Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz


Nov 16, 2012

Krystian Zimerman's 50th anniversary on stage

Krystian Zimerman began tour yesterday in Japan.  Long-waited recitals after his sabbatical last year.  He'll give 12 recitals for the next month.


Debussy: Estampes: 1. Pagodes 2. La soirée dans Grenade 3. Jardins sous la pluie

Debussy: Préludes 1 (Selection)
2. Voiles 12. Minstrels 6. Des pas sur la neige  
8. La fille aux cheveux de lin 10. La cathédrale engloutie
7. Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Szymanowski: 3 Preludes from op.1

* Brahms: Piano Sonata No.2 F sharp minor Op.2
* Chopin: Sonata No. 3 in B minor op.58 

On November 15 he held the first recital in Kyoto.  I've seen voices of admiration by audience members on blogs and SNS's.  I had traced news of his performances in Berlin, the Netherlands, Brussels and Paris last month and Hong Kong this month, because I wanted to know which pieces he would play in Japan, and read impressive reviews of high appraise.

Among other things, this year marks 50th anniversary of his life on the stage.  His recital at Berliner Philharmonie on Oct. 3 was held in commemoration of the anniversary.
After he finished the Chopin's sonata, Zimerman talked to the audience, saying that when he played in Berlin for the first time in 1976, the wall was out there and the scene in the vicinity of Berliner Philharmonie was very different.  He said he felt proud of playing in Berlin again.  As an encore, he played the first movement of Beethoven's sonata "moonlight", saying "I should have played a German piece", and the music was eventually turning into melody of "Happy Birthday"; it fell on the day of German integration.

According to a tweet by a fan, last night, before the recital in Kyoto began, a message from Zimerman was announced, requesting not to record the performance.  It was said that because of the illicit recording and uploading of his performances on the Youtube, a plan of recording with the recording company was suspended, resulting in a litigation.

It is quite regrettable.  I've also read from a review in Paris that there was a poster on the wall of the hall (Salle Pleyel) to ban recording his performance.  We must understand the importance of each performance for both artists and audiences - it actually is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and refrain from such a behavior.  Spreading performances in such a manner is rather harmful, or not sustainable to say the least.

"I'm more nervous about amateur recordings of concerts that appear on the Internet, because the sound quality of these recordings is very poor".
 (Rafał Blechacz, from an interview in 2009.)

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