Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Feb 10, 2011

From Poland with love--Chopin and Szymanowski for Ann Arbor

“Five years ago, I wanted to record all of mazurkas (by Chopin),” he said, “but I feel it’s impossible. Sometimes in concert, I play faster and slower, depending on the acoustics, the instrument and the audience.
In the studio, it’s hard to choose the right version for the recording.” 

So we are lucky to hear a set of these, from Op. 41, in Blechacz’s recital Friday.
Blechacz said he paired the Debussy on the bill — “L’isle joyeuse” — with Szymanowski (the Sonata No. 1) because he wanted “to show the contrast between impressionism and expressionism can be interesting for the audience and the people.”

“The two composers are completely different,” he added. “Szymanowski is not so popular in the U.S. and in Europe, even not so much in my country. When I was 12, maybe 11, I attended a concert where I heard his music, and I was delighted by it. After the Chopin win, I played the Variations Op. 3 in b-flat minor quite often in recitals, and the audience liked this piece very much. They were very enthusiastic. I decided to record it for Deutsche Grammophon and to play his music during my concerts. The c minor sonata is a big piece, four movements, a lot of expression and contrasts, lots of combinations of sounds, and nice melodies. The harmonies are very interesting, the modulations especially.”

(About playing Chopin's concerto in a chamber version, he says),
“But I know this version because I have a lot of recordings,” he said. “I am very interested in the chamber version. And I love this concerto. I have wonderful memories of this concerto. I played it in the finals of the Chopin competition and I am excited to play it in the United States.”

Mazurka op.56-3
His playing mazurkas is a true treasure

From Poland with love: tonight's guest soloist chose the bulk of his program from the works of two Polish composers: Frédéric Chopin and Karol Szymanowski. The former hardly needs an introduction but, despite an increased number of performances and recordings in recent years, the latter still hasn’t attained the level of international recognition that he deserves. It is a situation that is gradually changing, not least through the efforts of prominent young artists like Rafał Blechacz.

Preview of the chamber concert written by the same author focused on Concertante

While the author of this interview got the pronunciation of Blechacz's name wrong,  a Pole rectified it in his comment and he concluded convincingly;

"Besides of all this pronouncing hassle - Rafał is really outstanding pianist and nobody, really nobody will have problem with his music "pronunciation". I'll try to be there driving from Kalamazoo despite of any weather troubles".

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