin music presented by Deutsche Grammophon.

News of the award (French)


Deutsche Grammophon catalogue page



The Diapason d'Or is a prestigious French award given to outstanding classical music recordings
and is comparable to the United Kingdom's (UK) Gramophone Awards.




In 2008, Rafał Blechacz's album "Chopin, Complete Preludes" was awarded
Diapason D'Or l'Année 2008 (Best of the Year).

Article of the award (2008)



  

Jan 15, 2010

Universal Music Classical website renewed

Today I visited Universal Music Blechacz website for the first time in several months
and saw that the website has been updated.
It has already posted the CD "Chopin Concertos" (to be released there in US on Feb.23).

Universal Music Classical



I have been looking for this photo at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.
Konstancja has found it on Amazon.com.  Millions of thanks!!



Sometimes I visit Classissima Blechacz page for something new.
Classissima.com


And FaceBook!! is getting more important.     

Jan 13, 2010

Blechacz's CD awarded best seller in Poland

Empik, one of the major shops of books, CD, DVD and multimedia in Poland, announced Bestsellers Empik 2009.
Award ceremony was held on Jan. 11 at Teatr Kamienica (opera house).

Over 25 million customers who have made purchases in 2009 in Empik Empik.com and online store, chose Bestsellers in each category.


Rafał Blechacz's CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" won in the category of "classical music"....
In the field of music DVDs, Michael Jackson's "Live In Bucharest" was selected.

article from onet.pl (Polish)
mediafm.net
stopklatka.pl
wiadomosci24.pl
and many more.



June 2005 @ Warsaw Royal Castle



Rafał Blechacz's CD "Chopin: Piano Concertos" was just launched in France on Jan.11.

fnac.fr (French)
VirginMega.fr
On-line shopping and demo listening are available including a bonus track (Mazurka op.17-4)





CD "Best of Chopin - Piano solo" will be sold in Germany on Jan.29.
Musicload.de (German)
Recordings by Argerich, Ashkenazy, Blechacz, Freire , Pogorelich, et al.
You can see who plays which piece on this site.
Rafał Blechacz's "Rain drop" is included.

amazon.de

    

Jan 12, 2010

Review of Blechacz CD Chopin Concertos (Denmark)

Review of CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" posted on dr.dk/p2, a radio site of Denmark.

Original (Danish)




Written by: Jens Cornelius

Chopin: The two piano concertos

If there is someone who will be busy in the new year, he is the Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz.
2010 is the Chopin year (it has been 200 years since Chopin was born), and Rafał Blechacz is the future new major Chopin pianist. He is a contractor with compatriot Chopin. Therefore, all simply hear Chopin's music played by this young Pole. Whole Blechacz’ s calendar for 2010 has been oversubscribed by concerts.

As a prelude to the great year - for both Chopin and Rafał Blechacz - a CD is now available where Blechacz plays Chopin's two piano concertos. It is the first CD that Blechacz has recorded with an orchestra, and the result is overwhelmingly good. He plays Chopin with the same ease as you breathe. And he matches some of those greatest Chopin pianists of the past 100 years, Artur Rubinstein and Krystian Zimerman.

Rafał Blechacz 'previous CD was also named as the Weekly CD at P2. And it stands to reason - he is simply good! The jury also believed so, when Rafał Blechacz made a clean sweep at the famous Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2005. He won first prize in all five categories, and there was so little attention to the other participants that the jury chose not to speak of any other offers.

Can you be born with a sense of a certain type of music? The idea is similar to the one discussed in the parliament these years where it is said that true Dane is dependent on both the Christian faith and rooted in Denmark's history.
When we hear Blechacz's totally instinctive sense of style and expression in Chopin's music, we are inclined to believe that supporters of the theory are right. If you speak against them, it is that Blechacz is also an excellent musician, when it comes to Mozart, Haydn and Debussy ...


  

Jan 9, 2010

Blechacz plays at his university in Torun

Authorities of Kuyavian-Pomeranian (kujawsko-pomorskie) Voivodeship held a news conference yesterday to brief a plan of Chopin 2010 in the district.
Chopin spent holidays in Szafarnia when he was young, his mother was born in Kujawy and the artist's first love was buried in Kłóbce near Włocławek, so regional authorities decided to seize this opportunity to promote music to the people of the region.

Article of the planned Chopin 2010 from Gazeta.pl Toruń(Polish)
English (machine-translated)
You can grasp the pleasant atmosphere.


The plan includes a special concert by Rafał Blechacz.
".....The culmination of the Chopin Year will be a gala concert on April 20 at UMK (NCU) Hall.
Rafał Blechacz
from Nakło, the winner of the fifteenth Chopin Competition will appear.
The instrumentalist, the best Polish pianist, is a doctoral student of the University in Toruń,
and wanted to appear before his colleagues - students....."


See Kujawsko-Pomorskie website with beautiful photos of the region.


Faculty of Philosophy, UMK (NCU)



Related news from Gazeta.pl Bydgoszcz (Polish)
"The Chopin year without Blechacz in Bydgoszcz."

Jan 8, 2010

New CDs - Art of Chopin etc and...more

CD "Art of Chopin" was released on Jan.5.


(from KlassikAkzente page;)
"Art of Chopin" is a wonderful cross section of the Chopin cosmos!
Gathered on the double CD is a who's who of the Chopin interpreters.

From 'A' as Martha Argerich and Vladimir Ashkenazy to 'P' as Maurizio Pollini and Mikhail Pletnev.
And standing for the intergenerational works of Chopin, with legendary veteran Vladimir Horowitz and Sviatoslav Richter
as well as exciting young stars, Lang Lang, Alice Sara Ott and Rafał Blechacz".


If you live in Germany, demo listening is availabel from here.



Another CD "Best of Chopin Piano Solo" will be released on Jan.29,
recordings by Argerich, Ashkenazy, Blechacz, Freire , Pogorelich, et al.
Amazon.de is here.☆



Also "I Chopin T-Shirt" is on sale!!
KlassikAkzente page says that Chopin is cult! (Oh!?) So the followers should wear it.
Available from Bravado site.


And...
CDs "Chopin Complete Edition" will also be sold in US on Jan.26. Amazon.com here ☆
(Thanks to Konstancja for the info.)    

Chopin Year 2010 to kick off

Chopin 2010 promo video posted on FaceBook


(Thanks to Konstancja for the info.)



With the Chopin Year inauguration concert to be held in Warsaw on Jan.7, we are seeing a lot of articles/news of the special anniversary year.

Dorota Szwarcman posted her essay "Chopiniści. Kto tak pięknie gra (Chopinists: Who plays so beautiful)" on Polityka (Polish), on Jan.7, citing specially representative pianists when it comes to Chopin music,
-- Martha Argerich, Bella Davidovich, Fou Ts’ong, Murray Perahia, Garrick Ohlsson, Ivo Pogorelić, Evgeny Kissin, Nelson Goerner, Rafał Blechacz and Lang Lang.


I'll pick up an excerpt from her writing of Rafał Blechacz,
('cause her description is unusually moderate...)


Rafał Blechacz
When in the last Chopin Competition the main prize went to- finally after all these years - a Pole, we were all happy. The humble, gentle boy from Nakło, who won the main prize and all special prizes- conquered the audience, though not all, there were also some who accused him of some academicism. But admittedly he was the only participant in this contest who really thoroughly prepared and focused. Reputation of the contest decreased since a few editions before and ambitious young pianists stopped coming to Warsaw. Most of those who came presented productions unfit for listening.

It should be noted that Blechacz uses all of his strengths perfectly. Executing the current contract for three albums with Deutsche Grammophon made the company believe that it’s good enough that it has signed with him again. At the same time Blechacz makes himself known to the public of different countries of the world. He is particularly popular in Germany, the Netherlands and Japan. In the Year of Chopin, the Polish pianist will be very busy.
    

Jan 7, 2010

Italy gets Pollini, Zimerman & Blechacz for Chopin

From PAP's news release today.

Original PAP (Polish)

Italy gets Pollini, Zimerman and Blechacz,
Celebrating the Chopin Year.

by PAP, Jan.5

In Italy, concerts by Maurizio Pollini, Krystian Zimerman and Rafał Blechacz in January and February in Rome will feature the Chopin Year celebrations. They are organized by the Polish embassy and Instytut Polski w Wiecznym Mieście (the Polish Institute in Rome).

To the celebrate this bicentennial year of Fryderyk Chopin's birth, on January 30 the Roman Auditorium Parco della Musica will host a concert by Rafał Blechacz, with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Andrei Borejki to perform the composer's Piano Concerto.

Before the concert in the foyer of the hall of "Santa Cecilia" an exhibition will be held, prepared by the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw. Among others, the autograph Mazurka No. 3, opus 6 will be shown.

Rafał Blechacz will appear in the Roman auditorium on February 1 and 2, too.


February 10 in the same location there will be a recital of music by Chopin, performed by Krystian Zimerman.

On February 24 Maurizio Pollini’s recital will be held. He will present, inter alia, 24 preludes and 12 etudes of Chopin…



(2010 Good compliment year for Chopin)


↓The same story from Chopin 2010 site.
Omaggio a Chopin (Homage to Chopin)

Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is going to officially open the Chopin Year celebrations in Italy on 30th January and 1st–2nd February, with a concert featuring Rafał Blechacz playing Fryderyk Chopin’s Piano Concerto in E minor No. 1. The event’s programme is also going to include compositions by Gustav Holst and Randall Meyers. The Orchestra and Choir of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia is going to perform under the direction of Andrey Boreyko.

Before the concert, the exhibition titled “The Mazurka: of Poland or of the world?” is going to open at Auditorium Parco della Musica. Prepared by the Chopin Museum in Warsaw and designed by Migliore+Servetto, a Milan architect studio, the exhibition is going to display a manuscript of one of Chopin’s mazurkas owned by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, along with first editions, facsimiles, display boards, and audio and video material. The exhibition will last until the end of February and will accompany key Chopin events held at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia – Krystian Zimerman’s and Maurizio Pollini’s recitals and the conference “Le Sonate di Chopin”, to be chaired by Giovanni Bietti.

The same news at Polish Embassy in Rome.


(Note by this blog's author: Rafał Blechacz will perform the same concerto in the same venue on Jan.31, too.
He will have a recital in Milan on Jan.26 and in Treviso on Jan.27, too.)



Other countries: (General information; not related to Blechacz.)
FRYDERYK CHOPIN AND THE CINEMA, in NY, organized by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Polish Cultural Institute in New York

A German site to inform Chopin 2010 events in Warsaw

Denmark site

Israel site

Brasil site

Spain, El Instituto Polaco de Cultura  

Jan 6, 2010

Blechacz-World Career and Sunday Mass (review)

Review of CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" written by Monika Willer posted on Derwesten, Germany, on Jan.4.


Original review (German)



Rafał Blechacz - World Career and Sunday Mass
by Monika Willer


Rafał Blechacz playing a Chopin piano concertos. Blechacz is one of the most fascinating personalities of the current music scene, because he can not be blinded by all the hype.

The music world will celebrate in 2010 the 200th Birthday of Polish composer Frederic Chopin. The young Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz opened the round of festivities with a sensational recording of Chopin's two piano concertos in E minor and F minor.

The young musician is only 24 years old – Chopin was some twenty years old when he wrote his two piano concertos. He lived in Warsaw with his family, composed a lot, and studied folk music, led hot political discussions with his friends - and he was in love.

Rafał Blechacz since his triumph at the Chopin Competition 2005, where he won all five awards at once, has been an internationally sought-after pianist. Blechacz is one of the most fascinating personalities of the current music scene, because he can not be blinded by all the hype. Especially in the Piano Circus' careers a young pianist often rises rocketing into the sky to fall faster again.
Everyone knows the young musician, who wants to appear less publicly in 2010 to study philosophy at the University of Poznan. [sic.]

This intelligence, combined with an overwhelming joy of playing, makes Blechacz a special artist. The two Chopin concertos he plays with a brilliant and beaming tone, which always remains incomparably singing. Especially the "Romance", the slow movement of the E minor concerto is so dreamy to a declaration of love.

Colors
Blechacz has the virtuoso strength demanded by the great romantic repertoire, he has technical proficiency that is unparalleled. But what fills his famous older colleague pianist (=Chopin) with even more enthusiasm, is the richness of color, the warmth of his playing smart.

World star’s behavior is not much sensed by the highly gifted Pole. If he's in his hometown of Nakło nad Notecią, he plays the organ on Sundays at the mass. Exactly with the same dedication as now, the two Chopin concertos with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra under the great conductor Jerzy Semkow.





↓ Fragment of a review of Chopin's playing in 1829, offered by Dana.
She found a similarity of the two Polish musicians.


A review of Chopin's performance in Vienna (1th Sept.1829)

This is a young man who goes his own way and knows how to please in this way, although his way of playing and compositions differ from the usual forms of concerts; he primarily has aspirations for doing music rather than suiting public’s taste and being showy.

(Polish)
"Jest to mlodzieniec, ktory idzie wlasna droga i umie sie na tej drodze podobac, aczkolwiek jego sposob gry, jak komponowania, odbiegaja od zwyklych form koncertowych, przede wszystkim w tym, ze nad checia podobania sie goruje u niego w widoczny sposob chec robienia muzyki." 

Jan 3, 2010

Pictures from Champs Elysees



Sorry!! to make you surprised.
It is (I think) a program booklet of Rafał Blachacz's recital in Paris in March last year.
I saw this picture in a blog written by a French lady (I guess).
In this blog, you can see other beautiful pictures of Théâtre des Champs Elysées, on March 27, 2009, the date of the recital.

The author of this website admires Blechacz with familiar words such as
Chopin reincarnated ...passion, sensitivity, virtuosity, rhythm,
breathing, color, phrasing personnel, intelligence, sensuality…

She also emphasizes that he has a humor;
With that he is charming when he animates his interpretation
and also when he returns back to the stage, his gestures, taking off on the bench,
smiling and bowing to public, to show the deep back of the neck…


A review of this recital by Jean-Charles Hoffelé


↓This is from a program of Blechacz's recital at Le Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, on Jan.27, 2008.





Rafał Blechacz's new CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" will soon arrive in France, to be released on Jan.11.
Congratulations!!



Sometimes I receive e-mails from unkonwn readers of my blog.
In December I received one from a Japanese girl. She says,

“Earlier this year I happened to know Rafał-san’s music
and was deeply moved by a specific pianist for the first time in my life.
This gave me an opportunity to explore interpretations by other musicians,
thus expanding my pianistic world.
Now I can enjoy music better than ever and have a clearer target of my playing piano.

I want to keep on my adventure in music world with Rafał-san as my guide.

I’m looking forward to going to his recitals in autumn.
I sincerely hope that Rafał-san will keep his health
while touring all over the world in the Chopin Year.”


(san = Mr.)

(I believe her wishes for Rafał's health is the wishes shared by all the music lovers.)



I was asked why Yundi Li is still included in the DG calendar.
I don’t know exactly.
This calendar is not official DG merchandise but it is produced for sales promotion by CD shops for Japanese market. Maybe Universal still had rights over Yundi Li when the calendar was produced.

I read EMI site (Japanese) announcing officially that it has concluded a contract with Yundi Li on December 25 and Yundi’s new CD “Chopin Nocturnes” will be released on March 10, 2010. But neither Yundi Li’s official website nor his official Fan Club in Japan (jointly operated by Universal and Japan Arts) hasn’t made an announcement of the release. Maybe it is still in a transitional period.

Jan 2, 2010

Chopin Year - Newsweek & music lovers voices

Newsweek Polish version posted on Dec.31 an article about the special concerts
in commemoration of Chopin's 200th birthday,
titled "Kulturalny rok 2010: muzyka poważna" (The cultural year 2010: classical music).

Newsweek (Polish)

It introduces artists playing for the Special Birthday Week,
Rafał Blechacz inaugurating the event on Feb.22, 2010 followed by the video of his playing Chopin Polonaise in As major.

If you click on the link at Rafał Blechacz in the article, you can read an extensive article about Blechacz,
titled "Preludium do kariery (Prelude to a career)",

written in Sept. 2007, when his debut recording "Preludes" was released from Deutsche Grammophon,
and just before Blechacz made a recital debut at serie Meesterpianisten (Master pianist series) at Amsterdam Concertgebouw
presented by Riaskoff Concert Management, one of the most influential agencies to promote musicians in the world.

It is a story to describe a young promising artist starting to climb towards the summit
not from an artistic but a business viewpoint.
The article reiterates the importance of working with key agencies in each country
saying that Blechacz is now represented by such important agencies in major markets.

Blechacz at serie Meesterpianisten 2009-2010, on May 9, 2010.
Blechacz at serie Meesterpianisten 2007-2008, on October 7, 2007.

** You could follow the long story (hopefully) aided by this machine-translated English.





Chopin's Parish Church in Brochów (Kościół Świętego Rocha w Brochowie)


Jan (Holland) sent me a card of happy holiday and a new year
with a photocopy of the certificate of Chopin’s baptism and English translation;

---Brochov (Brochów) Parish Resister 23 April 1810
‘ I have carried out the ceremony of baptism on a child to whom were given the names Frédéric François,
born 22 February…..’---

with a copy of the program of Special Birthday Concert that Rafał Blechacz will give on February 22, 2010 for the 200th birthday of Fryderyk Chopin.




Thank Jan for a very auspicious greeting for the new year 2010.




I also received an e-mail from Dana (Poland) weeks ago
and she wrote about similarity between Chopin and Rafał Blechacz
in that reviews of the concerts that Chopin played were very similar to those of Blechacz’s.

Excerpt from her mail:
"I read a book titled "Chopin -Life and Creative Way (Życie i droga twórcza)"
by Polish author T. Zielinski PWM edition 1998.

I am very surprised by the likeness between Chopin and Rafał.
For example, next fragment about the concerto is very interesting.

On 17th of March, 1830, Chopin played the first time for public the concerto in F-minor
and "Gazeta Warszawska" wrote:

"Mr. Chopin unites all the good points of piano to the highest degree:
power, fluency but above all feelings- every touch of the key is voice of his heart...
The plentiful applause said goodbye the artist and his disarming modesty raised his rank of talent."

Other paper "Powszechny Dziennik Krajowy" wrote;
"The pianist never wanted to shine, his modesty always was in every piece.
It seems that the playing talks to public: This isn't play, this is music! ...
Mr. Chopin showed that you can astound listeners without noises of music that are prevailing nowadays."
(End of her mail)


Thanks to Dana.
She suggests that finding articles of Chopin's period that shows Chopin's similarity to Rafał
can be a nice present from this blog to celebrate Chopin's anniversary.
Hope that we'll find and post another fragment.

I often feel the same way as her;
when reading about Chopin, I sometimes have an illusion that I’m reading about Rafał Blechacz.