Preludia - Unofficial website for Rafal Blechacz

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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