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Apr 9, 2011

Rafał Blechacz's recital in Berlin --a mini review and impressions by audience

An impression by an audience member from Poland of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Berlin (from Facebook)

"…it was absolutely stunning. He has this incredible, natural sense of music no matter if he plays Chopin, Bach or Debussy. When you listen to his interpretations you just think "how beautiful it is" never "'how difficult it is"… you can enjoy every single note, every smallest sound…My absolute favourites yesterday were the Mazurkas, Blechacz's sense of this extremely difficult pieces is incredible, I think Chopin himself couldn't play it better :) I would like Blechacz to record the complete Chopin's Mazurkas one day."



I was deeply impressed by this description and had e-mail based conversations with her, during which she shared with me her impression of other composers.  Let me share it here.

"He started with Bach ...It was pure pleasure to listen to this piece, because Rafał Blechacz has some supernatural skills to make everything sound like magic. There must be something in the way he touches the piano, ‘cause he sounds so much different from other pianists that I listened live.

Mozart sonata KV 570.  I like Mozart very much and after this recital I like him even more. Blechacz is showing things in music that seems to be hidden for other interpreters, he has this incredible feeling for composer's intentions.

Mozart is simplicity, his melodies are easy and simple, but simple can be the most difficult in the same time. There is a passage in the second part of the sonata when for a moment you play only with two fingers, two or three notes - what Blechacz made of it is beyond any words I know in any languages.

Debussy and Szymanowski... The program of this recital was quite strange to my eyes. So many different composers, from different times, separated by long centuries of music history and human history...He has a special skill, gift, to understand what is beside the notes, beside the score. He is really deeply in composer's mind, and he is able to read what is inside. So that's why when he plays Debussy you hear Debussy,...

I was particularly happy about Szymanowski, because it is a forgotten polish composer (1st half of 20th century) even here in Poland, where Chopin is embraced almost like a god, but nobody cares about Szymanowski.

And I must say in Berlin it is Szymanowski who was the most impressive for the public. When Blechacz finished the Prelude and Fugue in c sharp minor there was such a deep silence, no one clapped and this for a longer while, people looked like hypnotized.

Anyway for the Chopin Mazurkas op. 50 (marvelous!) you know already, the Barcarole was to me played a little bit too fast, but it is just a matter of taste and personal preferences I guess.

As conclusion I can only say: Blechacz is simply a genius".
(Many thanks to Ola.)

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Another impression by a friend of mine from Poland:

"...Mazurkas were indeed incredible, but my favourite was Prelude and Fugue by Szymanowski. When Rafał ended it there was absolute silence in the hall. I think nobody even moved. Everybody was in music so deep and intense. The break was longer because Rafał wiped his hands and keyboard maybe especially when he felt mood of audience. It will be in my head forever. First time I was intoxicated by music so much.
The audience liked Szymanowski and after Variations applauded loudly with enthusiasm and shouts of joy".
(Thanks to Dana♪)





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A short review of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Berlin, April 7, posted on tagesspiegel.de.
Written by Dr. Christiane Tewinkel

Original review


Richness and beauty:
Rafał Blechacz in Konzerthaus

Of course, kleine Saal of Konzerthaus is sold out, and of course he is brimming with enthusiasm. Finally, the young Polish pianist Rafał Belchacz brings everything in order to make piano lovers even more addicted: a charisma as a shy high school senior, a conservative program, and a touch culture, in its beauty and richness, reminiscent of times when one could still play the piano, without dealing with old instruments and bothering to play in historically informed way. Blechacz plays Bach's "Italian Concerto" and Mozart's B flat sonata, K. 570 on a modern Steinway.

However the wide register, the many colors, the pedal for deep sound areas, all lead to a mixed impression, despite the virtuosity first of all: Blechacz takes Bach with strong hands, setting a hunting pulse, paradoxically even in the middle movement, which he adds extra-contemplative aura. The sounds in Mozart Allegro inflated, Adagio for romantic forest night. After the break should be the great moment of this evening, with Chopin's Barcarolle in F sharp major, for example, the most personal area of the Chopin Competition winner in 2005, but above all with Karol Szymanowski's Fugue in C sharp minor, with its slightly tapered theme, Blechacz gives an unbroken and serious magic, and its mountainous landscape of the Variations in B flat minor, which is piling up so high that you think Blechacz beats all keys at once, defined only in late-Romantic harmony crossing.

Christiane Tewinkel

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