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Jan 10, 2011

Hypnotic silence in Berlin--interview with Rafał Blechacz

On December 11, 2010, Radio Darmstadt broadcast a music program which included an interview with Rafał Blechacz (in Polish).  The program lasts for approximately 20 minutes and the interview is for a few minutes.

Following is the Blechacz’s part translated by Marzena Jaworska, his fan in Poland.  I would like to express my deep appreciation to Marzena who already contributed her review on Rafał’s recital in Berlin (November 30).

You can hear the program from this link.
http://www.geocities.jp/preludiarb/radiopoloniadarmstadt.mp3

(I'll keep this link open until January 14.)


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Hypnotic Silence in Berlin

The programme contains excerpts from the interview with Rafał carried out on the occasion of his debut at the Berliner Philharmonic Hall. Rafał’s recital closed the Chopin Year celebrations in Germany. The journalist Arkadiusz Łuba says that the Berliner audience, who are accustomed to listening to the crème de la crème of stage performers and therefore are extremely demanding, liked the recital very much.

Excerpts:

A.Ł: How do you usually feel on stage? What does the audience mean to you?

R.B: The bond between the artist and his audience is crucial. It actually starts from the very first sounds, or even from the moment the artist appears on stage. It is very important to feel that you are playing for someone, not only having these four walls as your audience - which, of course, is also important when a musician is preparing for the performance, but what comes later is a great joy once he or she can present their interpretation to the wide audience.

Blechacz @Berliner Philharmonie, Nov.30, 2010
Sometimes a musician can feel the audience enter into some particular spirit. For instance, when I hear silence, a sort of hypnotic one, I know that the performance goes well, that the audience are really listening to me and following each and every sound or phrase. I remember that I had such impression when I was playing Chopin’s Mazurkas op. 17. It happened several times both Japan and Germany, last time in the Hamburger Laeiszhalle. After I finished playing the last A minor mazurka, the audience didn’t immediately applaud as usual, but remained in that particular silence for about a dozen of seconds. I must say that it was the biggest prize for me: not the applause, but the silence after the last chord, which meant that they really had indulged in the music and didn’t want to listen to any extra sounds afterwards. For me it was something exceptional and unforgettable.

On artistic intuition when playing Chopin:

R.B: There is a whole range of moods, emotions and colours in Chopin’s music, from melancholic or even depressive feelings to tremendous joy, which mainly appears in his early compositions, along with great youthful energy and apotheosis of victory. There’s no recipe for playing Chopin, as many interpretative ideas come at a given moment.

On planning his artistic future:

R.B: For now, I am planning my artistic activities in a 3-year’s advance and currently I am setting the concert dates for 2013… I must say that playing for the audience of all over the world and performing in all these great concert halls like the Concertgebouw, the Tonhalle, the Herkulessaal or the Berliner Philharmonic Hall, has always been a great dream of mine. After my winning the Chopin Competition I can do it and continue what I started back then in 2005. If I could still do it in 10- or 15-years’ time, I think I would be very happy.


  Hypnotic silence at Hamburger Laeiszhalle, Oct. 2009



(Japanese)


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