Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

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Sep 30, 2010

Sep 26, 2010

A Very Happy Nameday to Rafał Blechacz♪

Rafał Blechacz celebrates his Nameday (imieniny) on Sept.29.
(Rafał=Raphael/Rafael is one of the Archangels, meaning "God has healed".)

I tried to write “A Happy Nameday to Rafał Blechacz” in the languages of those who love his music, but found it difficult because countries where people are impressed and excited by the beauty of his music are widely spread.



↓These are the countries of people who accessed this English blog for the past few months.  Thank you for visiting.  Please keep in touch & keep enjoying the artistry of the exceptional pianist.

Argentina Austria Australia Brazil Belarus Belgium Canada Chile Colombia Czech Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Hong Kong Iceland Ireland India Italy Indonesia Israel Japan Kenya Latvia Lithuania Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway Peru  Philippines Poland Portugal Romania Russia Senegal Singapore Slovakia Slovenia South Korea Saudi Arabia Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Thailand Turkey UAE UK US Ukraine Viet Nam

Sep 25, 2010

Blechacz and Chopin (from two interviews in Germany and Poland)

↓This is a translation of the Japanese article for those who want to attend Rafał Blechacz's concerts in October.

**************
Japanese
Following is fragments from an interview that Rafał Blechacz gave to German media Zeit.de where a focus point of the interview was Chopin.
It was posted on-line in March.
Hope that it gives you a reference when listening to Rafał 's playing the concerto in F minor live in Osaka and Tokyo.

Original interview (German) 
by Corina Kolbe

He is much more than a melancholic

(Blechacz talks about how his life has changed after the 2005 competition,
the importance of observing composer's writings right,
his favorite Chopin songs since he was young: two concerti, mazurkas and polonaise op.61,
and about tempo rubato, etc...)

(quote)
- - The slow movements of the two piano concertos are also very emotional.

This year I will play the F minor Concerto several times. Especially the second movement is beautiful. You can sense that Chopin was in love when he wrote this music at age of 19. His adored, the singer Konstancja Gładkowska sensed, however, nothing of his feelings.  Shortly after that, he left Warsaw and never saw her again.


@Łódź, May 2010
- - Can we understand Chopin right only as a melancholic ?

Sometimes I 'm melancholy, but one can understand Chopin quite differently as well. He provides a whole range of emotions. In his concertos, which he wrote as a young man, he puts a lot of energy . As an interpreter I must feel all this and re-created it. Mozart's operas and the Italian Bel Canto also inspired him strongly. (unquote)

******************
Similar remark by Blechacz in an interview in Hamburg, last year.

(quote)
--A problem of the interpretation of Chopin is unfortunately quite often: people seem to love him only as a tragic melancholic figure.

Yes. He could be quite different, he can be aggressive, powerful, male. Any type of kitsch was what he didn't like. I am looking for the genuineness, the truth, which is already very difficult. That is the only way I can touch the people in their hearts. (unquote)


******************
Also, please refer to another inspiring interview that he gave in Poland earlier this year.
"My adventure with music by Chopin began when I was 11 years old", says Blechacz.

***********************
From thenews.pl on Sept.24

"On the arts pages, RZECZPOSPOLITA sets the scene for the Chopin International Piano Competition which opens in Warsaw in ten days. The daily stresses the size of the group from the Far East, with as many as 17 Japanese pianists among the 81 entrants. They will compete for more attractive prizes than in previous years, if only to mention a concert with the New York Philharmonic  and a solo recital in London. But the critical question, RZECZPOSPOLITA writes, is whether the competition winner will prove to be a pianist of a truly world calibre and follow in the footsteps of such past winners as Argerich, Zimerman, Ohlsson and Blechacz".




**********************

While we are still in Chopin year's mode, Friends of Chamber Music, the organizer of Blechacz's recital in Kansas City, US on Feb. 18, 2011, published the program book.

Program book 2010/11 by Friends of Chamber Music
Please see pages 72 - 75 for Blechacz's program that is refreshing.


Sep 23, 2010

Newsletter of Osaka The Symphony Hall (preview)

From Sinfonia, Osaka The Symphony Hall newsletter, continuing from the blog posting on Sept.6


Rafał  Blechacz- - Beautiful, calming and tranquil pianism that reminds you of the period when Chopin lived
(abridged)
By Yoshiko Ikuma (music journalist)

I sometimes wonder why Rafał  Blechacz’s music makes me feel being purified each time I listen to.
Every time—in 2005 Chopin competition when I had my heart pounding fast sitting on the edge of my seat; in the following year at his debut concert in Japan when the fresh sensitivity of his playing let tears gushing from my eyes; in his tours here thereafter when I witnessed him playing for us interpretations of master; in 2008 when I saw him full of confidence at his debut recital at Salzburg; always the sublime of his piano permeates into the depth of my heart, impressing me deeply, causing to shed tears of emotions.

After sweeping all the awards in 2005 Chopin Competition, he has held recitals in prestigious places in Europe and North America, collaborating with distinguished conductors for playing concertos.  Recently he achieved great success in Amsterdam, London, Paris and other capitals of music.  His impressive performance in NY prompted the organizer to invite him there again.

The beautiful and calming renditions derive from his natural posture without straining anywhere in the body.  The ability to relax helps generate the sensitive, tranquil and deep tones.  The noble song is thus created.  He spends huge amount of time and makes tremendous efforts in creating music of high level of perfection with all attention focused on.  While playing music perfectly, the beauty is that it is never stiff, projecting a feeling of refreshing wind.  It’s because he really enjoys the music.  Therefore listeners are absorbed and intoxicated.

Blechacz is never interested in honor, money or power.  He takes delight in being with music.  How to play better, how to perform in a way to let people deeply moved, how to get closer to the heart and mind of the composers; this is all he always thinks about.

“Therefore, I need to learn it thoroughly.  I keep the limit of 40 concerts per year to set aside the time to practice intently.
I would like to raise the quality of my performance.  In order to let listeners to fully enjoy my interpretations, I must be completely integrated with each piece.  I never bring a work onto the stage if I have a small doubt about playing it.  It could be dishonest to the great composer if I prematurely bring it out. A pianist is believed to live a lonely life, always devotes himself to practicing in solitude.  But for me it is enjoyable to go through this process of being squarely with a composition to upgrade my playing it to the satisfying level.  It’s a genuine delight that you can’t get with anything else. Only the pianist has the privilege of the joy.”

Blechacz is stubborn in its best meaning.  He acknowledges it and considers important his way of life and sense of value. How much attention he receives or how busy he becomes, he has been consistent in the attitude toward life. He makes it his motto not to change his playing; the true nature remains the same although the quality continues to advance. I believe that this is the unshakable personality of Rafał Blechacz.  I’ve been watching him for the past five years and know that although he has been deepening/advancing his interpretations, the underlying style of rendition, interpretation and expression have not been shaken.  It’s clearly demonstrated in Chopin.

“I would like to revive the music of the time when Chopin lived.  Today time passes by very quickly and people feel stressed.  In Chopin’s period, carriages were coming and going and people lived in unhurried mood.  Of course there were difficulties such as war that had to be overcome and Chopin was under much tension.  It is an aspect that you should not forget.  Chopin’s music encompasses all the atmosphere in those days, which I want to express.”




Sep 22, 2010

Rafał Blechacz's recitals to be aired Sept. 26

Rafał Blechacz's performances at Amsterdam Concertgebouw are still available on KRO website.

Saint-Saëns' piano concerto No.2 with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra directed by Andris Nelsons, on August 21, 2008.
It was the first encounter for Blechacz with RCO, leading up to the commemorable recording of the CD "Chopin The Piano Concertos".
KRO website
WMP link
  Blechacz's concerto starts at 35:00.

From Meesterpianisten (Master Pianist series) recital on October 7, 2007.
KRO website
WMP link
Haydn' s sonata in Es Hob. XVI nr. 52, at 4:17
Chopin Preludes op.28, at 1:41:50

**Jan (Holland) reminded me that it's still available, so I post the information for those who have known about Rafał Blechac recently AND I love these performances very much!!
I'll keep these links for the next week.
The link was removed. (Oct. 5)

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Rafał Blechacz's recital for Schwetzinger SWR Festspielen (May 14) will be broadcast by Polish Radio 2 on September 26 @19:00 (CET).
Program page
Please click on "słuchaj w internecie" (listen on line) to hear the program.

**Please be reminded that the scheduled broadcast is subject to a sudden change/cancellation without prior notice.

****************************

Rafał Blechacz's recital in Hamburg in October 2009 will be aired again by Theaterkanal on Sunday September 26 @14:00 (CET).

Theaterkanal
program page
Rafał Blechacz belongs to the kind of exceptional pianists, who are easily overlooked. The devout Catholic defies the laws of commercial exploitation when it's possible. His concert appearances are rare and he spends the gained time to penetrate into the music that he wants to get sounds . Blechacz sees music as a continuous river - each piece has its pre and post-history, musically as in the life of a composer. Chopin's work is particularly suitable for such an approach, and it is no wonder that Blechacz's participation in the International Chopin Competition in 2005 brought the music world astonishment. He towered over the competition in an unprecedented degree - the second prize was not awarded to illustrate the artistic distance significant.

Sep 19, 2010

Rafał Blechacz so far in 2010 Chopin year

Rafał Blechacz will tour in Japan with all Chopin program during Oct.3-Oct.23 period, giving nine recitals, including two special concerts of recital plus concerto in F minor.

On this occasion, I looked back his concert activities in the 2010 Chopin year in Japanese blog for Japanese fans of Blechacz who want to attend his recital.  This is its English version.
Each underlined link is basically connected to the relevant review article, unless otherwise specified.

Milan, Jan.
Rafał Blechacz began his Chopin year in Italy with a recital at Sala Verdi del Conservatorio in Milan, on Jan. 26. (see interview in Milan.) and second recital at Teatro Comunale, Treviso.  Then he performed Chopin's 2nd concerto with Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, directed by Andrey Boreyko for 4th consecutive day at Sala Santa Cecilia, Rome from Jan. 30 to Feb.2.  The large hall of Sana Cecilia, accomodating 2800 were full for all days.  (see PAP news.)

He then returned to his country and played the concerto in F minor for the Chopin Birthday Week Gala Concert on Feb.22 in Warsaw.
(See Video of rehearsal in Warsaw.)

Warsaw, Feb.22


The following day he left for US tour.  He gave four recitals there: NY., Washington DC, North Carolina and Georgia (Feb.26, 27, March 5, 6).  Washington Post highly praised his DC debut.
I was fortunate to see his recitals in NY and DC.  The performance was quite intense in my impression.

DC, Feb.27
During his stay in DC, he gave an interview to Performance Today (host: Fred Child) and offered demo performance to explain how middle voices are effectively incorporated in Chopin's mazurkas. (Listen to the interview.)

Alongside with the US tour, his CD Chopin Concertos was released in US and received a lot of favorable reviews (example).

In late March, Rafał Blechacz performed two recitals in Geneva and Zurich. One of the encores he selected was Chopin's nocturne in C sharp minor.  (see related blog posting.←this article received a lot of accesses, testimony to fans' high interest in this subject.)


On April 20, he gave a recital for Poland at his university (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń).  Originally planed as a program for arts and science festival in Toruń, the recital was offered to the victims of the presidential plane crash that happened days before.  His music deeply touched people's heart.  (see video + comment by listeners.) He joined a discussion of philosophy after the recital. (see relevant article.)

Between late April through to middle May, he performed in prestigious halls such as Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels (April 27) and Amsterdam Concertgebouw (May 9). After playing a recital for Schwetzinger SWR Festspielen in place of injured Nelson Freire on May 14, he was back to Poland and played Chopin Concerto in F minor in Łódź, May 20 and in Poznań, May 22 where he offered his performance fees for the victims of recent flood in the south.  (He didn't take fees in Toruń in April, either.)  (see interview in Poznań.)

"After the concert Blechacz noted that in Chopin's music there are a lot of pains and sorrows but also hope that in hard times currently experienced by the Poles is all very much needed".

Toruń, Apr. 20

In June, Rafał Blechacz performed recitals in Dortmund (June 12), Paris (Salle Pleyel on June 14) and Nohant (June 16) gathering a lot of acclaims.  He then played Concerto in F minor with Wiener Symphoniker in Bad Kissingen (June 27).

On July 13, Rafał gave a recital at Teatro dei Rozzi, Siena, after given the 27th International Prize of Accademia Musicale Chigiana. (see postings about the Prize.)  This very prestigious event was preceded by another prize giving to Blechacz,  Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (Prize of the German Record Critics). (see postings about the Prize.)

Congratulations to our respected musician!!

San Sebastian, Aug.26
August was for him a month of music festivals.  He offered recital twice for Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival: Schleswig (August 5) and Lübeck (August 6). followed by another two recitals in Spain late August: San Sebastián for la Quincena (August 27) (see interview) and Valldemossa Chopin Festival (August 29).

And he is ready for Japan tour.  So far this year for me the most impressive was his playing Chopin's concerto in F minor for Chopin's Birthday in Warsaw on Feb.22. (We were able to hear it via webradio).  As is often discussed, his interpretation was a combination of deep maturity and youthful energy, and for me it was a source of awe and admiration.  The TV news (video) of the rehearsal conveys the atmosphere very well.  I was also deeply touched by Chopin's scherzo that I heard in US.




Sep 17, 2010

Review of Rafał Blechacz's concert with Valery Gergiev in Moscow, 2006

From my archive,
Review article of the concert at Moscow Conservatoire on May 7, 2006 when Rafał Blechacz played Chopin’s concerto in E minor under the baton of Valery Gergiev.

Original article of Ruch Muzyczny (Polish)

Rafał Blechacz at the Moscow Easter Festival
by Anna Gozdan-Ołdak

Muscovites had another opportunity to hear the performance of Rafał Blechacz on May 7. This time with the orchestra, under the framework of presentations by outstanding representatives of the younger generation at the Fifth Moscow Easter Festival. Like the first performance (Feb. 8, 2006) the concert took place at the Conservatoire, but in rank and fame it exceeded far and away the recital in February, which is reported in the fifth issue.

The fifth festival coincided with the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Dmitrii Shostakovich, which was reflected in the choice of program. Retrospective of selected works of the composer was the final of international project of compositions - Valery Gergiev, he presented the composer's achievements in major music capitals of the world: New York, London, Paris, Beijing, Tokyo, Rome, Los Angeles and St. Petersburg.

(.....In the festival there were three piano concertos;
Concerto in G major, Op. 55 by Prokofiev. Soloist:  Alexander Toradze,
Bartok Concerto II played on May 8, by Yefim Bronfman.)


The day before - May 7 - Rafał Blechacz performed Concerto in E minor by Chopin. Accompanying the pianist, the orchestra stood on the height of the job and the conductor’s unique sensitivity to all the nuances made it possible that full understanding reigned among musicians, each of ideas – both soloist’s and conductor’s - found an immediate response from their partners. We have witnessed the unique spiritual agreement among many people, centered only on seemingly abstract sounds.

In his playing, Rafał Blechacz impressed with fresh ideas, daring to show the depth of his interior - an individual perspective of this well-known music. We have heard mature Allegro maestoso, thoughtful Romance and Rondo full of fantasy.  There seemed to be most valuable release from shaped solid layers of adulthood and sublimation of youthful freedom, sometimes uncontrollable, which the pianist himself is not fully aware of yet.

It was a very enjoyable performance. There is no doubt that Moscow has hosted Rafał Blechacz not the last time even though there are a lot of great halls and festivals in front of him, where they would like to hear and admire him.

(....Description of other soloists of violin, chamber music, etc …..)

The momentum with which the festival is organized, the number of works performed and the recognition that the invited artists are given, determines its rank. It is so delightful that Rafał Blechacz had the opportunity to perform in the framework of such an important event arousing greater interest in the public from year to year. In their memory, the performance by the young Polish pianist is certain to remain for long. It’s now time to enthrall the audience in Moscow with repertoire outside of the competition!





Sep 15, 2010

Rafał Blechacz's recital for Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival webcast Sept. 19

Japanese

Rafał Blechacz's recital for Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival @ A.P. Møller Skolen, Schleswig, on August 5, will be broadcast by NDR Klassik
on September 19 @11:00 --13:00 (CET).

Listen to the broadcast from WMP.
OR
NDR Klassik website←Click on triangle under NDR Klutur Livestream (It doesn't seem to work on I.E.8.0 on my computer.  No problem with google Chrome and Firefox.)


Program page of NDR Klassik

Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival 2010 In the footsteps of Chopin

He needs the silence and solitude of his Polish hometown Nakło,  says the pianist Rafał Blechacz. "Perhaps it is easier at the beginning of a career to live in a small town. Nakło has an ideal atmosphere for artistic work", the great interpreter of Chopin once said in the daily newspaper "Die Welt". In a village, which is even smaller than the small town Nakło he bought a house in which he can practice in peace.

June, 2010 @Nohant, France
Today, he is able to be less and less there, because his schedule is full, bursting after his brilliant debut in 2005. At every concert stage around the world, he goes on the "traces of Chopin" and many other composers. So did at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival on 5th of August in Schleswig. In addition to Ballade in A flat major, Op 47, the Scherzo in B minor, Op 20, the Mazurkas Op 50 No 1-3 and the Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major, Op 61 of his famous compatriot Chopin,  he also selected Variations Op.3 by the Polish Karol Szymanowski for his recital. At the beginning of the concert was the "Italian Concerto" in F major BWV 971 by Johann Sebastian Bach and the "Estampes" by Claude Debussy.


**Please be reminded that the scheduled broadcast is subject to a sudden change/cancellation without prior notice.


Sep 13, 2010

Playing for the people - Rafał Blechacz talks (2006)

Excerpt from an interview Rafał Blechacz gave to Jan Popis, posted on The Warsaw Voice in Feb. 2006.  Probably many of you have read it.  I was trying to post some paragraphs of a preview written by Yoshiko Ikuma from Blechacz’s 2010 Japan tour leaflet.  She writes about how Blechacz gives importance on the process of practicing and completing each piece alone before the public performance, spending huge amount of time.  It reminded me of this interview, especially the final part (bold letters).  It is only parts of the interview and please read the entire interview (English) from the link if you have time because every segment is logically connected.

Playing for the People
Rafał Blechacz talks to Jan Popis.

■ What were your expectations when you joined the Chopin competition?
First of all, my thoughts were on the music and how to prepare best for the competition. Later on there was the competition and its consecutive stages and finally the announcement of the results. All of a sudden I found myself in a different reality—a bit surprised, but happy, I must say. So there is a time of great joy, but I also have the awareness that a person has to find their place in all of it as soon as possible and create a new mode of functioning.


■ Was there a time during the competition when you began to feel that you could actually win?
One is never certain. But there should always be hope. It helps. Equipped with it, I followed the iron rule that “all the stages must be played as well as possible.” This was the most important thing to me. I didn’t have the certainty that I would win. The belief that things should work out well—because after all I worked hard and carried out a full plan of preparations—was a different thing.

….. even though I did have the feeling that I was playing well, I had no way of knowing how my performance was rated against the background of others. Of course, after each consecutive stage, I did get the information that everything went well and this gave me additional strength—positive energy—especially after the fantastic reception of my performances by the audience. These were important signals, but I couldn’t be certain.

■ How do you plan your schedule?
The coming year is full when it comes to my concert schedule. The year 2007 is probably also full. To begin with, there shouldn’t be too many concerts. No more than 20 a year. Another very important thing is an expansion of the repertoire to show something new every now and again. This takes time and preparation. Only with time will I be able to think of increasing the number of concerts. My first post-competition year will reveal how well I can function according to this concert rhythm. The most important thing for me is to make sure that I have enough time for further work and this should determine the arrangement of my concerts and recordings and the course of my career in general.

Will this stage of success be followed by another stage—consolidation?
Now every concert will be a test confirming my award. But let’s not get carried away. I cannot let myself be burdened by this and fall into a sense of some kind of excessive responsibility. I would like to continue to derive joy from the public performance of music and function in all this in such a way all the time—choose concerts and arrange their programs in such a way that they offer freshness and joy; prepare for each one as well as possible and simply enjoy what I do.

I work on a piece at home alone, in peace and quiet, only to “show” it later to the public. This is an important experience because it provokes further thinking about interpretation. If I hear after a concert that this was an emotional experience for the people, that they were moved and that generally the audience liked my performance in some way—this is very important to me... because I like playing for the people.

Sep 12, 2010

Chopin's music in his blood - German preview of Blechacz's concert

Japanese

Preview of Rafał Blechacz's Chopin concerto in E minor playing with NDR Symphony Orchestra in November, posted on abendblatt.de on Sept.1.  Too early?  Actually, it is timely because Blechacz will be in a pure Chopin mode from October (Japan, Germany, Paris) through to November 30 when he plays all Chopin recital at Berliner Philharmonie.

Original preview from abendblatt.de (German)

And another pianist: Rafał Blechacz plays Chopin:

The musical world has changed fundamentally in the last decades: Through the exchange of professors and students over all continents and the narrower integration of our communication – Internet keyword -- national borders and traditions play an ever more inferior role. Half a century ago that was still quite different: what you could see a "Russian” school of violin playing and recognize also a "German" orchestral sound, distinguishing it from others.


And yet a residual regional coloring sometimes remains – an idea that there could be a subcutaneous connection between the origin of an interpreter and his feel for a certain sound. This feeling creeps quite strongly, for example, if you experience Rafał Blechacz with Chopin. The young Polish pianist plays the all too often sentimental or pretentiously exaggerated works with such an astonishing naturalness and sure hands for the right mood, that it sometimes seems as though he could not do otherwise: for him melancholy and seriousness of this music seem to lie in the blood as well as its delicacy, the melting vocal and not least the tasteful rubato, without which Chopin's pieces could not breathe properly: In short, Blechacz was not in vain in 2005 - with just 20 - won the Chopin Competition, and was already one of the great men of his profession.
Krzysztof Urbanski

With the NDR Symphony Orchestra he performs the Chopin’s first piano concerto. The conductor is Krzysztof Urbański, who not only belongs to the same generation as Blechacz, but also comes from Poland - also conducts Stravinsky's "Firebird" suite and Penderecki's "Threnody", one of the central works of Polish modernism.

Sep 10, 2010

Blechacz's Bach and Mozart available (audio)

Rafał Blechacz's performance of Partita No.1 by Bach and Sonata k.570 by Mozart at a recital for Schwetzinger SWR Festspielen (May 14) is available from KRO.  The whole recital was broadcast by Radio 4 of the Netherlands in late August.


Listen to the music from here.
Blechacz's performance starts at 32:30.

I'll keep this link open for the next week.
The link was removed on Sept.18.






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ZDF will broadcast Blechacz's documentary (recital in Hamburg in Oct. 2009) on
Sept.12 9:00-   description
Sept.17 9:00-

Sep 6, 2010

A month to go before Rafał Blechacz’s recitals in Japan

Sinfonia (Sept. 2010), newsletter of Osaka The Symphony Hall has Rafał Blechacz’s photo on the cover and features an essay written by Yoshiko Ikuma, a music journalist, as a preview of his recitals.  He will tour in Japan with all Chopin program giving nine recitals between Oct. 3 and 23.  The first recital in Osaka on Oct.3 will be a special concert with his solo recital in the first half followed by concerto No.2 by Chopin in the second half. The special program will be repeated in Tokyo Suntory Hall on Oct.6.  The conductor will be Naoto Otomo who directed the same orchestra (The Tokyo Symphony, Tokyo's program only) for Blehcacz in 2003 Hamamatsu Competition for his final stage. Blechacz will perform in Osaka again on Oct. 17, the anniversary of Chopin’s death.

Ikuma writes about the beauty of Blechacz’s piano, his strenuous efforts to perfect his interpretations and how deeply she loves his rendition.  She quotes his remarks.

“I would like to revive the music of the time when Chopin lived.  Today time passes by very quickly and people feel stressed.  In Chopin’s period, carriages were coming and going and people lived in unhurried mood.  Of course there were difficulties such as war that had to be overcome and Chopin was under much tension.  It is an aspect that you should not forget.  Chopin’s music encompasses all the atmosphere in those days, which I want to express.”



***********************
Japan is still in abnormal weather.  The day temperature goes up to 35 or 36 ℃ (Tokyo & Osaka) and the unusual hot weather will continue this week.  Hope that in October it will return back to normal condition.

☆Just a personal note:  Seiji Ozawa, the conductor all the Japanese respect, returned to stage after going through therapies for the esophagus cancer.  On Sunday, he conducted The Saito Kinen Orchestra,  for Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings  for the first time in nine months.  I'm very very happy about it.

Sep 4, 2010

Rafał Blechacz; discovery in la Quincena - organizer says.

Japanese

Diariovasco.com on Sept.4 posted two articles, reflecting on this year’s la Quincena (the fortnight) music festival. 

Maria Jose Cano’s article “Many applauses and some boos” picks several distinguished concerts out of over 100 during the festival, such as the Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra and Gergiev. He refers to Rafał Blechacz as an example of a quality concert.
“The artistic results of the vast majority of the offered concerts equally deserve applause, with major discoveries, such as the one suggested by the magnificent concert pianist Rafał Blechacz. Therefore, it is necessary to applaud the organizer that has been able to fight in the crisis with a program of very notable quality and the public fidelity which is incredible in the current (difficult) time.”


Patrick Alfaya, Director of la Quincena in another article “The public more cautious about spending money” performed an assessment of this program.  His words suggest that he is more than satisfied, especially given the long shadow of the crisis.  Asked what was discovery, he said,
“…we can never forget the Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz”.

Alfaya refers to Blechacz again in another interview titled, "In spite of the crisis, people keep enthusiasm for concerts," on deia.com (Sept. 5).

"- - Have the great stars such as Gergiev and Podles responded? (OR Have people responded to the great stars such as Gergiev and Podles?)
Yes, but above all, the value of the young, established artists has made it.  Blechacz , for example, gave an impressive concert and received very good critical acclaims. The other day we had a concert with soprano Iwona Sobotka in Chillida- Leku , who also worked very well..."

Sep 1, 2010

A month to go before 2010 Chopin Competition (Video)

Japanese


"Chopin Piano Competition is coming very soon... (only 1 month left) Time goes by soooo fast.
I'm pretty excited about the competition."

This is an e-mail that I received from a Polish fan.


True, time flies so fast.  We have only a month to go.
As a preview of the fascinating month, let's see a video of Rafał Blechacz, from Chopin 2010.pl.
Please scroll down pictures by clicking on yellow triangle 10+α times and you'll see Rafał's picture.  Then click on it and his video will begin.

Rafał Blechacz is talking with his brilliant performance in 2005 as background.

Hope that someone will tell me what he is talking about!!!


My request was answered by Karolina very quickly. (Thanks to her a lot♪)

"Rafał says that he has very good and happy memories from Chopin Competition .When he comes back to the Warsaw Philharmonic, the memories from Chopin Competition return.
He considers that when he plays a piece of music he should experience emotions which the composer felt.  Then sounds have meanings and audience knows that emotions are true.
In his interpretation he would like to save Chopin's style.
He studies philosophy (works of Roman Ingarden) because it helps him better interpret pieces of music.
He is very happy because he can share music with people.
Rafał would like to express by music what we can't express by words".

Karolina ends her e-mail by saying;

"By the way I can't wait to Chopin Competition, too ;)))"

Chopin's fans in Japan will be busy during this year's competition because in the period Rafał Blechacz will tour in Japan