which was aired on March 7, 2010 via TV ARTE, is now available via YouTube.
The TV program was produced at a time when Rafał Blechacz gave a recital at Laeiszhalle, Hamburg on October 6, 2009.
Blechacz spoke in English but in the TV program, it is partially voiced-over by German narration.
Jan, a fan of Blechacz in Holland translated the German back into English, which is placed under each video with approximate time.
Let me thank Jan thousands times for giving us the clue to understand what is discussed here.
(It often deeply impresses me that people of the Netherlands and some European countries command multiple languages; if I can be born again I want to live in such a cosmopolitan environment.)
Please understand that some English wordings here may have been changed from the original remarks by Blechacz in the process of conversions between two languages.
These videos have been uploaded with HD (high definition) enabled on YouTube.
I recommend that you go to Youtube site (by right-clicking the screen here for the option) to deal with the videos with the highest definition.
(Chopin Polonaise Fansasie in A flat major op.61)
For me the most important is to be natural, in life and also in playing the piano. Then the interpretation is authentic, because it is real and the audience can understand it in the right way.
(from Szymanowski Variations in B flat minor, op.3, Variation XII: Allegro con fuoco )
Seeking for very...extremely original vision of... (sorry not audible)...I'd like to follow.
Because for me it is important to understand the core and all composers intentions.
Of course I can show my emotions but an interpretation must reflect both: my own feelings, those of the composers as well as the style of the composer.
(Chopin Mazurkas op.17-2, 3)
When I took part in the Chopin Competition a dream came true. I had no idea how well the others were. Before and during the competition I had no contact with other participants. I did not know their level. I did not watch TV, or listen to the radio or read newspapers. I wanted to concentrate on my own program. I think it helped me to get the right concentration.
(Chopin Heroic Polonaise op.53, from 2005 Chopin Competition)
When I heard the results. I was very very happy. The first prize: for the best mazurka, polonaise piano concerto and piano sonata. And the second prize was not awarded. Krystian Zimerman sent me a wonderful letter with congratulations and he wrote that from now on your life will be completely changed.
(Chopin Ballad No.3 in A flat major op.47)
I am always very happy when I can share my experience with the public. For an artist it is very important to collect stage experience. I see that it changed my own playing after experiences with the public/audience. In my case often it is my idea and intuition that makes my interpretation. I know simply how a certain part must sound specific.
(Chopin Prelude in E minor op.28-4)
Of course Chopin’s music is very close to me, to my heart. There are emotions that I can understand very well. Like melancholy, grief, desperation, which are in mazurkas. But in Chopin’s music there is also joy, especially in the early compositions, as the piano concertos. But when he lives abroad in Paris maybe sometimes he had a lot of sadness and pain. We can hear it. I remember a concert where I played the Mazurka s Op 50 and 17, Op 17 which I also play tonight. The last mazurka Op 17 is very nostalgic and very ….. This is the end….. And when I finished the audience did not react. They did not applaud, it was fully quiet, hypnotized. That was for me a big sign, because I did know that the audience the interpretation, my interpretation, really liked very much. So it was amazing.
(Chopin Mazurka in A minor op.17-4)
(Chopin Polonaise Fantasie in A flat major op.61)
For example Polonaise-Fantasie … amazing piece, probably the most difficult, because everything is in it. Of course you can find the characteristic elements of the polonaise, the typical Polish dance. Above all this piece has many unconventional moments. It is difficult to explain. For example the end of the polonaise, an unbelievable place, which reminds me an internal struggle, leading to a victory in the end. Specially the last accord is important for me: it sounds like the ultimate fulfillment. That seems to be a little philosophical, but this music has a lot to say. But I can feel that something important is in this music.
(Chopin Polonaise Fantasie in A flat major op.61, continued)
We experience in our life a lot of emotions and feelings. I will be happy when I can express these into music. This is my role to enter in the emotions of the composer and bring these emotions afresh.
Rafał Blechacz interviewed by Teresa Pieschacón when the TV program was produced.
From a a blog by a French person who watched this TV program and was astounded and deeply moved by Blechacz's playing Chopin pieces.
Reviews of Blechacz' Hamburg recital, Oct.6, 2009
It's amazing that I can watch such a program at home without going to Germany.
The program is extremely well done, very inspiring, historically important and I suppose it will be watched by next generation, too.
I would like to thank all the people who made it possible to watch the wonderful program.
I also noticed that the German audience is very nice as has been described by Rafał Blechacz several times in interviews; neatly turned out, attentive to the artist's performance and well-versed in music.
"The ultimate fulfillment", suggestive expression, helping me understand a little better the way Blechacz plays the last accord of Polonaise Fantasie.
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