Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

Blog

Sep 30, 2013

Bonus track

I don't remember if I posted about it (probably not); RB's album "Chopin Polonaises" has "Chopin's Waltz Op. 34-2" as a bonus track which is available from iTunes Store and other on-line shops in many countries.  Usually you need to buy the entire album to get the bonus.


All the albums that he released for Deutsche Grammophon has a bonus track, buyable on-line.

1 Chopin Mazurka Op. 50-1  (Chopin Complete Preludes)
2 Mozart Sonata in C major k.545 1st movement  (sonatas-haydn, mozart, beethoven)
3 Chopin Mazurka Op. 17-4  (Chopin Piano Concertos)
4 Debussy "clair de lune"  (Debussy Szymanowski)


Sep 29, 2013

From Deutsche Grammophon FB

Rafał Blechacz plays Polonaise No. 4, op.40-2.




*****

September 29 is a celebration of St. Archangel Raphael, Rafał Blechacz's patron saint, in Poland.  He now is in Portland.  Last year on his name's day, he was in Germany; in 2010, in Japan....to play music for his fans.
We wish him another great success in US.





Sep 28, 2013

Interview as preview of recitals in Portland, Oregon

A preview article of R. Blehcacz's recitals on Sept. 29 and 30 at Lincoln Hall, Portland, Oregon, written by JANA HANCHETT, posted on Oregon Artists Watch.

Original preview and interview
"In Chopin’s Shadow: Portland Piano International brings Polish sensation Rafał Blechacz"

Polish-Japanese edition of "Chopin Polonaises", Poland

I learned from a friend of mine in Poland that Polish-Japanese edited CD "Chopin Polonaises" by R. Blechacz has been sold in Poland.

Empik

The CD jacket and liner notes are written in both Polish and Japanese.  A good treat to both of us!!


Blog post by my friend in Poland (Japanese)
You can see some pictures of the bilingual edition.

From Poland to Portland

Portland Piano International on twitter
Blechacz is now in US!

Sep 27, 2013

Schumann concerto in Prague and Berlin

From muzikus.cz
The concert with Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin (Conductor: Cornelius Meister) in Prague.
"The third movement.....ensemble as a sunny day somewhere in the Mediterranean...."












And from Klassikakzente
At Berliner Philharmonie, Blechacz played Beethoven for an encore and then gave sign to a long line of audience members.




Sep 25, 2013

Review of "Chopin Polonaises", Italy

A nice review posted on PIANOSOLO, written by Gaetano Roberto.

Original review


*****
Another beautiful review of the concert in Berlin by DSO + R. Blechacz + C. Meister, written by Corina Kolbe

Original review

"Since the pianist Rafał Blechacz won the Chopin Competition in Warsaw in all categories, his name remains linked to the great compatriot. Even in the "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra" in A minor by Robert Schumann, performed in Berlin with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester DSO under the baton of Cornelius Meister, you recognize the paramount elegance and lightness of some of his interpretations of Chopin. Of the two souls that dwell in the chest of Schumann, Blechacz seems rather embody the dreamer "Eusebius," as opposed to the swaggering "Florestan". Very expressive cadenza in the first movement "Allegro affectionate" was played with great freedom and virtuosity. Also the beginning of the second movement "Intermezzo - Andantino grazioso", with the gentle melody of the piano supported by the strings, marks one of the particularly happy moment of the concerto. The soloist, already in an intimate dialogue with the winds in the first movement, during the execution comes closer and closer, familiar with the orchestra."

*****
This is a review of the concert in Berlin by DSO + R Blechacz + C. Meister, written by Matthias Nöther, posted on noethers-kritiken.de.

Original review

*****
And in US, the new album was officially launched.  Congrats, to his US fans ♡
From Deutsche Grammophon FB




Sep 24, 2013

Review of the DSO's Berlin concert

Review of the concert by DSO at Berliner Philharmonie on Sept. 22, with a focus on the young maestro, Cornelius Meister.  The last paragraph is about Rafał Blechacz, his interpretation of Schumann's piano concerto.

Original review on Berliner-zeitung

"And finally, the Piano Concerto by Robert Schumann - I seldom heard this piece at the Philharmonic so bright and full of details and at the same time sonorous, as under the hands of Rafał Blechacz,  whose designation as a young pianist, even eight years after winning the Chopin Competition is still fully justified. Blechacz's rubato playing has a breathtaking stunning supremacy for his ability to use tempo and time, his touch strikes infinitely delicate vibrations of emotion, and the relationship between piano and orchestra is filled with constant feedback".

(Translated by Jan Zum Vörde.
Lots of thanks to Jan! (๑•ᴗ•๑) When I get stuck, very often he extends me helping hands, especially when there are very important articles about RB from e.g. Amsterdam, Hamburg, etc..., in a way not giving me any additional burden.)


Blechacz first played with Meister
in 2010, if I remember.













Rafal Blechacz FB (as of Sept. 24) also posted the review.
"A great response from the audience and the press to Rafal's concert with Cornelius Meister and the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester in Berlin last Sunday! Read below a review from the Berliner Zeitung: "Blechacz's rubato playing and his control of measure and timing are breathtakingly confident and with his touch, he knows how to express the most subtle emotional vibrations."

Review of new album "Chopin Polonaises", Aargauer Zeitung

Review of Blechacz's new album "Chopin Polonaises", published by Aargauer Zeitung (Baden edition) on Sept. 20.  It gives the album five stars.


Jugend triumphiert
Wie anders doch das sechs Jahre ältere Junggenie Rafal Blechacz! Das Auftreten bescheiden, die Triumphe aber nicht weniger monumental. Nach dem Gewinn des berüchtigten Chopin-Wettbewerbs in Warschau im Jahr 2005 hat er der Klassikwelt gelassen bewiesen, welch grosser Pianist er ist, welch reifer Künstler er werden wird. Auch dank vielen Rückzügen in die Stille, in den Proberaum. Die Deutsche Grammophon gönnt Blechacz bloss alle zwei Jahre eine Aufnahme. In der neusten zeigt er einmal mehr, wie sensibel er sich in die Musik – diesmal in die Polonaisen – seines Landsmannes Frédéric Chopin einhört, wie klug er deren Höhepunkte findet, wie klangsinnlich er sie geniessen kann, wie entschieden sie tönten. Blechacz verleiht ihnen durch seine Wahrheitssuche einen revolutionären Geist. Die triumphalen Stücke durchtanzt er rauschhaft, und doch bleibt am Schluss sein Kopf klar. Faszinierend. CHRISTIAN BERZINS


*****
Answer the quiz to get RB's autographed CD "Polonaises".

from Universal Germany
Question: What is RB's first Chopin recording?
(Etudes, Preludes, Nocturnes). (*゚▽゚*)

Sep 23, 2013

Webradio broadcast : Schumann Piano Concerto

The concert of Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin (Piano: Rafał Blechacz, Conductor: Cornelius Meister) at Berliner Philharmonie on Sept. 22 will be broadcast by Deutschlandradio Kultur,

on September 29, 20:03 (Germany local time)

Dradio Kultur website


** Please be reminded that the planned broadcast is subject to change/cancellation without prior notice.

** Many thanks to Mr.Jan Zum Vörde and his family from the Netherlands for sharing with us the news of the broadcast. (๑•ᴗ•๑)


(Program)
Philharmonie Berlin
Aufzeichnung vom 22.09.2013

David Philip Hefti
"Changements", Stimmungsbilder für Orchester

Robert Schumann
Konzert für Klavier und Orchester a-Moll op. 54

Johannes Brahms
Sinfonie Nr. 2 D-Dur op. 73


Rafał Blechacz, Klavier
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Leitung: Cornelius Meister



Sep 20, 2013

Review of Blechacz's "Chopin Polonaises" - The Telegraph

Geoffrey Norris of The Telegraph highly evaluates Blechacz's new album.
He gives five stars.

"Rafał Blechacz reaches to the heart of the seven works in this programme, his expressive personality finding a compelling accord with Chopin’s own, says Geoffrey Norris".

Original review on The Telegraph

"Strength, depth, tenderness, warmth:a vast range of colours in Rafal Blechacz's new CD of Chopin's polonaises..."





Blechacz gives autograph at Berliner Philharmonie, Sept. 22

Rafal Blechacz will play Schumann Piano Concerto with Deutsche Symphonie Orchester Berlin (Conductor: Cornelius Meister) at Berliner Philharmonie, on Sept. 22, 20:00.
During the intermission, Blechacz will give autograph on his new CD "Chopin Polonaises", Klassikakzente and Universal Music Germany say.



Program pate at Berliner Philharmoniker

Concert pamphlet (PDF)


Blechacz signing at Berliner Philharmonie in Dec. 2008, his debut in Berlin.



Sep 19, 2013

From Deutsche Grammophon FB






Sep 17, 2013

Interview on "Polonaises" by culture.pl (English)

Interview on "Polonaises" by culture.pl (English)

The Polonaise According To Blechacz

"(.....) Of course I recorded it in a studio. In the same studio that I recorded the first album Chopin Preludes. The instrument was picked from the concert hall in Hamburg almost without thinking. The wide tonal volume articulates all the critical climaxes so important to polonaise, and the songs sound very nice on that piano. Also, the typical lyrical parts come out very beautifully. I had the opportunity to find different shades, colours and sounds with this piano (.....)"

Original interview in Polish 

*****

Art and Business
with reference to reviews in London, SF and by Gramophone.

creatives.waw

What to say when a virtuoso plays genius? You can only hear. (a Polish site)

Sep 16, 2013

German media introducing Blechacz's album "Polonaises"

On Morgenweb.de

Matured and unassailable
"It has been always clear that he is the best among the best….. Now he has matured. Chopin Polonaises speak more than anything he has ever played in his concert at the Schwetzingen Festival. Sonically unassailable, Blechacz from a country that he knows well, let an era resurrected, which is among the greatest in the history of music, and all this tells of course high virtuosity, with homogeneous tempo rubato, free, romantic and just incredibly beautiful".

Polish media introducing Blechacz's Polonaises

On meakultura.pl

The article refers to UK Gramophone's review on Blechacz's performance in Washington DC (Feb. 2010) and his CD "Chopin Piano Concerti",

"(.....) In the recital hall, with most of the distractions of life kept at bay, Blechacz’s playing was a revelation. The clarity, the finesse, the discipline with tempo and dynamics and the maturity of it was striking…. . His musicality flourishes in the right repertoire, under the right conditions….. He is studious, in the best sense, searching and probing, but always within the confines of the text…. He isn’t searching for Chopin the young showman of Chopin the craftsman of perfect Parisian miniatures. He is interested in the Polish Chopin, and in this bicentennial of the composer’s birth, it’s good to hear from a young Pole on the subject…".


as well as his interview for Rzeczpospolita.

"(.....) Polonaise must remain polonaise, besides, I always thought to put myself behind the composer, and that has not changed. I'm a musician, for whom the most important is what he wrote, regardless of whether he left us more or less freedom of interpretation (.....)"

Sep 15, 2013

Interview on Rzeczpospolita

A tentative English translation of the interview that R.Blechacz gave to Jacek Marczyński, posted on Rzeczpospolita on Sept. 9, the previous day of the release of his new album "Chopin Polonaises".

*****
The new CD by Rafał Blechacz will premiere tomorrow. Not surprisingly, the Pole proves that he entered into mature age - says Jacek Marczyński .

Blechacz’s new album remains in the range of Chopin's music. He recorded Chopin’s seven polonaises composed between 1835 and the year 1846. Among them are the most famous, almost immortal hits: Polonaise in A major and Polonaise in A flat major.

- That's right - says " Rz " Rafal Blechacz
- However, there aren't many CDs of Chopin’s complete polonaises . Artur Rubinstein recorded, for example, three at different times, recording the last one probably in 1967. And in the catalog of Deutsche Grammophon, you can find only the recording made by Maurizio Pollini 37 years ago.

This is the third Chopin CD that Rafał Blechacz publishes from Deutsche Grammophon.
 - I know the repertoire doesn’t surprise anyone - he admits.
 – I am a pianist who won the Chopin Competition. Admittedly, there were opinions that I may go away from this music for 10-15 years and then come back to it. This would be artificial. Chopin is always present in my life and I still include his works in recitals, in which I play Bach, Beethoven and Szymanowski.

About that competition, of course, he remembers it, but he has no time for recollection.
 - I am focused on expanding the repertoire for future projects - he adds. And he agrees with the opinion once expressed by Krystian Zimerman that it must take about seven years to break free from the burden of winning the competition.
 - After this period, a sense is obtained that the artistic life consists of concert activities for showing up in a different repertoire and styles, and logic leading career - says Blechacz .

He also says and I feel so that he plays in a way not to have a large ( controversial ) change compared with how he did it before.
 - Polonaise must remain polonaise, besides, I always thought to put myself behind the composer, and that has not changed. I'm a musician, for whom the most important is what he wrote, regardless of whether they left us more or less freedom of interpretation. Sometimes in a music, with the unchanged beauty given to us by the composer, it is much more difficult to include my own little beauty, personal emotions. This does not mean, however, that it is impossible. The path I have chosen is not playing something like this, if only it is different.

The biggest inspiration for me is the work itself and admiration of him. This is how I draw all the ideas of interpretation. It is the way sometimes maybe taking a little longer, but it allows you to discover the original executable solutions that are rooted in the work rather than in transient caprices or something against intention.

Although all these works have long been in the repertoire, the record was created slowly. The idea was crystallized in 2010, but then he found that entrance to the studio will be ready in about three years. He needed time to refine the polonaises on different stages under different acoustic conditions. The most important was that he wanted to present a dependable history.

- If I did not take any history lesson, reading texts by Mickiewicz, Norwid and Sienkiewicz, the interpretation of these works would have been completely different. In the Polonaise in F sharp minor, I can see - before mazurka in the middle section - marching troops. Then a short memory, reflection and sudden forte, which I always play here so that the column of soldiers is suddenly found in front of me. Then muting, but not so as to lose energy, but to create an impression of retreating army.  I don’t want to say that a pianist, who has no Polish root can’t interpret polonaise and mazurka, because the most important is personal sensibilities. But also it is our national spirit. I find Polish heritage in them.

He has many special memories of the Polonaise - Fantaisie.

- I started to play it very early, in 2006 - he says.
 - I remember the tour in Japan, I performed it in 12 recitals and I was under the impression that after each performance it was getting closer to me. It is impossible to record such an extraordinary piece without this stage experience. In the studio, you cannot create the atmosphere of concert. Sometimes, the house was so quiet that I felt that the audience entered the world of this music, which assured me that my interpretation was going to the right direction.


Several years ago, he discovered another passion besides music: philosophy. And he began studying at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.

- Recently I made a small writing about the logic of a musical work, its importance for the interpretation on the basis of considerations of Roman Ingarden and German philosophers and musicologists – he said.

- This text will be published in "Ruch Filozoficzny (Philosophical Movement)." A scientific way for me to help. When concentrating on the logic of mazurka and polonaise, I could look at what I'm doing at the piano differently.

(Note)
*** RB talked about the philosophical article that he wrote to be published by the prestigious paper of philosophy, during another interview to Japan Arts in May this year. He said the subject of his writing was related to Ingarden’s theory. He also said that recently he is reading books of Władysław Tatarkiewicz, another Polish Philosopher, though his theory is a bit different from Ingarden’s. Blechacz mentioned of “Way Through The Aesthetic”, as an example of the books by Tatarkiewicz.***


(Note)
*** RB talked about the philosophical article that he wrote to be published by the prestigious paper of philosophy, during another interview to Japan Arts in May this year. He said the subject of his writing was related to Ingarden’s theory. He also said that recently he is reading books of Władysław Tatarkiewicz, another Polish Philosopher, though his theory is a bit different from Ingarden’s. Blechacz mentioned of “Way Through The Aesthetic”, as an example of the books by Tatarkiewicz.***





To a question of whether the scientific inquiry, however, may kill artistic spontaneity, he answers,

- Concerning this, it will be another part of my job; I’m writing about it. Freedom is not a thing that can be planned, it is as if writing in a piece of music; there are undefined places, which, for example, Ingarden points out with literary work. But there is something more that sometimes occurs during the concert: something metaphysical. At some point, we experience something completely unexpected, as in the arts it cannot be explained and named till the end. But in a sense, you can describe it, so I'll have a responsible job.

Studies combined with performances, which is not always easy.
 (explanation of his schedule in autumn)

- If I talk about myself that I am a mature pianist, it would sound immodest - he says.

- Certainly I'm more experienced than the time when I won the Chopin Competition. But at that time I was not "totally green" in my interpretations. Playing pieces in different halls and situations, however, gives me courage to stepping up various ideas of interpretation.  I hope you can hear it on the album.

*****

There was a beautiful interview that RB gave to Jacek Marczyński on release of his previous album "Debussy Szymanowski".  This was one of the best articles in my impression on this album among lots of articles published in early 2012.

*****
I'll welcome any suggestion/correction of this rudimentary English translation...thanks!



Sep 14, 2013

Interview on CD "Polonaises", Poland

on Culture.pl
interviewed by Filip Lech

News release by Polish Radio
"Virtuoso pianist Blechacz releases new CD"

Sep 13, 2013

Universal Music Poland

Universal Music Poland on Sept. 12
"Chopin's Polonaises already gold"

cjg.gazeta.pl

Review of album "Chopin Polonaises" on gpcodziennie.pl
"Arch-Polish Polonaises by Blechacz"

Registration needed to read the whole review.

Sep 12, 2013

Universal Music Italia

From Universal Music Italia on Sept. 11
11 Settembre 2013

RAFAL BLECHACZ PRESENTA LA SUA NUOVA REGISTRAZIONE DELLE POLACCHE DI CHOPIN.

Rafal Blechacz torna a registrare Chopin, il compositore grazie al quale si è affermato a livello mondiale vincendo la 15ª edizione del celebre Concorso Internazionale a Varsavia. Tra i premi speciali che la giuria gli assegnò ci fu proprio quello per la miglior esecuzione di una Polacca.

Questa incisione ci permette finalmente di ascoltare il formidabile pianista nelle 7 Polacche tra cui la “Militare”, l'“Eroica” e la “Polacca-Fantasia”.

Rafal Blechaz si esibirà all’Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Roma dal 30 novembre al 2 dicembre 2013.
Clicca sulla cover del CD e guarda il video di presentazione.

CHOPIN
Polacce n. 1-7
Rafal Blechacz
CD 4790928
Deutsche Grammophon
Dall' 8 ottobre nei migliori negozi e in digitale 

Rafał Blechacz at Deutsche Grammophon



Sep 11, 2013

Gold disc status in Poland on the day of release

Deutsche Grammophon announcement on the release date, Sept. 10, 2013.


BLECHACZ’S CHOPIN GOES GOLD ON DAY OF RELEASE IN POLAND
Polonaises take his native Poland by storm

Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz’s recording of Chopin Polonaises has gone Gold in Poland on the day of its release.
The recording features seven Polonaises, including the celebrated “Polonaise Fantaisie”. Blechacz has a winning way with this highly emotional, popular and poetic music and the new recording has been very keenly anticipated.
His last release, featuring Debussy and Blechacz’s compatriot Szymanowski, was named winner of the “Best Classical Album of the Year” at the Polish Fryderyk Awards and went Gold in his native country within a week of release in February 2012.
In 2008 he scooped “The Most Outstanding Polish Music Recording” at the Polish Fryderyk Awards for his recordings of the Chopin Préludes and won again in 2010 for his Chopin Piano Concertos.
*****
A Spanish media reporting of the Gold.
What is written is very similar to DG's announcement.

Sep 10, 2013

Sep 9, 2013

Trailer of Rafał Blechacz's new album "Chopin Polonaises" by Deutsche Grammophon

Watch and listen to trailer videos of Rafał Blechacz's new album "Chopin Polonaises" produced by Deutsche Grammophon.

Trailer



Polonaise No.1 op26-1



Polonaise No.3 op40-1



All the videos are available on DG's Rafał Blechacz official site.





Sep 8, 2013

From KDSchmid/Klassikakzente

Rafał Blechacz releases his new CD with works by Frédéric Chopin on September 6th. The Polish pianist recorded the Polonaises No. 1 to No. 7: „I feel very close to the music of Chopin. It gives us the possibility of expressing so many emotional shades. Melancholy, but also joy and energy.” The recording is released under Deutsche Grammophon (.....)

KDSchmid website


Die ganze Pracht - Rafał Blechacz spielt Chopins Polonaisen
Was für eine Kraft, was für eine Feinheit! Der Pianist Rafał Blechacz schafft es, den Bravourstücken seines Landsmanns Frédéric Chopin ein Höchstmaß an Ausdruckskraft abzugewinnen. Ein neuer Klassiker, eindeutig.

Klassiakzente website


Sep 7, 2013

Two articles from Germany: praise and interview

Crescendo Magazine in classical music celebrates its 15th anniversary and recently published a book in which its journalists review the recordings from the past 50 years to select the best 100. Rafał Blechacz’s album “Chopin The Piano Concertos” is selected and highly praised.  Anna Novak, who wrote a note for the album got goose bumps while listening to his album.

The book is titled, „Das Buch zum Jubiläum die 100 Lieblings Alben : das Crescendo Redaktion aus 50 Jahren Klassik 1963-2013“.









***************
Rafał Blechacz gave an interview to Weser-Kurier in August, 2013.



Text of the interview (German)

*****
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Visitors are asked to contact the author of this website personally before quoting any material which is exclusive to www.blechaczinfo.com




Sep 6, 2013

Promo Video of Rafał Blechacz's new album "Chopin Polonaises"

Watch and listen to Rafał Blechacz playing and talking about Polonaises
from

Klassikakzente website and
Universal Germany website


From Sound Cloud: R. Blechacz plays six Polonaises

Release note on Klassikakzente

Today is the day of International release of the album.
Wishing for a great success (๑•ᴗ•๑)