Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Feb 4, 2012

Blechacz Interview in Spain - about Debussy and Szymanowski

Interview article on Agencia EFE (Spanish) 

The "prodigious" pianist Rafał Blechacz "balances" Debussy and Szymanowski

The "prodigious" Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, unique in history who won five first prizes of the Chopin International Competition, will perform this weekend at the National Auditorium Beethoven with the equilibrium he chose for his latest album dedicated to Debussy and Szymanowski.

For the second time performing in the Auditorium, Blechacz (Nakło nad Notecią, 1985) have chosen a piece that he already played in Valencia, the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G major, as he explains in an interview with Efe, it is his "favorite" of Beethoven and he is "very happy" to perform it with Orquesta Nacional de España (ONE) under the direction of Josep Pons.

Blechacz just recorded with Deutsche Grammophon the disc devoted to French Claude Debussy (1862-1918), in which he has included "Suite pour le piano", "Estampes" and "L'isle Joyeuse" and to Polish Karol Maciej Szymanowski (1882-1937) "Prelude and Fugue in C sharp Minor" and "Sonata in C minor."

"The main reason for choosing them was the great contrast that exists between the two. They are completely different: they represent impressionism and expressionism and that's very interesting to the public," he explains.

The Polish master was inspired by the interpretation of his admired Arturo Benedettu Michelangeli of pieces by Debussy, because, he argues, he would like to reflect the transcendental "color" of a composition such as "Estampes".

"For me it was very important to translate, interpret and express the exact color, define each color very precisely, and also deepen their music, their psychology and capture what they wanted to express, without fixing myself in what others have done before."

His interpretation of Debussy, virtuosic as in all of his previous works, was made possible, he says, thanks to the appropriate piano he obtained, because he needed a full surround sound.

The challenge with Debussy and Szymanowski has been to constantly seek the balance "exploring between the depth and the surface" of the compositions, "constantly correcting," as if he had to "change hands" in each passage and very aware of controlling pedals in search of "silvery sound" that is required, for example, by "L'isle Joyeuse".

The musician accepts only 40 concerts per year because, he says, it allows him to maintain the balance between private and professional lives, although even when at home he dedicates himself to the piano for seven hours per day.

"I need time to develop new pieces, repertoires and new albums," explains a kind of classical "monk", who will begin next academic year studying at the University in Torun, the birthplace of Copernicus, philosophy.

He is pleased to go to museums like the Prado, listen to organ music, chamber and the sonatas of Mozart and very little "modern" - "I cannot concentrate on it," he explains, but above all, likes to drive, so it’s "normal" to drive during tours, alternating with his father on the road.

This Polish is not of those who would like to play Chopin only "well”; his compatriots are “well" , but he stresses "it is very important to be very close to the composer, his sensitivity. The experiences obtained in life are going to make it possible."

Interview videos from (Polish)

Interview video uploaded by Universal Music Poland (Polish)

(Thanks to Konstancja for the discovery♫)

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