CD of the Week: Rafał Blechacz: Johann Sebastian Bach

The Polish pianist (and former organist) curates an album featuring works from Bach’s timeless Clavier-Übung collections.

"Of course, it's very important to be well-informed about Baroque style... but sometimes with Bach I feel it's even more important to listen to your heart and intuition." -  Rafał Blechacz

At the heart of J.S. Bach’s compositions lay his sensitivities towards the performer. Many of his most celebrated keyboard works were originally composed as practice etudes. A rich collection of these pieces was published as four books entitled Clavier-Übung ("Keyboard Practice"), and has since remained a favorite for piano performers. Now, Rafał Blechacz performs works from three of these celebrated collections, returning to the essence of his distinct musical voice.

Before he turned his attentions to the piano,  Rafał Blechacz played the organ. His experiences as an organist influence how he plays Bach's music on a piano:

"From the outset Bach has been central to my development as a pianist. Originally I was in fact fascinated by the organ, and my childhood memories are closely associated with the sound of the organ in church. Indeed, I even wanted to become an organist. And even after it had become clear to me that my instrument was the piano, I was still determined to play Bach... Of course, [the piano] sounds completely different from the instruments of three hundred years ago, but the player should still develop a very specific intonation for this type of music. At the very least I'd like to try to come close to the sound of a harpsichord."

Watch a trailer for this album:

For more information and to purchase this recording, visit ArkivMusic.