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Feb 28, 2010

Blechacz caught audience in Washington DC by heart

On Feb. 27, at 14:00, Rafał Blechacz gave a recital at John F Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Washington DC. The tickets have been sold out for six months. The theater of terraced seating configuration for good acoustics was filled with regular theater goers. Polish Ambassador in US was also seated.

Rafał Blechacz performed in this cozy theater only 16 hours after he finished the previous recital in NY last night. In such a short interval, he transferred from NY to DC (about 380km, taking nearly five hours), took a sleep. And presented sincerely and thoroughly what he has to offer to the audience.

The spirited virtuoso who has gained more forcefulness and robustness astounded and deeply impressed the sophisticated audience in DC. Standing ovations and heartfelt bravos of admiration reverberated after every Chopin piece. Blechacz, with blushed cheeks and the heartwarming smile returned a Mazurka as an encore, touching deep everyone's heart.

"What a talent!" "He is really really wonderful". Voices of praise were heard. Quite a few people rushed to the locked door leading to the artist room, asking for a short greeting with the admirable young pianist; one old man said "I came from Warsaw so I must thank him". The administrator of the theater broke the rule and warmly allowed them - new American fans of Rafał Blechacz to encounter the artist.





His next recital in US will be at Reynolds Industries Theater, Bryan Center, Duke University, NC, on March 5.


DukePerformance program page
DukePerformance piano recital series


Reynolds Industries Theater
About Reynolds Industries Theater 571 seats.




Sincere thanks, dziękuję bardzo & arigatoh-gozaimashita to the Frackowski's and pani Renata.

Chopin with a Polish touch (review by NPR)

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. NPR: National Public Radio of US.

Original article by Tom Huizenga of NPR
Comments on Blechacz begins at 8 minutes 40 seconds.

About Tom Huizenga

Tom Huizenga will interview Blechacz while he is in Washington DC.

Feb 27, 2010

Zimerman opening Chopin Year in London

On Feb.22, Krystian Zimerman gave a recital at Royal Festival Hall in London, opening the Chopin Year 2010 in UK. The all Chopin program included two of Chopin's sonatas and quite unusually he gave an encore. Earl of Kent and his family were among the audience.

Zimerman was pleased by the enthusiastic response from the audience of the full house and he said that he had a conversation with Rafał Blechacz on the phone and knew that Blechacz was similarly responded by his audience in Warsaw on Feb.22, according to Rp.pl.

Rp.pl article (Polish)
English of the article, machine-translated

This article also reports that someone in the audience was unlawfully recording Zimerman's performance during the recital and Zimerman noticed it. This person was then taken by the Police.
This incident was reported by Jacek Hawryluk via Polish Radio news, too.


Related story by Wiborcza.pl as of Feb.23.(Polish)


Read related story by Times of London, as of Feb.19.


Articles and Info were provided by Dana and Roman Frackowski.
Special thanks to them. Arigatou!


ツィメルマンは演奏の途中で聴衆のひとりがこっそり録音しているのに気付き(どうやって?)集中力を失い、ホールの責任者に依頼して警察が入ったとのことです。(ポーランドラジオより。)
この人は東洋風の容貌だったそうです。聴衆のこのような態度は容認できないところでしょうが、もしかすると、本当にKZの音楽が好きで何度も聴きたくて、つい録音してしまったのだとしたら、その好きなアーチストに逮捕されてしまったのは、心が痛みます。演奏会自体は聴衆の反応も素晴らしく、KZはとても喜んでいた、ラファウ・ブレハッチに電話したところ、ブレハッチも同様にワルシャワで大成功だったと知り、さらに喜んだ、とのことです。

Review of Blechacz CD Chopin Concerti (US)

A review written by Baobao Zhang
Staff Reporter of Yale Daily News
Published Friday, February 26, 2010


Original review




titled,
Blechacz’s latest take on Chopin is soul-filled delight


(Excerpt)
"...And Blechacz is something of a prodigy...
Blechacz, whose mop of brown hair reminds me somewhat of a 60’s rocker, is clearly the star of the new album “Chopin: Piano Concertos.” His interpretation of Chopin’s music is original and sincere.

Perhaps it is his age and nationality that sets him apart from the rest; Chopin, also a Pole, was even younger than Blechacz, barely having completed his formal musical education, when he wrote these two pieces. While Blechacz does not command the piano like the great Polish-born American pianist Arthur Rubinstein, he plays with great dexterity. Comparing Rubinstein’s aged performance and Blechacz recent recording would be unfair, of course, but I felt the latter’s rendition was much more personal. Even when the younger pianist is racing his fingers through the allegro of Concerto No. 2 in F minor, you could imagine him moving pleasantly to the rhythm. Indeed, he seems to feel the music, almost — as YouTube kindly shows us, Rubinstein played his Chopin sitting stiff as a mortar board while Blechacz sways in circles, enchanted, even, by the music...

“Chopin wrote these concerts when he was 18, 19. It was a very joyful time for him — he was in love.” Blechacz said in a promotional interview. “I think my role is to enter into Chopin’s feelings and recreate them afresh.”

The second movement of Concerto No. 2, a larghetto of ornate melodies, is one of the highlights of the album...... Blechacz’s flow of upper-range notes rushes forth, easily dissolving any hints of darkness. At these points, the orchestra accompaniment is reduced to a merely incidental role, allowing the pianist to take center stage....."

  

Blechacz was showered with joyful bravos in NY

On Feb.26, Rafał Blechacz gave a recital at Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), New York.


Bach—Partita in B-flat Major, No. 1
Mozart—Sonata in B flat Major, K.570
Debussy—Pour le piano
Chopin—Ballade No. 3 in A flat Major, Opus 47
Chopin—Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20
Chopin—Polonaise fantasie in A-flat Major, Opus 61

A short preview by New York Times. (Please scroll down to the middle of the page.)

The East Coast including New York was hit by another violent snow storm since previous day and on the day of recital, public schools of NY were closed because of the dangerous weather. There was a doubt if the recital can be held.

The weather improved, however, towards the evening and the hall was almost full with art-loving New Yorkers and others (some came from Texas, California and there were quite a few Asians. When people were shouting bravos after the performance was done, some cried "bis", meaning encore in Polish and French.)

Reactions from the audience were quite straightforward; sighs of emotions were heard on the final note of Bach; after that, all the pieces from Mozart evoked many bravos. People were amazed by everything he offered; deep, contemplative interpretations with underlying solid technique that no other young musicians can emulate.

Blechacz warmly gave a present of wholehearted Mazurka opus 17-4 as an encore.


His next concert on the agenda is scheduled at Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
Washington Performing Arts Society, Washington DC on Feb.27.

Tickets were sold out six months ago.

Press release from WPAS
(Thanks to Roman Frackowski for the info.)


Kennedy Center Terrace Theater



Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, from the stage


前日から今年何回目かの強風をともなう猛吹雪に見舞われ、公立学校休校となったニューヨークですが、(ブルームバーク市長の記者会見を私もニュースで見ました。)夕方には雪の勢いも弱まり、ラファウ・ブレハッチのリサイタルも無事に行われました。ほぼ満席で、よかったですね。もしかして、晴れ男?  

TV program of Blechacz, March 1 (Poland)

"Co słychać? - Rafał Blechacz" to be broadcast by TVP Kultura, Poland
at 17:35 on March 1, 2010.

Program site  

Feb 25, 2010

Photos of Rafał Blechacz in Warsaw on Feb.22

Photos & articles about Blechacz on Feb.22, 2010.

Chopin Institute The birthday concert.

English of this article (official English from Chopin Institute site)

(Excerpt of Blechacz's part from the article)
"After the interval Fryderyk Chopin’s birthday party finally begun. A warm welcome was given to the pianist, Rafał Blechacz, who jumped onto the stage to perform Piano Concerto in F minor Op. 21. The tutti exposition, as well as the whole part of the orchestra, was played according to the best Polish performing tradition. It was the more enjoyable that just few days earlier London Symphony Orchestra had carefully performed all of the notes of the Concerto, but stripped the work out of all ideas of great Polish conductors that already form the canon of the performance. This tradition can be traced back to Grzegorz Fitelberg, and even to Karol Kurpiński.

The skilled performance of Rafał Blechacz attracted our attention from the very first note. The musical text was given flawlessly, while playing was spontaneous and energetic. The freedom of performance was as evident as was pianist’s control upon the musical time and phrase. Without challenging the performing tradition of the work, Blechacz was able to introduce his own ideas, which came in particularly large amount in the Finale. The famous Larghetto was truly memorable; the cooperation between soloist, conductor and orchestra was exemplary. The dialogue with bassoon was remarkable moment of the interpretation. Moreover, the horn player dealt successfully with his arduous part. The whole performance was energetic, and the mazurka in third movement was given an apt execution. Therefore it was not at all surprising that the audience reacted in standing ovation that convinced the pianist to offer two Mazurkas as encores. The first of them, Mazurka in A minor Op. 17 No. 4, was phenomenal. Blechacz gave unforgettable performance, his interpretation was mesmerizing: no one dared to applaud as the last note vanished in the air. There was still silence. Everyone tried to stay as long as possible in the Chopin’s World, brought to us by Rafał Blechacz with skill and sensitivity".
(End of excerpt)



Krzysztof Komarnicki




Reporterpoland During the rehearsal.






Thanks to Beata & Data for the contribution!

Feb 24, 2010

Rafał Blechacz' Warsaw rehearsal Chopin Concerto (video)

Video of Rafał Blechacz rehearsing Chopin Concerto in F minor with Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Antoni Wit at National Philharmonic Hall
for the concert on Feb.22.

Watch the video on Gazeta.pl site, titled,

"Blechacz's musical intuition".







In addition to Rafał's rehearsal, you can see Antoni Wit, the conductor, and Krzysztof Blechacz, Rafał's father, each giving a few words.


I thank Roman Frackowski for giving us the news with such a perspective presentation!


ラファウ・ブレハッチのリハーサル風景、指揮者のアントニ・ヴィット、クシシュトフ・ブレハッチ氏(ラファウのお父様)のコメントが収録されています。


Another article from the Gazeta.pl titled, "Triumph of Blechacz
Thanks again to Pan Roman for the info.


This is the link to the interview Blechacz gave to Adam Rozlach of Polish Radio 1 on Feb.21 (podcast).
Thanks to Dana for the info.   

Feb 23, 2010

Rafał Blechacz's triumph in Warsaw/Concert broadcast Feb.23

On Feb.22, 2010, Rafał Blechacz played Chopin's 2nd concerto in F minor with Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Antoni Wit at National Philharmonic Hall for the Gala concert, opening the Chopin Birthday Special Concerts Series.

I received a news of his great performance soon after the concert at 23:00 (CET).

"Rafał's playing of Chopin's Concerto No. 2 tonight at National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw with Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra under Antoni Wit was so beautiful that the audience enthusiasm was explosive.
Standing ovation had no end.
Rafał played two encores and still couldn't leave the stage".

Many thanks to Roman Frackowski for the super-auspicious news. 


I also received SMS message from Dana and Beata who attended the concert in Warsaw.

"Really fantastic playing. Standing ovation & two encores (mazurkas).
The hall was full. Wonderful evening!"

Many many thanks to Dana & Beata!



Rehearsal in Warsaw for the concert on Feb.22
This Spanish article, introducing Chopin 2010 events, shows another photo of Blechacz during the rehearsal.


Pan Roman also notified us of the planned broadcast of the concert and the interview with Blechacz by Polish Radio 2 at 19:00 on Feb.23 (CET).

announcement by Polish Radio 2 of the program

Listen to the program from here.
Click on słuchaj w internecie to hear the program.

This link is supported by Real Player.

Now Jan, a fan of Blechacz in Holland notified me of the link by Windows Media Player.
He says, "I will listen and hopefully experience the great feeling of the audience". (Thanks a lot to Jan!)

mms://stream.polskieradio.pl/program2

ラファウ・ブレハッチの、2月22日、ワルシャワでのショパンバースデイウィーク初日ガラコンサート(ショパン協奏曲第2番)は大成功を収めました。
当日のショパンコンチェルト2番(2月22日@ワルシャワ)と、彼が21日に受けたインタビューの放送はこちらから。
日本時間24日午前3時から放送。おそらく最初がラファウのショパンコンチェルト、次にラファウのインタビュー、最後がシューマン交響曲2番の順だと思います。

↑順番違ってましたね。ごめんなさい!!
シューマン→RBのインタビュー→RBのショパンコンチェルト→RBのアンコール(→RBのCDよりPreludiaのop.28-15~24、ノクターンop62)の順でした。
私はシューマンの2番を聴くと、バーンスタインを思い出します。亡くなる直前の演奏(ビデオ)と映像がよみがえりました。。ブレハッチとは関係ありませんが。。
でも、全然違う。こんなに粒のそろった端正な演奏もあるのね(笑)。。

Pan Roman also notified that on Monday in the afternoon, the Polish Radio II broadcast a part of the interview with Rafał Blechacz (conducted by Anna Skulska) and played the Finale from his DG recording of Concerto in F minor.

You can listen to this interview (partial) from the following URL (podcast).
Listen to Rafał's interview with Anna Skulska from this link.
放送予定のインタビューの約半分が、すでにこちらのサイトでアップされています。
一番最新のラファウ・ブレハッチの元気な声をどうぞ。

It says that on the eve of the concert in Warsaw, Rafał Blechacz talked with Anna Skulska about:

- The impact that stage experiences have on the same performer and his interpretation.

- Search of Chopin's secret ...

- Meetings with the great musical masters: Valery Gergiev, Jerzy Semkow, Antoni Wit, Mikhail Pletnev, Maurizio Pollini and Krystian Zimerman.

- His future plans related to the Chopin Year celebrations.


On Sunday Rafał Blechacz gave another interview for A. Rozlach of Polish Radio 1 and the interview was broadcast on the same day at 23:00.
21日には、別のインタビュー(アダム・ロズラフと)のインタビューも受けました。誰も気づかないうちに当日放送されてしまいました。残念!



Jacek Marczyński's review of the concert on Feb.22 was posted on Rzeczpospolita' site on Feb.23.

"....His interpretation was full of dynamic contrasts and at times kept daring tempos..."

Original review (Polish)
English of the review, machine-translated, but fully understandable.

このレビューによれば、ワルシャワでは、非常に独自性の高い、大人な解釈・演奏だったようです。    

Mr.Blechacz comes to Washington (preview/review)

Review of Blechacz's recordings so far and preview of his planned recital in Washington DC on Feb.27,
written by Charles T. Downey, titled,
"Mr.Blechacz comes to Washington".

Please read the article.
(I am overwhelmed by a tremendous amount of search hits about Blechacz/Chopin and have no time to investigate who Mr.Downey is. Hopefully I'll post something to follow this in a few days.)  

Feb 19, 2010

Get Blechacz Chopin Concertos from i Tunes, US

Rafał Blechacz's recording of "Chopin The Piano Concertos" will be launched in US on Feb.23

and it will be available via i Tunes store, too.

i Tunes site




All the residents of US, check your i Tunes store now♪
They began accepting Pre-order of the album, including the bonus track Mazurka op.17-4.

You can get the bonus track Mazurka op. 17-4 seperately.
Get it if you've already have the album.

(Thanks to Konstancja for the info.) 

Blechacz's playing/interview broadcast on Feb.23

On Feb.22, Rafał Blechacz will perform Chopin's Piano Concerto in F minor for the Special Birthday Concerts on the 200th Anniversary of Fryderyk Chopin’s Birth with Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Antoni Wit.

On Feb.23, at 19:00 (CET), the entire concert will be broadcast by Polish Radio 2.

Polish Radio program site 
Click on słuchaj w internecie to hear the program.

Program:
R. Schumann – Symphony No. 2 in C major Op. 61
F. Chopin – Piano Concerto in F minor Op. 21

During the intermission, an interview with Rafał Blechacz will also be broadcast.


(Many thanks to Dana for the info.)


* The Chopin 2010 site provides the opposite order of the program; Chopin first, Schumann next. I don't know to which order PR2 will air the program. Please be careful if you want to listen to Blechacz's playing.

* Please be reminded that the broadcasting is subject to a sudden change/cancellation withoug prior notice.






Program site of Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra
Description of Rafał Blechacz at the website of Philharmonic Orchestra. (Thanks to Dana.)
From Rzeczpospolita dated Feb.18, titled "Genius could have two birthdays", explaining why Fryderyk Chopin has two birthdays and how the birthday week will be celebrated, with description of contributing musicians.
(↑This photo comes from this article.)


Let's say Happy Birthday, Fryderyk Chopin♪ and sing together for him.

Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam.
Sto lat, sto lat,
Niech żyje, żyje nam,
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz, niech żyje, żyje nam,
Niech żyje nam!

(English:
A hundred years, a hundred years,
May he (she) live for us.
A hundred years, a hundred years,
May he live for us.
Once again, once again, may he live, live for us,
May he live for us! )






I don't know if "Sto lat" was already sung in Chopin's era for happy occasions. But this is the song from today's fans of Fryderyk Chopin.

Feb 17, 2010

It really comes from his heart- Blechacz' Chopin

"Lovely! Rafał Blechacz Plays Chopin!"




It is one of the messages from twitter that I saw today;
actually messages of excitement and joy have been running around via twitters, blogs, many Internet sites since February 14,
when NPR, a public radio broadcaster in US posted the article;

"First Listen: Rafał Blechacz Plays Chopin
Hear The Piano Concertos In Their Entirety"


Yes, you can listen to Rafał Blechacz's Concertos by Chopin in its entirety from NPR site
with a bonus track, Mazurka op.17-4,


and here Cathy Fuller beautifully describes Rafał Blechacz's playing.

".....Chopin was equally young, around 20, when he wrote these pieces. The F minor Concerto was premiered at Warsaw's National Theater in 1830. The first movement didn't seem to capture the audience, but the second and third won them over completely.

"The bravos," Chopin wrote to a friend, "seemed really to come from the heart."

In this recording, Blechacz understands Chopin's love for Poland, and feels his romantic longing. He doesn't sound like he's imitating anyone else's take on Chopin's sentiments. It requires both integrity and intelligence to work on this repertoire without "bending" to the often eccentric interpretations that other pianists have branded on the music.

Free of those, Blechacz plays with an unfettered fluency. It gives his Chopin sincerity and directness, without any of the fussiness that comes from overworking the nuances or overindulging the intimacy. And you can be sure that the beauty of the hushed heartache that Blechacz achieves in the second concerto's slow movement will, over time, become even more magical in its tenderness.

And in time, a freer imagination will spill even more excitement into the joyous cascades of notes that push their way through Chopin's melancholy. Then, like his hero Krystian Zimerman, he'll record the concertos again".

(Thanks to Konstancja for the info♪ and Roman Frackowski for the advice♪)



In US, Rafał Blechacz's CD will be released on Feb.23, and Rafał Blechacz is going to give recitals in US shortly after the CD release in four cities.

Feb. 26
Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), New York

Feb. 27
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater
Washington Performing Arts Society, DC ←Tickets sold out last August.
Press release from Washington Performing Arts Society
(Appreciate Roman Frackowski for the press release.)

March 5
Reynolds Industries Theater, Bryan Center, Duke University, NC

March 6
Spivey Hall at Clayton State University, Georgia

--------------------------------------
But prior to US release and US tour, there is an important event in Poland.
Rafał Blechacz will inaugurate the Chopin Birthday week in Warsaw on Feb.22.

(to be continued.)


2月23日にラファウ・ブレハッチのCDショパン協奏曲がようやくリリースされるアメリカでは、2月14日に、NPR: National Public RadioのサイトがCDの全曲をアップし、あっという間にTwitterやSNS、ブログなど多くのサイトに広がりました。「公共放送が発売前に?」とびっくりしていたのですが、「すでにNPRにアップされたのだから、このブログでもアップして、ラファウの演奏を聴きたい!と思っている人たちに広めない理由はないでしょう?」と識者達にさとされ(笑)、こちらでもアップしました。

ボーナストラックのマズルカop.17-4もアップされ、ダウンロード可能です。(7月2日のコンセルトヘボウでの演奏会の際のアンコールと思われます。)

ラファウ・ブレハッチは22日にワルシャワでショパンバースデイ週間の初日に演奏した後、アメリカでのリサイタルツアーとなります。

ワルシャワは、数多くのサイト等で紹介されているとおり、ナショナル・フィルハーモニー管弦楽団、指揮アントニ・ヴィットとの共演で、ラファウ・ブレハッチのショパン協奏曲と、同じく今年生誕200年を迎えるシューマンのシンフォニー第2番という、華のあるプログラムになります。(曲順は、フィルハーモニー管弦楽団のHPやポーランドラジオのHPでは、シューマンが先、ショパンが後になってます。)


Feb 16, 2010

Review of Blechacz CD Chopin Concertos by J. Sykes

A review written by Julian Sykes, an English critic, of Rafał Blechacz's CD "The Chopin Piano Concertos", posted on Le Temps, Switzerland.

I wrote here on Saturday that the review article was not accessible but thanks to a Le Temps' contact person, I was able to get the full text.



original (French)


Rafał Blechacz, all to the song Julian Sykes

Rafał Blechacz, 24, is the Polish pianist touted as the successor of Krystian Zimerman in interpreting the music of Chopin.
If they share a certain conception of beauty, they are of two different temperaments:
the one who is wonderfully accomplished, but a perfectionist to the point of killing emotions,
the other who is more humble and youthful.
More touching, too.


The first recording of Chopin (Preludes Opus 28 and Nocturnes Opus 62) revealed a set of flexible and tidy playing, endowed with an aristocratic fiber, capable of fleeting flashes - but too rare. He lacked a bit of madness. The second disc dedicated to Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart did not meet expectations; too framed, too devoted. And here are the 1st and 2nd concertos of Chopin, delivered with more distinctly palpable emotions.


Blechacz relies on an eminently musical technique - one that was distinguished in 2005 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. He knows how to shape a phrase, to confer an expressive curvature on him, to play on the clear-obscure, to revive the speech when necessary (the coda in the first movement of Concerto No. 1).

His playing is charmed by his freshness, his grace. And a prodigious range of nuances that sometimes boarders on préciosité (preciosity). More feminine than Argerich, Blechacz brings his personal signature – the very elastic phrasing, the articulate left hand.

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Jerzy Semkow brings him a fleshy support - too much in the 1st Concerto, but the 2nd is particularly successful. A certain playfulness characterizes the final movements, that of a young man full of aesthetic sense and sincerity.


Read Julian Sykes' review of Blechacz's recital in 2006 Verbier Festival




(↓ Copy of the original)
Rafal Blechacz, tout vers le chant
Julian Sykes


Le pianiste éclaire les deux «Concertos» de Chopin d’une palette de couleurs fine et étudiée

Rafal Blechacz, 24 ans, est ce pianiste polonais pressenti comme le successeur de Krystian Zimerman pour l’interprétation de la musique de Chopin. S’ils partagent une certaine conception du beau, ce sont deux tempéraments différents: l’un prodigieusement accompli mais perfectionniste au point de tuer l’émotion, l’autre plus humble et juvénile. Plus touchant, aussi.

Un premier disque Chopin (Préludes de l’Opus 28 et Nocturnes de l’Opus 62) avait révélé un jeu souple et soigné, doté d’une fibre aristocratique, capable de fulgurances passagères – mais trop rares. Il y manquait un brin de folie. Un deuxième disque consacré à Haydn, Beethoven et Mozart n’a pas répondu aux attentes: trop cadré, trop léché. Et voici les 1er et 2e Concertos de Chopin, livrés avec une émotion nettement plus palpable.


Blechacz s’appuie sur une technique éminemment musicale – celle qui l’a distingué en 2005 au Concours Chopin de Varsovie. Il sait façonner une phrase, lui conférer une courbure expressive, jouer sur les clairs-obscurs, relancer le discours quand il le faut (la coda dans le premier mouvement du Concerto N° 1 ). Son jeu séduit par sa fraîcheur, sa grâce. Et une prodigieuse gamme de nuances qui ­confine parfois à la préciosité. Plus féminin qu’Argerich, Blechacz ­apporte sa signature personnelle – tel phrasé très élastique, une main gauche articulée. Le Royal ­Concertgebouw Orchestra mené par Jerzy Semkov lui apporte un soutien charnu – trop dans le 1er Concerto , mais le 2e est particulièrement réussi. Une certaine malice caractérise les mouvements finaux, celle d’un jeune homme qui s’épanche avec tact et sincérité.
  

Feb 15, 2010

Blechacz talks more of his CD (video) (new)

Universal Music Classics offers an interview video given by Rafał Blechacz during his recording session of CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos" in July, 2009.

Watch the video from Universal Music Classics site

(I noticed that viewing the video is not always easy. I couldn't view it with my 2nd PC and on different browsers than IE. It looks like that generally the Universal site has constraining setting; eg google map is disabled on my PCs. Anyhow Good luck!)

Part of this interview was used for the trailer of Deutsche Grammophon and many of you have already watched it.
But 2nd half of this video is new! With a quiet enthusiasm, he talks about Maestro Semkow, Royal Concertgegouw Orchestra and his musical career.

My friend in U.S. found this new version of video. Thanks a lot to her.   And Happy Valentine's Day!! to Americas (where it's still Feb.14).

She always excavates precious materials that I'm not aware of with my routine Internet search.

Recently, she says, she was at the bookstore browsing a music magazine looking for something about Rafał Blechacz. A man sitting next to her talked to her, asking,
"What are you searching?"
She said,
"We are having Chopin's birthday shortly so anything about Chopin would be wonderful."
He then asked,
"Do you know Rafał Blechacz?"

A pleasant conversation followed. For her, it was the first time that she was asked about Rafał Blechacz by someone rather than she asks the question to others.
This man said that he really wants to have Blechacz's concert in more convenient locations in US and she agreed.
(She lives in the southern part of US where a famous piano competition is held.)

He was looking forward the release of the CD of Chopin Concertos in US (Feb.23)
and she already obtained the imported CD last October..



Recently I was asked by a fan in Spain if and when Rafał Blechacz performs in Spain this year or next year.
I don't know the answer. She says;
"I'm a great fan of Rafał Blechacz and watching his videos has inspired me to study more and play better".





A few days ago I wrote here that Blechacz's recital and interview in Hamburg will be broadcast on March 7 and the program will be available via ZDF for the next seven days. (Appreciate Mr.Roman Frackowski for the info!)

Yesterday I found that ARTE + 7 site will also give the video streaming for seven days.
←Europe only, due to the copyright restriction.

Downloading is possible from this site.

ARTE program description
It describes Blechacz's performances elegantly. I want to put it in English in later days.

ARTE + 7 site ←Video streaming ←Europe only.

Feb 13, 2010

Special book featuring Chopin published (Japan)

A Chopin handbook written by (Ms.) Yoshiko Ikuma, an experienced music journalist, has been published.
(Publication date is Feb.28, 2010 but it's already available at bookshops.)

There are quite a few books and magazines published recently featuring Chopin's music and his life.

This one is handy and easy to read but substantial with illustrative explanation given by Ikuma based on her abundant knowledge and journalistic activities helped by the relevant literatures, thoroughly covering life and music of the great composer/pianist. The book can be used as a tour guidebook if you travel in Poland and France to follow Chopin's life.

The book includes a digest reflecting on the history of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw with the picture of Rafał Blechacz in 2005 at the top page,


「図説ショパン」井熊よし子著、河出書房新社 簡潔でわかりやすい説明、写真も美しいです。


and twenty representative pianists who left splendid recordings of Chopin are introduced;

Alfred Cortot, Arthur Rubinstein, Vladimir Sofronitsky, Vladimir Horowitz, Nikita Magaloff, Sviatoslav Richter, Dinu Lipatti, Arturo Michelangeli, Samson François, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini, Maria João Pires, Cyprien Katsaris, Krystian Zimerman, Jean-Marc Luisada, Dang Thai Sơn, Piotr Anderszewski, Evgeny Kissin and Rafał Blechacz.




As for Rafał Blechacz, Ikuma writes about him keeping her usual gentle gaze on him.


"Rafał Blechacz - an unprecedented record holder, winning the first and all the special prizes in the 2005 Chopin Competition - never bangs the keys bluntly and his rendition is rather classical, characterized by his pure and tranquil sound making you feel nostalgia.

Blechacz says;
--I would like to play in a way that was prevailing when Chopin lived. The playing in those days when carriages were coming and going, people were talking together peacefully and freedom and peace were earnestly longed for.

Rafał Blechacz is an excellent player of Polonaises and Mazurkas, the music deeply rooted in folk dancing music of his country. He has been playing organ in church and questing for sounds from this instrument that Chopin also learned from, thus creating versatile tones and colors from the piano. As Chopin loved music of classical composers such as Bach, so Blechacz values baroque and classical compositions".



St. Roch's Church, Żelazowa Wola


Yoshiko Ikuma:
Music journalist and music critic.
Writer of music books.
Former editor-in-chief of music monthly "Chopin".
Graduated from Tokyo College of Music.

Personally, her writings of Blechacz in CD linernotes and magazines have been quite helpful to understand the musician.
Her book of Dang Thai Sơn's biography and a book about Mischa Maisky were impressive.

Feb 10, 2010

Preludia Index website gets started

I created an index site for this blog - Preludia.
The URL is:


http://preludia.blechacz.info/




The articles posted on this blog are classified by such categories as "Concert reviews", "CD reviews" and "interviews".
Each category is further subdivided into smaller sub-category, so you can drill down to a specific article
such as "Reviews of the recital in Tokyo during 2009 Japan tour".

I hope that you will find it is useful to reflect on the career of Rafał Blechacz.

It is the first time for me to compile a webpage.
Unlike the blog, where a set of templates are provided by the service provider, creating a webpage from scratch was not easy.
I need to learn more to refine the site. Any suggestion for improvement is very much appreciated.

Please e-mail me.

I tested the website on XP and Windows7 with IE8.0, Firefox3.6 and google chrome.


ブログPreludiaの記事(コンサートレビュー、CDレビュー、インタビュー)を検索するためのホームページを作ってみました。
初心者ゆえ、いかにも手作りっぽくなっていますが、「埋もれた良い記事を探す」という目的にフォーカスしました。
改善のためのご意見、お待ちしています。
  

Feb 9, 2010

Brechacz recital TV broadcast Mar.7 (Germany)

According to TVinfor.de, Rafał Blechacz's recital in Hamburg (Oct.6, 2009) will be broadcast
@ 19:15 - 20:00, March 7, 2010 by ZDF/ARTE (CET).←Europe only.

The site says;
"Rafał Blechacz plays Chopin --The program shows the great acclaims that were given to Blechacz in Hamburg last autumn.
No virtuosic keyboard-thunder - Blechacz's Chopin glows from interior.
The climax of the concert: The Polonaise-Fantasie in A flat-major op. 61, a challenge for any pianist".


Another TV program site
Another site : Classique news.com (French)




Example of acclaims given to Blechacz for his Hamburg performance.  




Feb 6, 2010

Rafał Blechacz in Rome, fans in US and Japan


Rafał Blechacz on Jan.30 in Rome, interviewed on the inauguration of Chopin Year



From TVP.pl, , containing the video of interview with Rafał Blechacz in Rome on Jan.30 when he inaugurated the Chopin Year in Rome by performing Concerto No.2.

This is the same video as the one I posted three days ago.

I was not able to see this video and informed that in U.S., TVP is not viewable. (Maybe neither in Japan).
But I sincerely hope that you can see it in your regions,
and want to thank the contributor for the info.

------------------------------------------------------------

I read that in Washington DC, US,
..."due to severe weather conditions, the Kennedy Center is closed effective 3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5 and will remain closed on Saturday, Feb. 6. All Friday and Saturday performances are cancelled. Information on Sun., Feb. 7 performances will be posted as it becomes available".

Kennedy Center is the venue where Blechacz will perform a recital on Feb.27.
Hope that the weather condition will be favorable around the date of his concert.

The ticket for this recital on Feb.27 was sold out last August. All the seats were booked only by subscribers and no ticket was left for single ticket buyers. One of my friends in US was very sad because she and her husband were really looking forward to going to this recital, the first attendance of Blechacz's recital for her.

I saw a "wanted" ad written by another fan on craigslist site:
"If anyone is unable to use their tickets to see Rafal Blechacz perform at the Kennedy Center on February 27, I'm very interested in obtaining two. It sold out before I knew about the event. Ignore the price specified above, as I'm willing to pay whatever the ticket price was".



Argentina's site, Blechacz's CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos", to be available on Feb.23 (US import).



Two Japanese fans today notified me of info about ticket sales for Blechacz's Japan tour in October.
I've not kept my eyes on that, thinking that Japan tour is eight months away.
But tickets have been already on sale for a couple of recitals.
See concert schedule (2) ←This list is not a complete one; it is a collection of what I know now

Feb 5, 2010

From PAP - Rafał Blechacz launched Chopin Year in Italy

Japanese


From PAP article written by Mr.Roman Frackowski.

Original (Polish)




Italy: Rafał Blechacz launched the Chopin Year in Italy
Rafal Blechacz inaugurated the Chopin Year celebrations in this country.

Saturday, January 30, the largest (2,800 seats) concert hall in Rome, Auditorium Parco della Musica, for the next three nights and Sunday afternoon, was filled to the brim with people who love the talent of Rafał Blechacz. Every day, to his execution of the Concerto in F minor by Chopin with Orchestra Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Andrey Boreyko, the enthusiastic audience rewarded with stormy, resounding ovation, always reciprocated by encores (Chopin mazurkas), which again caused continuous applause.

Before the performances in Rome, Blechacz's recitals in Milan, (Tuesday, 26 at Sala Verdi del Conservatorio) and in Treviso (Wednesday, 27 at the Teatro Communale) were responded equally enthusiastically.

Roman Frąckowski, 4 February 2010.


  

Feb 4, 2010

From the site of Polish Consulate General in Milan

Original (Polish)


In G. Verdi Conservatory in Milan on January 26, 2010, the concert of Rafał Blechacz was held.

The Polish pianist in the concert series inaugurated the Chopin Year celebrations in Italy, where he played music of Frederic Chopin, as well as works by Bach and Mozart. The audience was delighted with the young virtuoso pianist. He repeatedly rewarded them with encores.

In the concert, Consul General Krzysztof Strzałka and all diplomatic staffs of the consulate joined.

After the concert - Rafał Blechacz signed his CDs and conversed with the audience.





Article of Chopin's benches from culture.pl.
(Info from Dana Thanks!)  

Feb 3, 2010

Super concerto in Rome - super pianist Rafał♪

Tonight (Feb. 2, 2010) Rafał played Chpin's Concerto No 2 again in Sala S. Cecilia,
with the S.Cecilia Orchestra under Andrey Boreyko.

It was his last appearance in Rome this season.
He again gave a superb performance to a big applause of the full house for which he thanked with an encore.


(Thanks to Roman for the fantastic news.)

Heartfelt congratulations to our gifted, super musician.

Feb 2, 2010

The third big success in the third day in Rome

↓ News provided by Mr.Roman Frackowski.
Thank you again for such a beautiful news to us!!


"Tonight at 9:00 Rafal played again in Sala Santa Cecilia in Rome (Orchestra di Santa Cecilia under Andrey Boreyko; program of the evening the same as on Saturday) Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 to a full house.

He played so beautifully that the audience did not let him go despite a late hour.

There was no end to a thunderous applause and acclamations!!
He was almost forced by the shouting audience to the front stage back, and back again and he thanked them with two encores (the mazurkas).

Another big success and we are now looking forward to one more tomorrow evening".  

From a blog in Milan - Rafał Blechacz recital

From a blog kept by a male music lover in Cremona, Italy, writing about the recital given by Rafał Blechacz on Jan. 26.

Original (Italian)


Rafał Blechacz returns to Milan
The young Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz - born in 1985, winning first prize at the Chopin in Warsaw in 2005 - has returned to Milan after the concerto in January 2008 with the Orchestra Verdi. And he returned to a solo recital as a guest for the first turn of the Quartet.
The first part of the concert opened with a program may still not be congenial to Blechacz: Part I BWV 825 by Bach and the Sonata KV 570 by Mozart. Much more convincing was Debussy's Pour le piano.
The real highlight of the concert was the second part, all dedicated to Chopin, a composer whom Blechacz playes at the highest level. Scherzo No 1 op. 20, the Three Mazurkas Op. 50, Polonaise-Fantasie op. 61 were three gems, which showed all the technical and poetic talent of the great pianist. The Chopin by Blechacz conquered the room. The conclusion was two encores: the Mazurka op. 17 No 4 by Chopin and the Scherzo of Op. 2 No 2 by Beethoven.


Polish radio site reporting Chopin year in Rome.  

Feb 1, 2010

No end to ovation to Blechacz matinee in Rome

"Rafał played again this afternoon (began 12:00 noon) in Sala S. Cecilia in Rome Chopin's piano concerto in F Minor with the Orchestra of S. Cecilia under Andrey Boreyko.

He played the Concerto superbly and the ovation of the audience had no end, so he played two encores to thank the listeners for their enthusiastic reception".

And the house was full again. That big hall of 2800 seats, for the 2nd consecutive day, full!!
according to a person who was attending the concert.


(↑ News from Mr.Roman Frackowski,
appreciate for the good news again!!)