This Competition Is Very Special
no-image, This Competition Is Very Special
Marta Argerich talks to Alek Laskowski...
Marta Argerich with Stanisław Leszczyński (right) and Alek Laskowski
Marta Argerich talks to Alek Laskowski
Marta Argerich: Do you know that this is La Maestra of the Competition winner from the previous? [she nods to Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń]
Aleksander Laskowski: Of course. What do you think about Rafał Blechacz?
I like him a lot, although I have listened to him on YouTube only. It is a very honest, extraordinary and sensitive artist. I once listened to Chopin's Preludes on the radio. I didn't know who was playing but I loved the interpretation. It was Rafał Blechacz.
Tell me about your concert at the "Chopin and his Europe" Music Festival.
The one with Maria João Pires? We played for the first time together, the whole thing was a bit improvised. Staszek [Stanisław Leszczyński] told me, that the pianist who was to perform the piano version of Beethoven's Violin Concerto had to cancel at short notice. Staszek asked me to step in and perform Beethoven Nr. 2. My answer was simply "I don't know". On the next day I said that the odds are 65%. On the following it was 78%. At the hotel I met Maria João and told her the whole story. "I haven't touched this concerto for a year!" I said. "And I for six month!" she replied. We decided to share that piece. I think that it was a historic moment - two pianists playing parts of the same concert during one performance. We also played the same Mozart Sonata as here with Nelson Freire [KV 381]. That evening I felt really happy.
How did you like the Erard from 1849?
Maria João warned me that it would be very difficult as that piano has only two colours. "And you, she said, always use all the colours in the world. What will you do?" After the concert she exclaimed: "I have heard all the colours! You DID IT!" I really enjoyed playing an original piano, although I didn't have much time to practice. Other pianists say that they need at least two weeks to play an old piano really well. I don't know, how it went because I haven't listened to the recording. I hope it was fine.
So maybe you should record a CD with Chopin on original instruments?
A nice idea! But I don't know.
Stanisław Leszczyński: Maybe the candidates at the Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition should also compete on original instruments?
That would be great. Actually, recently I have thought about it myself. But they would have to play in a different hall.
Aleksander Laskowski: My final question: is being a member of the Jury at the Competition really hard work?
It is something extraordinary as this Competition is very special. I am overwhelmed with high emotions all the time. I also learn lot, when I listen to young pianists. They do most interesting things of all sorts
Thank you for the interview.
Martha Argerich [to Stanisław Leszczyński]: Staszek, how is Ivo Pogorelich?
Interview by Alek Laskowski
The article comes from the Chopin Express gazette published for the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition by Adam Mickiewicz Institute and Gramophone.
View the audition recitals online at chopin2010.pl/en/competitions/xvith-chopins-competition.html
Other articles of interest in Chopin Express No. 09:
"Hoax! Hoax!" - Essay by Krzysztof Komarnicki