From my archive,
the interview that Rafał Blechacz gave in April 2007 which was included in the program booklet of his 2007 Japan tour. I was deeply impressed by his intelligence as well as his heavenly interpretations at the concerts, including Chopin’s concerto with the Russian National Orchestra conducted by Mikhail Pletnev.
Please note that this interview was carried out more than four years ago and therefore some of his remarks are not current.
(Interviewed via e-mail by Katsuhiko Shibata)
I began playing piano at age of five. First at the music center in Nakło, then I was enrolled in the Arthur Rubinstein Music School to continue. I was an ordinary, quiet boy-next-door, there are hundreds of boys like me everywhere, but I was very sensitive acquiring music during early childhood. For example, when I was little, back home after the holy mass, I was absorbed in reproducing on the piano carols and hymns that I'd just heard. Soon, my parents were aware of this ability and decided to direct me toward music education. I was very patient, was able to dedicate myself for long hours to a music that I heard for the first time. When I play a piece, I intuitively get into the composition and the composer’s heart, striving to find out the true interpretation through my sensitivity, understanding and emotions.
I don’t have a single composer that I like most. Whenever playing a piece, I love its composer and his composition most. Of course there are many favorite composers. I especially love Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt and Debussy. There are so many beautiful music compositions that everyone can find and experience something specially important to him.
Now I’m working hard on Preludes by Chopin that I’ll record for Deutsche Grammophon in July. Preparing for the recording is so important for me that I have almost no time to allocate for other things. But I spend my time reading many books that can expand my knowledge about the world and its heritage. Recently I read a book written by Władysław Tatarkiewicz, a famous Polish philosopher.
One cannot be objective when talking about himself. But people surrounding me often say that I am a serious, modest person. Probably it describes me nicely. My parents say that my attitude toward the music goals is maintained consistently, though it requires perseverance and untiring practice, involving sacrifices by some ways, such as giving up free time. I can say that probably it describes my strong points. Undoubtedly, the fact that I am strong in faith has helped me in my life. If I talk about my weak points, I’m not good at swimming, because I’ve had no time to acquire this technique which should be very useful and make me feel very comfortable. I want to learn swimming sometime.
My favorite words that guide me in life are trust, hope and love. No one will regret not only saying these words but practicing them. The words that I most often use in daily life are probably “thank you”, “please” and “piano”. It is just from a simple statistical viewpoint.
(To be continued)