Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

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Dec 26, 2012

Our deepest thanks and best wishes for his continued success

This year Rafał's fans had a great start, blessed and enlightened with his interpretations for the new album "Debussy Szymanowski".

A flood of enthusiastic reviews in U.K. and other Europe followed:
Example from UK

".....he's an artist of imagination and perception, with a fabulous range of keyboard touch and colour.... the clarity of the playing is exceptional, but so, too, is the intelligence shaping it. It's a remarkable disc." (The Guardian)

While music fans were mesmerized by the new disk, Blechacz began giving performances in Europe, both solo recitals and concertos with orchestras.

Whenever I found an enthusiastic review of the CD and live performances I was happy but sometimes the volume was overwhelming and daunting during the spring.


Debussy Szymanowski,
Recording of the Month, Gramophone, May


*****
Live performances, 2012

program website ☆
review ★

Feb. 3, 4, 5
Concerto No. 4 by Beethoven with Orquesta Nacional de España, directed by Josep Pons, @Auditorio Nacional de Musica, Madrid 

Feb. 25, 26, 27, 28
Concerto No. 4 by Beethoven with Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, directed by Andrés Orozco-Estrada @Sala Santa Cecilia, Parco della Musica, Rome

March 2 @Sala della Filarmonica, Trento 
March 6, @Conservatorio "G. Verdi", Milan  fan
March 9, @Auditorium-Orchestre national de Lyon
March 14, @Palais des Beaux-Arts / Salle Henry Le Bœuf 
March 18, @Nieuwe Kerk,The Hague fan
March 21 @Philharmonie Luxembourg

April 16 @Großer Sendesaal,Hannover
April 18 @Laeiszhalle, Hamburg
April 20 @Kongresshaus Stadthalle, Heidelberg
April 22 @Stadttheater Wels, Austria  Video
April 27 @Kultur-und Kongresszentrum Liederhalle (Beethoven-Saal), Stuttgart  fan


May 10 Concerto no.4 by Beethoven with Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, directed by Alexander Pilianichko

May 11 Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.3 with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Conductor: Trevor Pinnock at Amsterdam Concertogebouw ★fan interview

May 22 Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with Filarmonica della Scala, directed by Fabio Luisi @Teatro alla Scala, Milan.  fan











May 25 Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with Warsaw Philharmonic, directed by Antoni Wit @Smetana Hall, Prague 

June 6 @Philharmonie Mercatorhalle Duisburg
June 11 @ auditorium cité de la musique, Strasbourg
June 12 @Salle Pleyel Interview

June 28 Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with Filarmonica della Scala, directed by Fabio Luisi @Mariinsky Theatre's Concert Hall in Saint-Petersburg


July 21 Piano Concerto No. 2 by Beethoven with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo directed by Roberto Abbado @Parvis de la basilique Saint Michel Archange for Festival de Musique Menton, Menton  photo

July 23 Recital for La Roque d’Anthéron Festival

Rafał Blechacz's CD Debussy Szymanowski was selected Solo Recording of the Year (piano, 20/21 centuries) of ECHO Klassik.


Sept. 28 @Frankfurter hof, Mainz, Rheinhessen

Oct. 10 @Union College, Schenectady, NY
Oct. 12 @Duke University, Durham, NC interview

Nov. 7  @Tonhalle Düsseldorf
Nov. 12 @Salle Poirel, Nancy, France Fan
Nov. 15 @L'Auditori Barcelona
Nov. 19 @Teatro Principal, Alicante
Nov. 21 @El Auditorio de Baluarte de Pamplona, Pamplona
Nov. 22 @Principe Felipe Congress Hall Auditorium, Oviedo
Nov. 26 @El teatro Pérez Galdós, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Dec. 5, 6 Beethoven concerto No.2 with Luzerner Sinfonieorchester LSO, directed by James Gaffigan, @Lucerne KKL

Dec. 7 Beethoven concerto No.2 with Luzerner Sinfonieorchester LSO, directed by James Gaffigan, @Victoria Hall

Dec. 11 Beethoven concerto No.2 with Musikkollegium Winterthur, directed by Douglas Boyd
@Kultur Casino Berne

Dec. 12, 13  Beethoven concerto No.2 with Musikkollegium Winterthur, directed by Douglas Boyd @Stadthaus Winterthur

*****
If I pick up a few blog posts that had a lot of reactions from blog readers and via social media, they are;

The one about synesthesia,
I received a lot of comments from synesthetes of several countries.

For example,
".....I'm a synesthete too and I discovered that our colors are 'inverted'. For example, for him B major is orange and A major is yellow. For me, it's the contrary. And for me, G major is blue and D major is green. For him, it's the contrary. It's weird to think about it since we hear the same things but we see different things, and yet we can appreciate the piece in the same way..."(by Marine)

About bonus track "Clair de lune" and Rafał's message to Japanese audience.


In the first half of the coming new year Rafał will be focused on concertos with orchestras in UK, Germany, Switzerland, Luxemburg, etc...he'll tour in Japan, too. 
Our best wishes for his continued good health, happiness, and success in the new year.

Japanese


Dec 20, 2012

Best classical albums of 2012 - The Guardian

Guardian and Observer classical music writers voted for the best CDs of 2012.
Andrew Clements' choice includes Rafał Blechacz "Debussy Szymanowski".

Guardian Music blog

Read Andrew Clements' review of Debussy Szymanowski

Season's Greetings 2012



**Click the picture to see the animated card ♫

Dec 19, 2012

Best CDs of the Year - SF Classical Voice

San Francisco Classical Voice selected top 10 CDs of the Year.  Rafał Blechacz's "Debussy Szymanowski" is one of them.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Read the whole review: Blechacz Persuasive Pianism

Dec 17, 2012

Interview with Rafał Blechacz - Polish Radio2 (podcast)

Podcast of interview with Rafał Blechacz by Polskie Radio2, which was aired on Dec. 17.

Polskie Radio 2 website

(↓ translation of the interview)

Interview with Rafał Blechacz made by Krystyna Nurczyk shortly after the performance in Lucern, Switzerland

[Translation by Marzena Jaworska]

At the beginning Rafał talkes about his c oncert plans for December, January and February, including - as he says – “a very intense tour in Japan” and his first concert in Korea which he is looking forward to.

K.N. Do you prepare for concertos with orchestra in a different way (compared to recitals – M.J.)?

R.B. Well, with this orchestra and under this conductor I am playing for the first time, but now, after working with so many different orchestras, and with some of them more than once, I can say that for me it is always a great joy to play with a wonderful orchestra, where we can “rubate” together while performing our interpretation; it is crucial to adjust to each other in terms of personality, interpretation and music itself, so that both the conductor and the soloist “breathe with the same air” when playing a given phrase; if they do, the musicians from the orchestra usually respond adequately, which makes the whole interpretation very natural.

[…]

not related to this interview

K.N. What decides about the way you play?

R.B. What we experience in a piece of music depends in the first place on its content; the emotions are crucial as well, but first of all the musician should listen to one’s own intuition. In the case of classical pieces, for instance sonatas by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven, it is essential to know what the classical Viennese style actually is, so one needs to browse and study some books for it, but also listen to one’s heart, communicate it to the audience and be natural while doing it, because if there is any slightest affectation in the interpretation, the audience tends to hear it. But when the interpretation comes from the depth of one’s heart and soul, it is true and therefore usually convincing.

K.N. In your case it is very delicate, as if there was a light mist drifting over the piano…

R.B. It all depends on the piece that one is presenting. For example, the Beethoven concerto I have just performed demands neither a huge sound volume nor a dominating fortissimo dynamics. It is an early Beethoven’s work, written at the time when the composer’s unique style was starting to develop. I have even heard that some listeners take it for a Mozart’s piece; in other words, this type of delicacy is one of its main characteristics. However, if I was presenting a different piece, for example a concerto by Rachmaninoff or Brahms, I would have to present different sound qualities. Indeed, the atmosphere which is being created while playing those pieces is very unique and the moods are extremely evanescent…sometimes.

K.N. Are there any pieces you still need to “grow up to”?

R.B. Certainly. There are always some pieces I am thinking about and some pieces I am preparing, so it is important for me to have a strategy of building the repertoire and some trajectory to follow in the next years.

K.N. What is still ahead of you then?

R.B. (Laughs cordially) Such things I mustn’t disclose! For now, I can tell you about my plans for the coming seasons. I am soon recording a solo CD with pieces by Chopin for Deutsche Grammophon – this time it is going to be his complete polonaises; I also dream about recording his complete mazurkas a bit later. But now I am focusing on the polonaise trend in Chopin’s work.  […]

**The journalist also asked about the impact of the 1 st Prize on Rafał’s career and the relationship between his stage performances and CD recordings.

*****
My heartfelt appreciation to Marzena for the translation!!

Japanese
*****
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



"Piano & Pianist" by a Japanese publisher

Ongaku-no-tomo published "Piano & Pianist" a special magazine containing data of pianists of the world, updated from the previous version in 2008.

Featured with cover pictures of Blechacz and other renowned pianists, the magazine offers description of 284 global pianists (living) and 130 historical pianists.  Blechacz's bio is written by Yudai Majima, a popular music journalist.

Interview that Blechacz gave to Mr. Majima, 2007
"How Blechacz practices playing piano."















Cover of 2008 edition

Dec 13, 2012

Two encores in Winterthur

On December 12, Rafał Blechacz played Beethoven's piano concerto No.2 with Musikkollegium Winterthur directed by Douglas Boyd in Winterthur.


"Rafał Blechacz played two encores tonight at the Wintethur Musikkollegium where he played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Winterthur Musikkollegium Orchestra under Douglas Boyd. His performance was in the 2nd half after the intermission. After he completed the concerto the audience reacted with a long ovation with clapping, loud shouting of "Bravo! Bravo!" and foot trampling. Very enthusiastic reception of Rafał's and Boyd's interpretation!!"
(R.F.)


Dec 12, 2012

Big ovation in Bern, Switzerland

On December 11, Rafał Blechacz played Beethoven's piano concerto No.2 with Musikkollegium Winterthur directed by Douglas Boyd at Kultur-Casino Bern.

program page

Musikkollegium Winterthur program page

"Big ovation and loud shouting "Bravo, bravo!!" for Rafał Blechacz tonight at Kultur Casino in Bern, Switzerland, where he performed Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Musikkollegium Winterthur under Douglas Boyd. As his thanks were two encores: Chopin's waltz and mazurka".
(R.F.)





Dec 10, 2012

From Danish website

From Politiken.dk/kurtur, Classical music favorites 2012,
The editor selects top 20 outstanding events of classical music of the year.

Rafał Blechacz's recording "Debussy Szymanowski" is ranked No. 4.

"Debussy’s “Pour le piano” gives cool neoclassicism, a triumph of the recording. “Estampes” offers sensual, cool elegance. And the piano works by the Pole Szymanowski is dazzling and making 26 year-old Blechacz one of the great pianists".
(The translation is my guess.)



The picture may be from the concert on May 10 when Rafał Blechacz played Beethoven Piano Concerto No.4 with Tivoli Symphony Orchestra at Tivoli Symphony Hall  (also my guess).


*****
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

Dec 9, 2012

Review of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria


A review of Rafał Blechacz's recital at El teatro Pérez Galdós, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Nov. 26.

Original review

(Quote)
Four pianists in one

JOSÉ PÉREZ SAMPEDRO One of the musical heights of this season would be undoubtedly the concert that the Fundación del Teatro Pérez Galdós with the Sociedad Filarmónica offered last Monday inviting the Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz. And the first thing that I remember is that, because of the much discussed budget cuts in Culture, possibly without the help of the two entities it would have been impossible to celebrate the event which, I must say, will be remembered long.

from Laprovincia.es
The first thing that I felt outstanding is the magnificent program he offered encompassing different music styles and epochs and all this, as we shall see in detail, with great fidelity to the spirit, sound and personality of each composer and therefore, we enjoyed a clarity of exposition so clearly that it allowed us to follow counterpoint note by note of the Partita No. 3 in A minor by Bach. But that was not all, because his variety of dynamics, with dreamy pianissimo, and rhythmic range were so changing that it allowed us to appreciate the variety of dances, resulting in a lively Bach; cheerful in Allemande, dancing in Corrente and Scherzo, and discreetly meditative in Sarabande, in short, an anthological version.

It had been many years since I heard live the Sonata No. 7 in D major, op. 10, No. 3 by Beethoven and it was a discovery, because I had forgotten the gap that separates it from other works of the opus, since in its first two movements there is something more than indicative of matured Beethoven, abandoning the gallant style of Haydn so influential in his early works. For the impetus and drive of Presto, very rapidly corresponding to its tempo, marking perfectly contrasts of the themes and with the same expositive clarity, the meditation of Largo surprised us, the first of his magnificent Lentos (believed to be composed shortly when perceiving the first symptoms of his deafness), which in the pianist's fingers became a secular prayer, with its pauses filled with sadness and pain. The continuation of the Sonata, the Menuetto and Rondo, let us return back to Beethoven of his earlier epoch, but, curiously, with a final with piano.

In Debussy's Suite bergamasque, what surprised us was the literary character that dominated all its notes with Clair de lune, extraordinarily impressionistic that reminded us of other versions of great experts in this style. And, talking of a Polish, it’s impossible to miss his most notable musician, with the two Polonaises of op. 26, in which conquests of Chopin’s piano appeared, with an outstanding, but not exaggerated use of rubato and ending the second Polonaise with the only bright final of the whole program? perhaps to show that he is not concerned about the easy success.

An explosive ovation from the audience, standing up, brought us an encore of one of the most famous Chopin Waltzes.
(Unquote)




An article about Blechacz, RP online (Germany)

This article about Blechacz on RP online, I think I posted the same article sometime in spring, but I could be wrong.

Article on RP online
titled "The pianist who came out of silence".
written by Tungsten Goertz

Does someone remember reading this article?



But I clearly remember that an article of similar taste was written by an author of similar name (because of my struggle to try to translate it), published by Die Zeit.

Read the article by Wolfram Goertz
titled, "Why this is so beautiful and wise".


**I've seen several articles written by both - Tungsten Goertz and Wolfram Goertz.

Dec 8, 2012

Blechacz: Persuasive Pianism

Another review of the album "Debussy Szymanowski" from US, written by Anatole Leikin, published San Francisco Classical Voice, titled,

"Blechacz: Persuasive Pianism"

Original review

 ".....Such a dichotomy might be tricky for a performer, though Blechacz handles both styles with confidence, creating gripping accounts, each in its own fashion".

".....Blechacz offers an impeccable rendition of the suite — an improvisatory, unrestrained, and utterly finished flow in the “Prélude,” beautifully voiced chords and gently engaging melodic lines in the “Sarabande,” and clarity, flexibility, and propulsiveness in the “Toccata,” all combined with superb tonal control".

".....For the listener who is not quite familiar with the music (of Szymanowski), Blechacz steps up as a persuasive proponent. He makes the highly virtuosic and polyphonically complex works darkly passionate, brimming with biting harmonies and boiling intensity".

"For this disc, Blechacz has been granted a prestigious ECHO award by the Deutsche Phono-Akademie (Solo Piano Recording of the Year, 20th/21st Century): a well-deserved distinction".



Big applause in Victoria Hall

On December 7, Rafał Blechacz played Beethoven concerto No.2 with Luzerner Sinfonieorchester LSO under the direction of James Gaffigan at Victoria Hall, Geneva.

Program of Le Grands Interprètes

from Luzerner Sinfonieorchester














"Big applause and shoutings "Bavo! Bravo!" tonight in Victoria Hall in Geneva where Rafał Blechacz played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Luzernersinfonie under James Gaffigan. Very enthusiastic reception! He reciprocated with two encores".
(R.F.)





Dec 7, 2012

Two reviews of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Oviedo, Spain

A review of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Oviedo, Spain, November 22, posted on ocio.lne.es.

Original review

(Quote)
An exceptional piano by the Pole

The Piano Days "Luis G. Iberni "sponsored by LA NUEVA ESPAÑA, returned yesterday to its essence with the performance offered inel Auditorio by the Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, a truly exceptional interpreter with only 27 years of age. He showed a pronounced Polish sign in the evening, by his own nationality, by Szymanowski, also Polish, whose first sonata he played, really fantastic concept and execution, and even by double gratuity of Chopin.

The program followed the usual chronological order and as for compositors, it was from older to younger. It started with Bach and his "Partita No. 3", a piece he composed at 40. Fantasy, warm; Allemande, very beautiful; Corrente, overwhelming, Sarabande, of majestic execution; Burlesca, well surpassed despite the difficulties, Scherzo, very nuanced, and the Gigue, as if it is a complete work.

Turn to Beethoven and his "Piano Sonata No. 7", which he wrote at age 28. Presto, especially potent and rich Blechacz's hands, Largo, simply insurmountable, Minuet, as emotional pause, and the Rondo final announcing sonatas of posterior age. The "Suite Bergamasque" which Debussy composed at 28, changed the atmosphere but not the quality, especially in the delicate "Clair de lune" and then Szymanowski and his "Sonata No. 1", which he wrote with only 21. A prodigy whom Blechacz took to stratospheric levels. Two minutes and 50 seconds of applause and as encores, a waltz and a scherzo by Chopin (sic.)
(Unquote)



*****

Another review written by Pablo Álvarez published on his blog.

Original review

(Quote, partial)
The mastery of Blechacz

Thursday November 22, 20:00 pm. Auditorio de Oviedo, Piano Days "Luis G. Iberni ": Rafał Blechacz. Works by Bach, Beethoven, Debussy and Szymanowski.

There was no better way to celebrate St. Cecilia piano concert than the piano concert this Thursday. I can assume, since I have no grandmothers, having heard pianists who have made history or those who are going to do, and Polish Rafał Blechacz is surely one of them, and he now is making history. The works chosen for this tour are a real class of the piano master (leaving the public in Pamplona Baluarte stunned), nearly 300 years of history in four authors...

The Partita No. 3 in A minor, BWV 827 (Bach) was fresh, clean, of exquisite ornamentations, adjusted contrasts, complete neatness and fantastic execution in the seven dances that form a whole despite their differences, expository and interpretative unity, clarity in the voices, transparent phrasing, baroque mastery in the intimate piano.

A loved and lesser known Beethoven came with the Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op 10 No 3, perfect continuity after the kantor, vigorous dash of Presto, serenity and maturity in Largo e mesto, joy in the Menuetto: Allegro, returning to the pure air, and Rondo: Allegro, luxurious climax where sobriety did not prevent enjoying incredible sonority and a new interpretive artistry, known by the recordings but where the live is unrepeatable.

After the break another step forward in time with two authors also collected in the discography of the Pole but the Steinway at Auditorium recreated them for full enjoyment. The Suite bergamasque (Debussy) was a spectrum of light and color, unique nuances, impressionist rich soundscape full of precise and beautiful delicacy, with a silvery Clair de lune of powerful influence on the public. If the recording is a jewel, for the live performance, I have no noun or adjective to describe these four numbers.

The work of Szymanowski seems to pull together all of the above from the Pole of the twentieth century in closing the masterly class of one hour and a half by the fingers of his compatriot. The Sonata No. 1 in C Minor, Op 8 showed to us another side of a huge diamond, filled with strength and new brightness, luminous dynamics con brio (Allegro moderato) in front of dark passages (Adagio), beauty of phoenix in the Tempo di minuet and marvelous authority in the double fugue of the Final which Professor Francisco Jaime Pantín described as follows; "explosive cocktail ... in a sonata which, although apparently excessive, maintains a strong internal cohesion by virtue of a system of thematic derivation in which the elements seem to relate to each other”, and so interpreted Blechacz, exacerbated, bright, feverish, visionary, academic and of intellectual complexity. Theory and practice in its purest form.

Chopin is the Polish musician of excellence and now his best interpreter Blechacz, winner of the 2005 contest of his name, could not leave without giving us the Waltz # 3 in A Minor Op 34 No 2 to immerse us in the romantic piano as an epilogue of the lecture. And another piece, splendid in every meaning.

Rafał Blechacz near the exit, signing programs, disks, posing for fans and thanking our presence. Gratitude of the audience, healthier than usual and less than he deserves, but this would give a lot more.

The maestro of 27 years old who has broken into the history of the Great interpreters, and some think including myself that he is the pianist of the 21st century, and I hope to keep appreciating him.
(End of partial quote)


Beethoven and Chopin's Mazurka, touching - 2nd night in Lucerne


On December 6, Rafał Blechacz again caught the hearts of audience in Lucerne by playing Beethoven concerto No.2 with Luzerner Sinfonieorchester LSO under the direction of James Gaffigan.

"Tonight in Lucerne Rafał's appearance in KKL Luzern Konzertsaal mirrored that of yesterday.  Big ovation for his performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2. Coming back on stage several times to bow and accept audience's enthusiastic reception! Chopin's mazurka for encore".
(R.F.)


Dec 4, 2012

Review of Blechacz's CD Debussy Szymanowski by Gary Lemco (US)

Review of Blechacz's CD Debussy Szymanowski by written by Gary Lemco, very right with many interesting points.

Original review

Lemco wrote about Blechacz's performance a few times.

For example, this is his review of Blechacz's album "Chopin The Piano Concertos", March 2010.

This is his review of Blechacz's recital in San Jose, May 4, 2008, titled "The Wand of Youth".

Tickets sold out for a recital in Saitama and Kyoto, Japan

Tickets for a recital by Rafał Blechacz @Saitama Arts Theater Concert Hall, Saitama, and Aoyama Music Memorial Hall (Baroque Saal), Kyoto, Japan,  Feb. 2013 have been sold out.
Now tickets are available only for bigger venues.

Dec 1, 2012

Review of Rafał Blechacz's recital in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

A good review of Rafał Blechacz's recital at El teatro Pérez Galdós, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Nov. 26, written by JOSÉ SAMPEDRO PÉREZ.

Original review
Titled "Four Pianists into One."

To be translated in mid Dec.
(I have several reviews from Spain in the waiting queue.)



BR-Klassik, Pour le Piano - Tastenspiele: Rafał Blechacz, Dec.3

BR-Klassik, Pour le Piano - Tastenspiele: Rafał Blechacz,

@15:05, December 3 (CET)

BR-Klassik program page

by KlassikAkzente