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May 31, 2012

"Classic Voice" selected Blechacz's disc as the Disc of the Month (Italy)

Universal Music Italy reports that Rafał Blechacz's album "Debussy Szymanowski" has been selected the Disc of the Month by Classic Voice, May 2012.

Universal Music Italy website

(Quote)
Blechacz with Five Stars on Classic Voice!

"The Debussy by Blechacz is ideal for clarity, stylistic adherence and virtuosic commitment"

Classic Voice has chosen the CD by Rafał Blechacz as CD of the month (May 2012), confirming the great talent of the young artist.

From Review: "... the new program recorded for DG first points to three famous Debussy's catalog numbers, continuing the conversation already begun with Suite bergamasque, and engages in the recovery of little known first sonata, Op. 8 by Szymanowsky, a text that contains pages of great beauty and continues according to a logic of accumulation of tensions that are to result in the electrifying, conclusive fugue. [...] The Debussy by Blechacz is ideal for clarity, stylistic adherence and virtuosic commitment, a quality that could anticipate future involvement of the pianist in comparison of Preludes and Etudes. "
(Unquote)

@La Scala, Milan



May 30, 2012

Review and reporting by his audience in Milan

From Facebook Filarmonica della Scala,
Blechacz and Luisi.

from Filarmonica della Scala FB



From a blog by a music lover in Milan, "Rafał Blechacz at La Scala".

Original blog

".....Last night a concert was held at La Scala by the Philharmonic directed by Fabio Luisi. The highlight of the evening was Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto which was performed by Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, the winner of the Chopin 2005 (the prize was unanimously awarded and the second prize was not, exactly speaking) and I've heard in a concert in the Auditorium in January 2008 when, under the baton of Oleg Caetani, he performed the first concerto of Chopin.

Great pianist Blechacz. Even just seeing him sitting at the keyboard gives you the idea that this is a great pianist. He made the fourth by Beethoven limpid, clean but not cold, perfectly calibrated in timbres, very agile in the most vivace moment and very introspective in the magnificent movement lento that is a soliloquy of the piano, contrasted by the orchestra. A great execution. The pianist then played encore of a couple of Chopin mazurkas, asking the first violin for permission (how sweet!),......"
The author was then impressed by the supreme performance of the two mazurkas and believed that it was quite natural that he was given the special award of best performing mazurkas in 2005.

*****
This is from naszswiat, a portal for Polish people, reporting the concert at La Scala on May 21.

naszswiat website
"Rafał Blechacz at La Scala in Milan"

*****
Personally I've had opportunities to go to Blechacz's concerts in more than ten venues outside of my country and seen that everywhere he goes, he is given a warm welcome by Polish people as important part of audience in every city; mainly Polonia living there and occasionally those travelling from Poland to see and hear him.

May 26, 2012

The legendary trio gave a heartfelt moment to Prague Spring

On May 25, Rafał Blechacz played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.4 in G major op.58 with Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Antoni Wit at Smetana Hall, Prague.

Prague Spring Festival website

Review of the concert by Svatava Barančicová, posted on Opera Plus (Czech)
The author praises that Blechacz played accurate, brilliant, perfect and flawlessly.
You can see several pictures of the concert.




"There was a big applause in Prague after Rafał finished. The audience was totally taken by Rafał and the orchestra too and the conductor, Antoni Wit, too! He gave two encores in return for such a great admiration."
(R.F.)


Courtesy Prague Spring Festival

















The review from the link above gives a strange comparison between this Beethoven's concerto No.4 and the other two Beethoven's concertos (No.1 and 3) played by Andsnes a few days before in Rundolfinum, Prague.  I think it is a sort of orange-apple comparison and doesn't make sense whatsoever.  Different pieces  with different orchestral size and formation played in a different concert hall : in case of Andsnes, the pianist himself directs Mahler Chamber Orchestra, which is for his three-year project to record all the five concertos by Beethoven with the same chamber orchestra in Rundolfinum.
 (To avoid any misunderstanding, Andsnes is the pianist that I respect and occasionally follow activities apart from Blechacz).

*****
Some of the images and literary works on this website remain the property of their owners. No copyright infringement is intended.
Visitors are asked to contact the author of this website personally before quoting any material which is exclusive to www.blechaczinfo.com


May 25, 2012

Rafał Blechacz with Antoni Wit in Prague

Rafał Blechacz with Antoni Wit for news interview in Prague, May 24.
Blechacz will perform Beethoven's concerto for Prague Spring Festival on May 25.
Orchestra: Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra

Courtesy Prague Spring Festival














Related news from Art and Business (Polish)
"Rafał Blechacz, one of the stars of Prague Spring."


*****
Some of the images and literary works on this website remain the property of their owners. No copyright infringement is intended.
Visitors are asked to contact the author of this website personally before quoting any material which is exclusive to www.blechaczinfo.com


May 22, 2012

Rafał Blechacz - another wonderful Beethoven @Teatro alla Scala, Milan

On May 21, Rafał Blechacz performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, with Filarmonica della Scala, directed by Fabio Luisi.
Luisi's interpretation was delicate and the piano sounded and extended beautifully to the vast space of La Scala.  To respond to unending applause, Blechacz gave two encores: Chopin's Mazurka in A major op41 and in E minor op.17.

“It was his La Scala debut and a very, very successful one. Dress rehearsal in the morning drew so many people that the house was full.  Both Luisi and Rafał were happy to play together”
(R.F.)

from FB Filarmonica della Scala


The concert was the fourth and final installment of series of concerts of this spring held in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Filarmonica della Scala and live-distributed to hundreds of cinemas across entire Europe, including Poland, Russia and Nordic countries and Americas.





*****
I would like to extend my sincere condolence and deepest sympathy to those affected by the big earthquake that hit northern Italy early in the morning, May 20.



May 17, 2012

CD reviews (Portugal, Greece)

Review of CD Debussy Szymanowski, written by Nuno Galopim, posted on sound + vision, a Portuguese website on May 13.

Original review

(Quote)
A new disk by Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz. This time interpreting pieces of Debussy and of his compatriot Szymanowski. The edition is of Deutsche Grammophon.

At age of 26, the Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz already surpassed that level in which young talents are usually labeled as "revelation" or "promise". He integrates the catalog of Deutsche Grammophon already for six years and has just released his fourth album - before he edited two works by Chopin and the third one with sonatas by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven - which received honor of "Recording of the Month" in May edition of the Gramophone magazine. He had already won international awards between 2002 and 2004 and in 2005, he surprised by snatching victory in all categories of the edition of that year's 15th International Competition with the name of Frederic Chopin (also Polish). Two years later he finished his study at Feliks Nowowiejski Academy in Bydgoszcz and he began recording discography that in five years made him one of the great "voices" of the piano revealed in the twenty-first century.

The new album of Rafał Blechacz joins two works by Debussy (1862 - 1918) and three of the Polish Szymanowski (1882 - 1937) (sic.), the composer to whom the catalog of Deutsche Grammophon has given some attention in recent years through a series of recordings of orchestral music by Pierre Boulez.

All of them are compositions dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century and represent statements of composers’ personality. The pianist choices still pass for, in some cases, pieces that arrive to take competition. If in Debussy we can recognize the characteristics of personal approach of the pianist (and of the good piano, as he already mentioned), already in Szymanowski, still a name little known in Western Europe, he joins contemplation of interpretation with tone of discovery. As the critic in Gramophone refers, Szymanowski was never a popular composer nor his music a source of record sales. But the Sonata No. 1 has here a single window in Rafał Blechacz. And as they are making editions by Boulez, this disc can also make an important contribution to a change in the relation of concert programs and recordings with the music of this Polish composer.
(Unquote)

*****
Another review posted on a Greek website.

Original review
mmmm? ....(#^.^#)
It seems to praise Blechacz's sincerity to music as well as technical excellence...♥


*****
And a mini-review from UK







May 14, 2012

Rafał Blechacz's interview for NRC (Netherlands)

This is an interview with Rafał Blechacz, published by NRC, a daily newspaper in the Netherlands on its cultural supplement on May 10, the previous day that he played Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3 with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (Conductor: Trevor Pinnock) at Amsterdam Concertogebouw.  Blechacz gave the interview to Mischa Spel for NRC in March this year, when he held a recital  at Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), The Hague, the Netherlands.


Original interview on NRC

NRC on-line version (subscriber only)

*****
Translation of “Cultureel Supplement NRC 10-5-2012”

By: Mischa Spel

Profound calm, young and brilliant

The Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz (26) in 2005 was the glorious winner of the Chopin Competition. Recently his fourth CD was released, he performs solo tomorrow at the Concertgebouw. His playing is fragile, robust where necessary and above all enchanting colorful.

At the Chopin Competition 2005 at the age of 20 years Rafał Blechacz all prizes. Who played Chopin's Mazurka's the best? Blechacz. The concert program? Blechacz. The succession of honorable acclamations was equally memorable and stunning as Blechacz's playing. Finally, Poland had again a national heir to Rubinstein, Paderewski and Zimerman, and the second prize then? The jury decided not to award that, in order to underline especially Blechacz's sovereignty.

Among all young pianists who make CDs and build an international career on stage, Rafał Blechacz (26) radiates an almost old-fashioned calmness, modesty and purity.

Interviews? He gives them seldom. Concerts? With four per month you got it.
“I need my quiet time, it takes time to think and work on my interpretations” he smiles, while he is sitting in the lobby of his hotel in The Hague after a solo recital in the Nieuwe Kerk. On the other hand - or rather, there arises, on Deutsche Grammophon, one after the other jewel from his hands. Of course there was first a CD of Chopin for the Polish Chopin Winner had not have done otherwise. This was followed by an album of Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, Chopin again (concerts with the Concertgebouw Orchestra). And now there is a fourth CD that except for the prize for the color richness of the game also deserves an originality prize: Impressionist works (Pour le piano and Estampes) by Debussy coupled with the rarely performed expressionistic music of the Polish composer Karol Szymanowski.

“I am now often seen as Chopin specialist but before I won the Chopin Competition, I played mostly different repertoire.", said Blechacz. ,”Liszt, Schumann, Debussy, that backgroud helped me polish my own interpretations of Chopin”.

Blechacz is courteous and friendly, but on his course as a musician he is very decided.
Travel by car he does, especially during the concert tours in Europe.
“Not from fear of flying, but I find it pleasant. After concerts, I am still full of adrenaline, and then I will then take a good ride. It relaxes me. Meanwhile I talk with my father, or listen to CD’s with lectures in philosophy . If I want to stop, I stop. For an artist that feeling of autonomy is very important. Then I go to sleep quietly. "


Pianist Rafał Blechacz gives
only four concerts a month
Living remote
Blechacz's love for music began with the organ, but at home was a piano and practical considerations led him away from his first love. This love is not totally vanished:
“When I'm at home, I play organ often enough during and after the service in our church. But since I was eleven, after winning the first competition, I knew for sure that the piano now would be my main instrument. The atmosphere of live recitals I loved very much. Such a concert hall, that sacred silence, the audience ... I wanted that too. "
Blechacz still lives in his native region, the northwest of Poland nearby the city of Bydgoszcz (Bromberg). With the first earnings – his first CD's together sold 160,000 pieces, for a classical artist extremely much - he bought a house in the country. “To read and playing the piano the remote lying is perfect and even necessary. "
His parents live there too, and his sister. “Eh ... Yes. Naturally, I sometimes feel to break, "he agreed. “But I travel a lot. And I want to focus on expanding my repertoire. That is my main priority. "

"To compare musicians in competitions is discordant with the nature of the music.”

Rafał Blechacz gives recitals in the best concert halls of the world, and is soloist with the most important orchestras.
"That was what I wanted and why I was participating in the Chopin Competition seven years ago, that was for the breakthrough. But there are more roads leading to the summit and participating in competitions is certainly not everything. I could handle the associated stress because I had already decided in advance to focus on myself and the pieces I was playing. I have not listened to my competitors, not watched TV, listened no radio, nothing. Only isolation. It worked perfectly for me. But essentially, I off competitions. To compare musicians in a competition is discordant with the nature of the music. " His individuality is sacred to him, says Blechacz. “Deepening in a piece of music as a personal adventure and experience it. "

To study of the identity of the music, he devotes his free time. He studied philosophy, with an emphasis on aesthetics and music philosophy. Look, he points out, the writings of the Polish phenomenologist / aesthete Roman Ingarden are always in his book bag.
“Ingarden said interesting things about the identity of musical compositions. The problems he mentions touch on the questions I ask when interpreting musician, about interpretation, hermeneutics and the role of metaphysics for example. Why? Take Polonaise fantasia Op 61 of Chopin. Such a piece of music calls, and that goes for many great music, a strong metaphysical feeling – both for listeners and for performers. Sometimes I experience that sensation, sometimes I force myself to realize what and when that happens in me."

The need to point and identify thoughts and emotions during my playing is artistically very fruitful, he means “Władysław Strózewski, a student of Ingarden, wrote that the finding of a good interpretation is always a dialectical process, depending on growth and changes within the psyche of the artist. Making music is a search for the right balance between what the music requires and taking your own artistic freedom - as it were, between the notes on. "

And then Blechacz gets back in the car, on to the next concert. “But of course I look forward to them," he says. “The life I lead is full of everything I loved as a child from a performance of a concert: the atmosphere of tense anticipation, especially." With a smile: “Now people are waiting for my interpretations. And the concert halls rooms are bigger."


On 11/5 Blechacz is soloist in Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen under Trevor Pinnock, Concertgebouw Amsterdam. For information.: blechacz.net
(End of the article)

*****
The English translation was done by Jan Zum Vörde, who loves Rafał's music and attended the recital at Nieuwe Kerk, The Hague in March and the concert at Concertgebouw on May 11.  My sincere appreciation to Jan for his usual support to this website with translation for the past four years.

*****
Some of the images and literary works on this website remain the property of their owners. No copyright infringement is intended.
Visitors are asked to contact the author of this website personally before quoting any material which is exclusive to www.blechaczinfo.com



May 12, 2012

Rafał Blechacz - Enormous success at Amsterdam Concertgebouw

On May 11, Rafał Blechacz played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.3 with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Conductor: Trevor Pinnock at Amsterdam Concertogebouw.



"I have a great news to share. After Rafał finished his playing of Beethoven's No. 3 (with Deutsche Kammer Philharmonie Bremen Orchester under Trevor Pinnock) there was an outburst of a thunderous applause, shouting of "Bravo, bravo", standing ovation with no end in sight! There was such an enthusiastic atmosphere and clapping, and clapping! He played Mazurka for an encore".
(R.F. May 11 21:46)


Bravos & congratulations to our exceptional Pianist ♫

Blechacz @Concertgebouw, July '09















A blog article about the concert written by a Korean student.
You can see several pictures of the hall, piano, audience.
"...a thunderous applause sent him off......"


*****
An impression by one of the audience members:

"Rafał added a new jewel to his repertoire with his premiere performance of Beethoven's third piano concert.
It was the highlight of the evening for me: a supreme cadenza and a brilliant second movement in a concert on a very high artistic level. His fabulous technique is just an instrument for his interpretation.
An ovational applause with bravo's was the reward and Rafał was embraced by the conductor as a congratulation for Rafał's performance. The timpano player supported the members of the orchestra and the public in their acclamations with a long lasting soft ruffle. Rafał played a mazurka as an encore and lasted the successful sphere longer.

My wife and I had a splendid concert evening."

(Lots of thanks to Jan ♫
I wanted to ask him how the cadenza was and how that beautiful, deep development of the 2nd movement was and the questions were already answered.)

*****
From another audience member:

".....yes, it was a triumph again for Rafał in Concergebouw. He has a dedicated audience there. And Pinnock was stunned by his performance too. And who but him knows better how other pianists play Beethoven. Now he knows who's the best. And after Rafał's encore he couldn't wait to congratulate him so heartily".






May 5, 2012

Monthly "Amadeus" highly recognizes Blechacz's CD (Italy)

Universal Music Italia reports that monthly Amadeus (May issue) recommends the CD Debussy Szymanowsky by Rafał Blechacz, giving it the highest rating;  the review written by Nicoletta Sguben.

Universal Music Italia

(Quote)
Rafał Blechacz's “Debussy, Szymanowski” reviewed by Amadeus

A new, unequivocal recognition of the Polish pianist's extraordinary talent come from the magazine “Amadeus”, which recommend the new CD “Debussy, Szymanowski” giving it the highest rating on the reviews page.

After referring to the huge success at Chopin Competition and to the records which established his world renown, the reviewer Nicoletta Sguben write that nowadays «Blechacz delves into Debussy's music with full coherence: after all, Debussy's sound descends from the feverish, sensory pianistic “keying” of Chopin, from the fingertips that caress the ivory keys, in the suggestive and imaginative ecstasy of the piano, that is able to sing in spite of his percussive nature. Debussy rises from there, and from the brightness of “Pour le Piano”, the sound iridescence of “L'isle joyeuse”, the translucent color of “Estampes”, an absolute masterpiece – and that's well shown by Blechacz's interpretation» and continue remarking the intelligent choice of putting beside Szymanowski «...Prelude and Fugue in C sharp minor and the colossal Sonata in C minor op. 8, compositions able to receive and express an extremely extensive sound range, from the classical legacy to modern sound, mastered by the young pianist with poetic inspiration.»
(Unquote)

(English translation done by Maria Pia; Thanks thanks ♫)


Congrats to the Pianist ♫

Best wishes for his success in Beethoven month

Japanese

Although it can be hidden behind a mountain of enthusiastic praises of his latest album Debussy Szymanowski, Blechacz's remarkable performances of Bach: Partita No.3 and Beethoven: sonata No.7 in D major op10-3 that he's given in recitals earlier this year should be remembered. I've been overwhelmingly impressed by the deep insight and beautiful rendition of the 2nd movement of the Beethoven in particular, and agree with the review by Frank Armbruster for Stuttgarter Zeitung who wrote that "in Beethoven's Sonata No. 7 in D major, Op 10/3, it is above all in the Largo e mesto, where Blechacz’s singular talent is obvious".

If I can find time, I would like to pick up reviews with evaluations of Bach and Beethoven that Blechacz performed in March/April period.


Rafał Blechacz will play Beethoven's concertos this month in several venues in Europe.

May 10   Concerto no.4, Tivoli Symphony Orchestra,  Alexander Pilianichko @Tivoli Symphony Hall

May 11   Concerto no.3, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Trevor Pinnock  @Amsterdam Concertgenouw

May 21  Concerto no.4, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Fabio Luisi  @La Scala, Milan

May 25  Concerto no.4, Warsaw Philharmonic, Antoni Wit  @Smetana Hall, Prague


May 4, 2012

CD tips by BR: Bayerischer Rundfunk and oe1.ORF(Germany, Austria)


CD tips by BR: Bayerischer Rundfunk 
Review by Michael Schmidt
"Rafał Blechacz plays Debussy and Szymanowski",
"Colors of sounds, expressiveness,....subtle sense of sound,....design sense,..."

oe1.ORF
CD of the day: "Subtle nuances, clean lines"


*****
↓ I added English of the TVP interview transcript,
to help your understanding.

May 1, 2012

Blechacz playing Bach in Wels, April 22 (video)

Video from Rafał Blechacz's recital in Wels, Austria on April 22.


You can hear fragments from Bach Partita No.3 (Fantasia, Corrente, Allemande) that he played during the recital in Stadttheater Wels, Austria on April 22, 2012.