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Sep 5, 2012

Interview and review from German newspaper

An interview that Rafał Blechacz gave to Die Fränkischen Nachrichten alongside with his recital in Heiderberg (April 20).

Original interview on FN website

(Quote)
"The important thing is the music"

By our editorial staff member Stefan M. Dettlinger

In terms of success, he is the greatest living pianist. Not only because in 2005 Rafał Blechacz won the world's most important piano competition in all five categories. Also then 20-year-old impressed the jury of the Chopin competition so much that for the first time in history, that is, since 1927, no second prize was awarded. The Pole born in 1985 quickly had an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Tomorrow he plays for "Heidelberg Spring". The interview via a phone conversation.


Mr. Blechacz, have you already practiced today?
Rafał Blechacz: No. But maybe this evening.

How much do you work every day?
Blechacz: It depends. When I'm at home and have a normal working day, I practice a lot. Six or seven hours, sometimes more. During tour it's less. I also want to keep a fresh atmosphere in concert, therefore I have to be in good physical and mental condition.

You have played since you were five. Do you sometimes have the impression that you missed something in life? 
Blechacz: No! Never! Because it was always such a pleasure to play piano or organ. Of course, I already had a few colleagues and friends, but music has been always the biggest joy for me.


A great, lonely man in nature
So nothing else in your life? 
Blechacz: Yes, already. I'm interested in philosophy, I am studying at University of Copernicus, especially philosophy and aesthetics of music. It helps me. But it's the music itself that is the most important thing to me.

You are not only a very serious and focused, but also as one who hates interviews. Why are you talking to me? 
Blechacz: I don’t hate interviews, even if they are not important for me. But when I give concerts or have CDs created, it is useful to give interviews.

An interview is an opportunity to get contact. People want to know who is the man who plays piano so brilliantly. . . 
Blechacz. . . that may be, perhaps it is less important for the people who already love classical music, but for young people who do not automatically come into contact with me. That could change something for the classical music.

I've experienced your concert live twice and never seen anyone else who plays so fine and honestly. And you're only 26 years old. Do you have any role models?

Blechacz: A lot. I have lots of interesting recordings. But the most important thing for me is to penetrate into the real depth of each particular work that I study newly, in its logic. Since there should be only the composer, his work, my inspiration and the interpretation. Not the interpretation of an interpretation. But there are also pianists in my life: Arthur Rubinstein, Sviatoslav Richter, Walter Gieseking, Benedetti Michelangeli - they all were great, but the biggest inspiration should be the composer and his work. . .

. . . I knew you'd say Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli - especially after hearing your Debussy and Szymanowski. You play similarly, differentiating, fine and unpretentious. What is the secret of your sound?

Blechacz: Ah, I think you need a good piano, especially for Debussy, for colors and shape of the sound, and you have to find a balance in the interpretation between intellectual and emotional aspects. For the new CD, we have found the right piano in Hamburg, in the Laeiszhalle. We often think that dynamics is the most important. It is also important. But I'm looking especially for the right color for each voice in order to let a certain atmosphere and structure arise.

You play on four CDs Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy and Szymanowski. Now you will play in Heidelberg Bach's Partita No. 3? What criteria do you have to make programs?

Blechacz: Well, I would like to introduce more different styles. In the first part I play mostly classical, Bach, Haydn and Mozart. In the second part I dedicate myself to romantics or impressionists. I want to present completely different styles and composers. I think this is very interesting for the audience. But sometimes you can also show similarities.

Mr. Blechacz, is there you when you do not play the piano?
Blechacz: When I'm in a city with a great museum, then I go there. That is a wonderful adventure. In Paris, I went to a recital and spent two more days. I was in the Louvre. This is for me the most beautiful way to relax and learn something at the same time. Sure, I also read, jog and walk. All this is part of personal development, which also helps me with the music.
(Unquote)

*****
This is a link to a review of CD"Debussy Szymanowski" written by Thomas Gehrig, posted on Klassik.com on August 15, 2012, titled,

"The All-rounder"


*****
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