Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Aug 31, 2011

Homage to Franz Liszt

Leaflet of BOZAR "Poland in Focus"

Program page of BOZAR

Orchestre National de Belgique
Crystalline charm

September 15 at 20:00 Palais des Beaux-Arts / Salle Henry Le Bœuf
Antoni Wit, direction; Rafał Blechacz, piano;  Orchestre National de Belgique

Henryk Mikolaj Górecki, Kleines Requiem für eine Polka, Op.66
Franz Liszt, Piano Concerto No. 2, S.125
Witold Lutosławski, Concerto for Orchestra

The undisputed winner of the prestigious Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2005, the Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz was quick to make an impression around the world, demonstrating behind his reserved appearance the crystalline touch, abundant imagination and above all the great musical heart. Under the guidance of his compatriot Antoni Wit, he is measured by the Second Piano Concerto of Franz Liszt. The session to pay tribute to the supreme Hungarian composer and pianist born 200 years ago.

A mini review of BOZAR's previous season -Chopin by Polish pianists

 "The Poles know how to play Chopin better than others? The question is worth asking at the 200th anniversary of his birth-even if Gide saw in him certainly a Polish heart, but above all a French profile. Three Polish pianists, including two first prizes and one sixth of the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, played during this season. Krystian Zimerman, first, has the sharp sense of introspection and the quest for perfection that guide him on stage only when he is entirely possessed by his vision. Chopin without affectations, without showoff, Chopin incisive and hallucinated that has as much of the Preludes and Fugues of Bach as Preludes of Debussy. Like a mirror, the young pianist Rafał Blechacz displays a more classical approach, but immediately finds all its profoundness in the poetic realm of the work. Finally, in the Second Concerto, we welcome a rare appearance of Janusz Olejniczak, who was incarnated in Chopin in the Zulawski’s film and played the hands in Polanski's The Pianist...."

Aug 24, 2011

At Salle Pleyel, June 7, 2011

Have been hooked on the news of Irene.
I sincerely wish for the safety of people in the East Coast...! (Aug.27)

@Ann Arbor, Feb.2011
Click to read Paris' review

A French writer and music lover has posted several photos of Rafał Blechacz taken at the back stage of the recital at Salle Pleyel, Paris, on June 7.

See the photos on De la note à la plume.

Carmen Desor, the author of the blog, says;
The first time I listened to a record by Rafał, I said to myself :
"This is it !", this is the way I think Chopin played the music.

(A deep appreciation to Carmen Desor.)

←This is from Ann Arbor, US.

(Quote from a review about the Salle Pleyel recital, titled "Piano vivant", written by Gérard Mannoni.)
…not a pianist of force. He is an artist of intuition and sensitivity…. His technique is obviously sumptuous… it is more oriented towards the investigation of colors, towards fluidity, towards the subtlety of textural changes than towards the fireworks favored by the current superstars of the keyboard…..

.....Music comes first. As for Blechacz, this was sensed as he played the second piece on the program, l’Isle joyeuse of Debussy. Abundance of coloristic moiré, cheerful sparkling; Blechacz gives all his values to the sublime piano script. We admire the presentation so intelligent and sensitive with the keyboard.

…with the Sonata in C minor op. 8 of Szymanowski,… The talent of Blechacz allowed him to precisely find out what can render the better justice to this inspired and sophisticated music, thanks especially to his miraculous touch, always soft and simmering.

KC Metropolis, Kansas City's online Journal of Performing Arts on August 17, picked Rafał Blechacz's recital in the city on Feb. 18 in its Editor's Choice.

"25-year-old pianist Rafał Blechacz offered an airy, nuanced rendition of Mozart’s Variations in C Major, K. 264 in his appearance in the Friends of Chamber Music Master Pianists Series last season. His l’Isle joyeuse was a satisfying stream-of-consciousness take on the Debussy staple, while the International Chopin Competition prize-winner’s Ballades in G Minor and F Major were two of the most stunning Chopin Ballades one could ever hear. (February 2011)"

Read the full review by the same editor (Christopher Levin) of the recital.
titled "Blechacz dazzles with Mozart and Chopin"

Aug 17, 2011

State of the Art Deutsche Grammophon, The Story

Momentos Musicales of RTVE (Spanish broadcaster) on August 4 (podcast) begins with Rafał Blechacz's recordings.
Chopin's Prelude in A Flat Opus Posth., Prelude op.45

Link to podcast

Did you know?
State of the Art Deutsche Grammophon The Story · Die Geschichte
(International Release was 03 Nov. 2009)
Book + 6 CDs containing 111 masterpieces by DG's artists,
has Rafał Blechacz's performance of Prelude in G major by Chopin (CD1-8).

And as is well known,
111 Years of Deutsche Grammophon, The Collectors' Edition 2 Limited Edition, set of 111 prominent CDs,
(International Release 01 Oct. 2010)
has  Rafał Blechacz's CD of Chopin's two Piano Concertos.
CD 7 is Blechacz's.

Deutsche Grammophon - 111 Years Of Excellence,
111 CLASSIC TRACKS 6-CD box-set
(International Release was Oct. 05 2009)
also has Rafał Blechacz's performance of Prelude in G major by Chopin.

111 Years of Deutsche Grammophon, 111 More Classic Tracks
(International Release was Oct. 04 2010)
has Rafał Blechacz's performance of Scherzo from Beethoven's Piano Sonata op.2-2.

Read Blechacz's words of congratulation for DG's 111th anniversary.

"My first contact with Deutsche Grammophon was a Christmas present I received 18 years ago: Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony, with Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic....."

             Pastoral Symphony, Vienna Philharmonic, with L. Bernstein (video) →☆

See Deutsche Grammophon 111 Years of Excellence website.


In 2002,

From Artur Rubinstein in memoriam website.  Rafał Blechacz in 2002,
@Artur Rubinstein In Memoriam International Young Pianists’ Competition.

Another pictures of the young master joining the Chopin Festival in Duszniki,  I don't know when the first picture of the page was taken.

(Many thanks to Carmen Desor!)

Aug 10, 2011

Music Master Chopin will be available on iPad and iPhone

Music Master Chopin is the first Polish music game prepared by Bloober Team and PC Project in cooperation with The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Music Master Chopin gives the user the opportunity to perform the greatest works of Frederic Chopin. The project consists of three parts: Classic, Rock and Pop. It is the largest interactive project of the Chopin Year.

Music Master Chopin Classic is a collection of original compositions of Frederic Chopin performed by prestigious pianists such as Rafał Blechacz, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy.  Music Master Chopin Classic allows one to play the most significant works of Chopin with the computer keyboard or rhythmic controllers.

(track list)
* Vladimir Ashkenazy - Chopin: No. 12 in C minor "Revolutionary" 12 Etudes, Op. 10
* Yundi Li - Chopin: Nocturne No.2 in E flat, Op. 9 No.2
* Rafał Blechacz - Chopin: 17. in A flat major 24 Préludes, Op. 28
* Rafał Blechacz - Chopin: 15. in D flat major ("Raindrop") 24 Préludes, Op. 28
* Rafał Blechacz - Chopin: 4. in E minor 24 Préludes, Op. 28
* Rafał Blechacz - Chopin: 6. in B minor 24 Préludes, Op. 28
* Rafał Blechacz - Chopin: 7. in A major 24 Préludes, Op. 28
* Rafał Blechacz - Chopin: 20. in C minor 24 Préludes, Op. 28
* Rafał Blechacz - Chopin: Prélude Op. 45
* Rafał Blechacz - Chopin: 1. Nocturne in B (Andante) Deux Nocturnes, Op. 62
* Rafał Blechacz - Chopin: 2. Nocturne in E (Lento) Deux Nocturnes, Op. 62
* Martha Argerich - Chopin: Maestoso Polonaise No. 6 in A flat, Op. 53 -"Heroic"
* Makoto Ozone - Polonaise No. 3 Op. 40-1 'Militaire' Road To Chopin
(Info from wikipedia)

The Bloober Team will make the series available on devices running on iOS. Under the agreement with Bulkypix, one of the largest publishers of this platform based in San Francisco and Paris, the studio has created a version for iPad and iPhone. Premiere of the game will take place later this year, although the exact date is not known.

The agreement does not cover the territory of Japan, China and Poland, where Bloober Team plans to acquire local distributors.

news release as of August 8
another news release

You can see how the game looks like in this trailor.
Artist: Vladimir Ashkenazy,Etudes, Op. 10: No. 12 in C Minor "Revolutionary"

Webradio broadcast (New Zealand), Aug. 17

On August 17, Radio New Zealand will broadcast concert at Vienna Konzerthaus (December 10, 2010) which includes Rafał Blechacz's performing Chopin's Piano Concerto in E minor.

20:00 pm local time (10:00 am CET,   4:00 am ET,   17:00 JST), Wednesday, August 17.

ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor: Cornelius Meister.

Radio New Zealand page for August 17
Radio New Zealand program page
Click on "Listen live or listen again here" on the top-left.

related blog posts (1) (2)
review "Ovationen für Rafał Blechacz im Konzerthaus"

Aug 3, 2011

Special album "In Solidarity with Japan" in Poland (4)

A unique album, "Solidarni z Japonią (In Solidarity with Japan)" with works by Chopin, formed on the initiative of the Polish Radio Program 3, reached the status of diamond disc in Poland, according to MediaNews as of August 4.

Thank you Poland!!

Polish Radio Aug.4
dziennik Aug.5

related blog posts:
(1)  (2)  (3)

Chopin's music is universal, says Blechacz

From my archive, FOCUS Magazine (Germany) No.5, Feb. 2010 gives a glimpse of interview with Rafał Blechacz.

Original interview (German)

"Better than words"

Chopin is pure emotion – and comfort, says the pianist Rafał Blechacz.

Do you still remember your first encounter with Chopin?

--That was when I learned his nocturne in B major at age of eleven. But probably I knew Chopin already before birth, because his music had always been with us at home.

Which of his works is your favorite today?

--Ah ... there are many, many, many. I have a special relationship to the Polonaise Fantaisie. Also the Piano Concerto in E minor is very important for me, because I played it at the final of the 2005 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. I owe it to him that I can now perform all over the world.

How does your audience react when you play Chopin?

--He has a tremendous effect. Chopin evokes emotions in a way without equal and stirs up people regardless of nationality, above all the Mazurkas, which characterize him the best. His music is universal. Feelings that everyone knows are hidden, such as longing, sadness, hope. Chopin’s music can express better than any words. It comforts.
(End of interview)

"...For example Polonaise-Fantasie … amazing piece, probably the most difficult, because everything is in it. Of course you can find the characteristic elements of the polonaise, the typical Polish dance. Above all this piece has many unconventional moments. It is difficult to explain. For example the end of the polonaise, an unbelievable place, which reminds me an internal struggle, leading to a victory in the end. Specially the last accord is important for me: it sounds like the ultimate fulfillment. That seems to be a little philosophical, but this music has a lot to say. But I can feel that something important is in this music." (Rafał Blechacz, interviewed in Hamburg, Oct. 2009)

"...Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61, ...Few pianists can project this drama, the Chopin of scattered thoughts, chromatic anguish, the modernist Chopin... Still in his mid-20s, Blechacz has mastered the most difficult of Chopin's moods and gestures, he can make the music crystal clear in its emotional confusion. Not many performances of this deconstructed polonaise are likely to rise to the level of the one Blechacz gave Saturday afternoon. (Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, March, 2010)

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