Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

Blog

Nov 22, 2014

Standing ovation to Blechacz for his long waited performance in Poznań

On Friday, Nov. 21, the artist was back to Poznań to play Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto in C minor op.37, his first performance there in four and half years, with many fans eagerly waiting for.


..
Program page

Antonio MÉNDEZ - conductor
Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra

Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Hector Berlioz Fantastic Symphony, Op. 14

He got a standing ovation and as encores he returned with three pieces - Intermezzo by Brahms, Polonaise As dur and Prelude by Chopin, according to gloswielkopolski.pl (see pictures of the performance and standing ovation).

 of the rehearsal, which was made open to the public for their huge interest in the performance.

Before the concert, he gave interviews to Polish media.

Interviewer Anna Plenzler

Interviewer Marek Zaradniak

He talks about the Gilmore Artist Award, why playing Beethoven's concerto, happy meeting with Trevor Pinnock at Concertgebouw in 2012, plan of incoming album and performances, study of philosophy, etc...  As he usually does, he includes something interesting - one or two new items in each interview which otherwise could be a recap of what he's already mentioned before.


Video interview is also available.












He'll play this concerto again in Warsaw on Feb. 24 with Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Jacek Kaspszyk. English Polish

*****


RB's performance at The Gilmore Keyboard Festival 2014 will be broadcast.

Listen Live at 8 PM  (Michigan local time)
http://wmuk.org


December 2, 2014    Chopin: Three Mazurkas, Op. 63

December 9, 2014    Chopin: Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp Minor, Op. 39 and other piece

January 27, 2015     Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
                            Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
                            Conductor: Raymond Harvey

(Thanks to Operasora for the news (^_^). Danke!)

*****
On the same day that RB was in Poznań, Krystian Zimerman was in Kawasaki, Japan to play Brahms Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor with BRSO (directed by Mariss Jansons), their first performance of Japan tour. (Sold out six months ago).

from BRSO twitter


Oct 26, 2014

He outperformed raised expectations - Rafał Blechacz in Carnegie Hall and North America

On Oct. 23, RB appeared at Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall), NY.

Take that, the Elevated Ecpectations!  The Pianist Rafal Blechacz at Zankel Hall, New York Times, Oct.24

" (.....)The risk in offering such often-heard repertory is that a pianist will be tempted to do something novel for novelty’s sake to make an interpretation stand out. But Mr. Blechacz found subtle ways to uncover freshness and spontaneity in these scores (.....)"

"(.....) He ended with Chopin’s stormy Polonaise in F sharp minor (Op. 44), a performance that captured all the craggy intensity of the music, which curiously breaks into a beguiling mazurka-like middle section (.....)
I am still thinking about that fitful polonaise (.....)"
(Anthony Tommasini)

Carnegie Hall program page

Photo credit; www.nytimes.com


In an interview for Polish media, Blechacz says that it was his first concert at Carnegie Hall and remembers his debut with New York Philharmonic to play Chopin's F-minor concerto at Lincoln Center in 2008, adding Carnegie Hall is a special place so he definitely will remember this experience.

Another reporting in Swedish;  "Standing Ovation to Blechacz at Carnegie Hall
"It was a great concert. It is very enjoyable to be able to present such a young musical talent.  He will be a great musician", said Clive Gillinson, Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall.  Blechacz appreciates a warm, enthusiastic and cordial reception by the NY audience.


Before playing in NY, he gave three recitals in North America this month - standing ovations everywhere.

Oct. 14
SFJAZZ Center (2014/15 SF Performances Piano Series)  ☆

  Nice review by Ken Iisaka ♪

    Perfect review by Gary Lemco  ♫

"(.....) The final work of the concert proper, the F-sharp Minor Polonaise, Op. 44 (1841) released whatever “symphonic” ambitions Blechacz and Chopin share for the keyboard. From the huge opening octaves to the lyric episodes that borrow from mazurka rhythm, Blechacz projected an unequivocal sense of Romantic heroism in this piece, a testament to the tragedy and triumph of Chopin’s innate nationalism. With its A Major middle section fraught with rolling cannon fire, the piece under Blechacz might have been construed as an extended ballade, rife with exalted and theatrical gestures (.....)" (Gary Lemco)

Oct. 17
Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, Houston   
  
  Preview on Houstonchronicle.com
    A nice article with some interview by the artist, but now it requires registration.


Oct. 19
Koerner Hall, Toronto

   Preview article

   Pic by Royal Conservatory, the organizer
   Pic by an audience member

I saw many SNS posts with pictures taken by audience members at autographic sessions in these three venues.

This one impressed me most.
"Meet my childhood idol Rafal Blechacz in Houston tonight". by a 21-year-old pianist.

Blechacz is already a childhood idol of some young pianists..!
Yes I know a few of them.



Mazurka Op.56-3 in 2005.  How has he changed since then?


On Oct. 26, he finishes the North American tour of 2014
at Union College, NY, the venue where judges of the 2014 Gilmore Artist Award discovered Blechacz in 2012.

Preview article



*****
News conference was held in mid Oct. about the 17th Chopin International Piano Competition (2015). Prof. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, one of the teachers of Blechacz at  Feliks Nowowiejski Music Academy, Bydgoszcz., will be the head of the jury.  YUNDI is sitting with those well-known big figures as a judge.

     English release, Nov. 2013



Oct 14, 2014

Piano concertos in C minor by Mozart and Beethoven

This year and last year RB reportedly played piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven in C minor time and again.

Latest performances of Mozart were with National Orchestra of Belgium, directed by Andrey Boreyko in Belgium (Oct.2, 3 and 5)

A review on Crescendo of the concert on Oct. 3  at BOZAR, Belgium.

".....For its part, the Piano Concerto No. 24 by Mozart gets a greater symphonic body (wind) and a formal and melodic inspiration more developed. Boreyko and Rafał Blechacz played the card of finesse: beautiful keyboard control, maturity of sound and appropriate style. Blechacz’s playing pleasantly approaches improvisation with many dynamic and melodic contrasts. The clear baton of Boreyko accompanies the soloist carefully but could be more flexible in reading, sometimes too serious. Nevertheless, his expertise of accompaniment is felt naturally here: one breath, accurate startings and special attention to the flow of the score. This concert will be kept in our minds....."  (Ayrton Desimpelaere)


Rafał Blechacz talks about the Mozart concerto on RTBF.be (audio)
(Interview, broadcast on Oct. 3)

Mozart w/ Pinnock at Mozarteum, Salzburg
Photo credit: Mozarteum Orchestra
Review of the concert


Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3, Blechacz played it many times, too.
From a review of the concert with Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM,) directed by Kent Nagano for OSM Virée Classique Couche-Tard Festival (Aug, 2014).


".....The great Rafał gave quite a performance today with the orchestra led by our Maestro Kent Nagano. We were greatly privileged to be able to hear and see this talented Polish pianist. He played on the piano with great finesse and passion and was in all delicacy at the same time when executing on his instrument. All the emotions were emanated to every note. In short, it was a great musical discovery....."


Blechacz already worked with Kent Nagano last year in Rome with the Mozart's concerto with Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

(And with Boreyko, too: he performed Chopin's F-minor concerto for four nights in a row in Feb. 2010 in Rome, making the biggest concert hall in Rome full every day).

This month, Nagano with his orchestra OSM is touring my country; their refreshing non-European, non-American sound enthusiastically welcomed by music lovers here.


Rafał Blechacz will play these concertos with wonderful orchestras in coming months.


At Gilmore Keyboard Festival Master Class, May 2014
Photo credit The Gilmore.org

May 15, 2014

Rafal Blechacz playing Beethoven at Wiener Musikverein with Wiener Symphoniker


Program page on Musikverein



Click a picture to see Blechacz playing during the Generalprobe.

***
The concert on May 15 will be broadcast by ORF.at,
on May 25, 11:03.

ORF.at program site



The concert on May 15 will be broadcast by ORF.at,
on May 25, 11:03.

2014 Gilmore Festival - Rafał Blechacz — at Chenery Auditorium





They provides eight pictures.  Click on a picture to see the next.


May 5, 2014

Rafał Blechacz, The 2014 Gilmore Artist, at Gilmore Keyborad FestivalGala, May 3 & recital, May 6, 2014


Photo credit: http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2014/05/2014_gilmore_artist_rafal_blec_2.html

"(....) Blechacz exhibited fine stage presence. At the keyboard, his movements were measured and graceful. Hands and fingers in particular bespoke a performer aware of his strengths. His attacks and releases were unfailingly splendid, while runs and trills were exquisite. Blechacz showed himself a “compleat” artist.

This year the new artist was joined by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for two concerti. Featured were Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No, 3 in C Minor, Op. 37 (.....)" 
Read more the review by Erik Holladay on mlive.com.


April 25, Blechacz's album "Chopin Polonaises" was awarded the 2014 Frydelic Award in two categories:
”Best Polish Classical Album Abroad” and “Best Classical Recording”.
List of awardees on Fryderik Award website

His recent performances:
April 26     Recital at Spivy Hall, Clayton State University, GA 
April 25     Recital at Mandell Hall, Chicago University        a nice review

April 10     Recital at BASF-Feierabendhaus (Festsaal) - Ludwigshafen , Germany
                         a review by operasora

April 7       Recital at Prinzregententheater - Munich , Germany
                   a nice review 1  
                  Interview by BR Klassik (audio)

April 4       Recital at Philharmonie (Kammermusiksaal) - Berlin , Germany
                  ☆ (The organizer showed a wrong program)       one of the reviews

April 2       Recital at Liederhalle - Stuttgart , Germany  

March 28   Recital at Auditorium - Lyon  
March 25   Recital at Grand Théâtre de Provence - Aix-en-Provence, France
                one of the reviews

March 17   Recital at Tonhalle, Zurich  


Feb. 4       Beethoven: Piano Concerto no. 3 with Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
               Conductor: John Storgårds at Liederhalle Stuttgart, Germany    Review

Feb. 3        Schumann: Piano Concerto with  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
                Conductor: John Storgårds
                at Alte Oper Frankfurt Frankfurt am Main, Germany  

Jan. 31      Schumann concerto at Helsinki Music Centre  

Jan. 24      Chopin: Piano Concertos nos. 1 & 2 with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
                Conductor: Trevor Pinnock at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
                 a beautiful photo

Jan. 22      Chopin: Piano Concerto no. 2 with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
                Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev  in Lingotto

photo credit: http://www.gbopera.it/2014/01/67757/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=67757

Jan. 20      Chopin: Piano Concertos nos. 1 & 2, with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
                 Conductor: Trevor Pinnock at Die Glocke - Bremen, Germany  

Jan. 8        Seleced The 2014 Gilmore Artist

From commemorative performances at NY WQXR



Watch the full video from The Gilmore website


2013
Dec. 17     Recital at Saitama Arts Center
Dec. 16     Recital at Yokohama Minato Mirai Hall
Dec. 14     Recital at Tokyo Opera City Cobcert Hall   See nice pictures
Dec. 13     Recital at Musashino Civic Cultural Hall    See pictures from the Hall's FB




About RB's album "Polonaises",

Displaying a brilliantly secure technique, the young Polish pianist is fully up to the challenges of these glittering pieces. He also feels the nostalgia and longing of the music, and hearing him play the Polonaises is like hearing an authentically Viennese performances of a waltz. --BBC Music Magazine, Christmas Issue 2013 

 I think we all might agree on a new benchmark with the arrivel of this recording from Rafal Blechacz...It is a rare integrale in which every work is as technically successful and musically convincing as all its companions...this is Chopin-playing of the highest order, with recorded piano sound that far surpasses the earlier versions. --Gramophone Magazine, December 2013

"His CD is considered as among the best productions of the year" by la1.rsi.ch


*****
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