Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


May 29, 2011

Ein Poet am Klavier - A poet at the piano - Audience review, Schwetzinger Festspiele

A review written by a member of the audience in Schwetzingen, Rafał Blechacz's recital on May 25.

(Excerpt from Debussy part)
".....One of the most popular works of the impressionism, Claude Debussy’s "L'isle joyeuse", followed after Mozart. Blechacz used unusually little pedal, so that sounds didn't vanish in the fog but they shone. In chromatic progression, he shaped the sparkling fluency, which sounded very graceful. In the chords and trills there was no lack of transparency. I found that Debussy fits very well with him. Will he let us hear Debussy more in the future?....."

Read more from the review.  You can see photos of the venue and Blechacz after the reciatl. 

Classissima Chopin page refers to this review (German)

I like above description of Debussy.  I had a similar impression when Blechacz played this and other Debussy pieces.  I was deeply impressed by Szymanowski's sonata nr.1 (I listened to the recital via SWR radio broadcast on May 30.)  The moment Blechacz played first few bars, I was transported to a different world. Why do I feel nostalgic when hearing the Szymanowski's music that I'm not well versed in?  Why is it so touching?  Is it because of the special affinity between the composer and the performer?  Or  is there a kind of chemistry existing between him and the well mannered German audience in a venue of historic importance?

May 26, 2011

Enthusiasm in Schwetzingen

On May 25, Rafał Blechacz gave a recital for the Schwetzinger Festpiele of this year.

"The latest very good news: very enthusiastic reception for Rafał again at the Schwetzinger Festpiele. Never ending applause after his recital.
Rafał responded with two encores: Chopin's: Waltz a-moll op. 34 and Mazurka e-moll op. 17 nr 2."
(R. F)

Schwetzingen Festival newsletter

♥ Happy mother's day to Poland!

May 25, 2011

Rafał Blechac in Poznań (May 2010)

This is from website of Marshal Office of the Wielkoposka Region.  Rafał Blechacz in Poznań on May 22, 2010 at the award giving ceremony in the cultural fields by the Region.

About a year ago.
I wanted to post this photo earlier but missed the opportunity.

May 21, 2011

Rafał Blechacz will be back to Schwetzinger Festspiele, May 25

Rafał Blechacz will play a recital for Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele on May 25 at Rokokotheater, his return to this prestigious festival since last year.

(From a preview of the program page of Schwetzingen Festival)
When Chopin was about the same age as his countryman Rafał Blechacz, he lived in one of the happiest phases of his life. He had gotten very well accustomed to Paris, played in the hearts of the people and could come up with remarkable financial successes. The musical career of Rafał Blechacz has also been under a lucky star. As a 20-year old, he won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, one of the most internationally sought-after awards for pianists. Invitations from around the world followed. That the critics burst into ovations of applause is not always granted. They praised his sense of nuances of pianistic colors, his refined touch and his energetic radiation.

“Rafał Blechacz has the ability”, beamed the Washington Post, “to place musical lines in high relief, drawing clear dynamic and textural distinctions between voices”.
So it fits only in the picture when Blechacz’s first CD with the Preludes of Chopin reached the gold status already one day after the launch.

Nietzsche’s famous coined phrase on Barcarolle of Chopin that “gods themselves, when they heard it, might yearn to lie long summer evenings in a boat” can apply to the art of Blechacz in the whole extent.

May 18, 2011

Rafał Blechacz talks about music interpretation (Video)

Rafał Blechacz at discussion about music interpretation with Adam Rozlach of Polish Radio and Fr. prof. Andrzej Szostek from the Catholic University of Lublin, held at Nicolaus Copernicus University, April 16 2011. (Video)

Watch the video full-screen from the University's website.

Those who watched the TV program of this event earlier this month will notice the difference.
This is the uncut version and the different camera angle gives you a better view of the pianist/how he plays.
I was very happy to hear fragments of Beethoven's concerto No.4, especially when he plays the contrast between the orchestra and piano parts in the 2nd movement.  It reminded me of the premiere of this concerto in Feb. 2009 in Fukuoka, one of the happiest days in my life.

May 15, 2011

Hong Kong website introduces Rafał Blechacz

Interlude, Live the music, Hong Kong music website, introduced Rafał Blechacz on its May 15 post, his bio and videos of performances, as the artist of the month.

".....In 2006, Rafał signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, and has become the second Polish pianist, after Krystian Zimerman, that has been enlisted under this prestigious label. His first CD, which contains all Preludes by Chopin, attained the Platinum Record status in Poland as early as in the second week of sale, and has won the German Echo Klassik and French Diapason D’or. The pianist honored the Chopin Year 2010 with both the composer’s Concertos recorded with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra; upon release, the CD quickly reached the double Platinum Record status in Poland, received the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik,......"

Interlude website

May 12, 2011

Performance Today broadcasts Debussy Estampes by Rafał Blechacz

Performance Today broadcasts Claude Debussy's Estampes, from Gardens in the Rain,
Rafał Blechaczz, piano.
Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Kalamazoo, Michigan, April, 2008
see review of the recital

Performance Today's website (May 11)
3rd item under HOUR 1
Blechacz's item starts at 14:40.
The streaming is made available from May 11 (US ET) (for 7 days)

Performance Today's May 14 has the same program ←added
Probably available from 14 for 7 days.

May 11, 2011

Special album "In Solidarity with Japan" in Poland (3)

It seems the special album "Solidarni z Japonią" (In Solidarity with Japan) (1), (2) launched in Poland on April 8, has been supported by many people. The album stands the first in OLiS, the official list of the highest selling music albums.
Thank you Poland.

OLis May 9
OLiS May 16
OLiS May 23

Article of jestkultura
Article of dziennik

My anniversary

I knew about Rafał Blechacz first time on TV program of his recital from 2006 Japan tour.  It was on May 11, 2007, when I was doing job prep, reading some medical stuff and turned to the TV for a change, finding an unknown pianist playing Chopin's sonata in B minor, 1st movement.  It transfixed me on the spot.  It was unprecedented.  The limpid, noble sound touched the deepest part of my heart.

I began searching news about this incredible artist.  A lot of treasures were out there.  In this Polish Radio program, for example, he was thanking parents in his town soon after winning the Chopin Competition.

Four years have passed since then.  The short period is worth a hundred years for me.
I wanted to "celebrate" the anniversary privately by viewing the taped TV recital that cast a spell on me and found that I've lost the precious recording  (OMG!) after sharing it with many RB friends overseas.

So let me watch the video from 2005 Chopin Competition instead.
Chopin's Piano Sonata in B minor 1st movement
by Rafał Blechacz

My heart is full with big thanks to him.

It is serendipitous--I was remembering Blechacz's playing the sonata and this video appeared on Youtube just today♥

Also I was thinking about Zimerman when finding out my Facebook friends shared this video of "Young Kristian Zimerman.

(Thanks to Karolina and Konstancja)

Then my thoughts were extended to Zimerman's playing concerto by Beethoven and I posted his performance with Bernstein on my personal blog.  There I received a comment from Sandrine in Seattle that she was glad because she respects these two musicians and was just thinking about this exact performance.  It's a beautiful day of serendipity.

May 6, 2011

Rafał Blechacz's "sonatas" recommended (Japan)

"The Record Geijutsu (=recorded music, arts) May 2011" Japanese music monthly runs a special feature on young promising musicians titled "The Young Talented Artists of New Age."

As for pianists, eight young pianists born in 80s including Rafał Blechacz have been selected.
Takuya Katagiri, music journalist, recommends "sonatas-haydn, mozart, beethoven" by Rafał Blechacz.

"Needless to say, his refreshing interpretation of Chopin deserves special mention.  I was also deeply impressed by the paramount musicality that he showed during concert tours in Japan when he played baroque and classical music such as Bach. (Takuya Katagiri)

Click to hear Rafał's Mozart.

**Happy Mother's day♪ to US, Canada, Germany, Italy, China, the Philippines, Chile and Japan.

May 3, 2011

Rafał Blechacz at discussion of music interpretation in Toruń, (TV Toruń )

↓I was about to post this article and was checking if "TV Torun Live" website works, when the program about Blechacz abruptly began and I was able to watch this program of music interpretation.
It was broadcast @11:00-11:35 on May 3, although program page shows different schedule.

During the program, Blechacz played Chopin's Mazurka op50-2, 50-3, Polonaise op26-1, and 2, Waltz op.34-2, Bach's Italian concerto 2nd movement and Beethoven's sonata op2-2 3rd movement.

I am not for sure if this program will be broadcast as is announced on following schedule but I believe it  will be sometime during the next few days.

I now found that the program is being broadcast again.  (as of 13:25, May 3)


On May 6, TV Toruń will broadcast a program of Festival of Science and Arts in Toruń including the discussion of music interpretation participated by Rafał Blechacz.

May 6 @ 11:25  (??) (local time)
The program page says it is at 12:30, but I suppose it is between 11:25 and 12:00.
See the program page

(copy of the program page)

10.00 Aktualności Toruńskie
10.20 Rozmowa dnia
10.35 Probaltica 2011 – dla Papieża
11.05 Z Torunia do Workuty
11.20 Jubileusze małżeńskie
12.30 XI Festiwal Nauki i Sztuki. Blechacz o muzyce ←☆
12.00 Powtórka programu porannego
16.30 Przegląd piosenki ekologicznej

To watch the TV Torun , please go to TV Toruń live.

**The discussion was broadcast at 11:25 and 13:25.  (Added May 6).