Original article of RONDO 2/2012
See P.8 and 9 for the article of Blechacz
Five years ago, RONDO's author Matthias Kornemann spoke for the first time with the pianist Rafał Blechacz. Quiet, pale, introverted, he was a rare foreign guest in the world of quick success and agile self-marketing. How would it go with this loner who would not give more than 45 concerts a year and leave his home in a quiet corner of the Polish province at any price? Can one survive with this almost monastic attitude as a pianist? He can.
|click to see original photo from San Sebastián, 2010|
Introverted, monastic, modest : characteristics which otherwise could kill a career culminate in Rafał Blechacz in the moment of intense pianism.
Blechacz still lives in Nakło, somewhere in a void between Gdańsk and Warsaw, and as declared has given 45 concerts a year at most. His former mantra is valid: he needs time for his further artistic maturation. Several high-quality CD productions are evidence of this measured way of perfection, which is not limited to playing piano:
"In October 2008, I started to study philosophy. I'm just going to write about a text by Edmund Husserl. It's about music hermeneutics. At some point it will be a doctoral thesis. "
Deepening intellectual perspectives steers his attention to the study of new works:
"When I prepare a recording, I do not want any interpretation of the interpretation. All the recordings of Debussy by Gieseking, Cortot or Richter (sic.) have already been documented as a history. You must penetrate this layer. I’d keep my position of playing piano, not because all the big people performed it but because it is in the notes. Only the intention of the composer counts. If one has quite a lot of time, he can experience real adventure with apparently well-known pieces. However, they are often so brilliant that it would be an illusion to believe that everything has already been discovered. "
At this point, with the cliché, many young pianists would stop. But the modest young man is getting into his swing.
"The two cycles, Pour le piano and Etampes, require a very different approach. In the first, as the titles already reveal, it is here linked to the baroque tradition, and texture and structure are more traditional in this regard. Of course this doesn't mean that the Toccata should sound like Bach, but on my CD, I want to make audible the change already in the sound in the transition to Estampes."
In the "Jardins sous la pluie" there is a place that he loves very much (from bar 75, a reader might want to verify it in the notes):
"How long does it take until the passage sounds really good! The right hand plays a kind of melody that reminds me of falling drops, the left hand has accompanying voice, only two notes in turn, and beneath it is the harmonic foundation. I've been trying to find a unique color for each voice. For the upper voice I've been infinitely looking for a silvery tone for a long time, I play almost staccato, with a little left pedal - I want light and lucid sound, but not transparent. "
|Jardins sous la pluie, around bar 75|
"Nowadays you really have to explain what you do, otherwise the CD will disappear very easily,"
he says almost apologetically, that he has ventured so far in the field of craftsman’s fine work.
But if you want to appreciate the quality of his playing, you must sharpen ears. This is not an art that brings rage to auditoriums, which would be characterized in a few keywords. His artistry prompts an expert to take out magnifying glass and perceive with admiration that the details are emerging, extracted with dignified clarity. As a result, to give an example, a few usually unnoticed changing notes suddenly shine in the middle voice in their own sound-resister like something precious, previously unheard of. The time taken for this sound engineering is recognized well.
**This English is before proof-read by German speaker.
**If you are interested in his previous interview with RONDO, you can search this blog from either search box by "rondo 2007". You could feel time passes very quickly and he has already come a long way.