Friday, January 18, 2008

The last recital of the "invisible" Dinu Lipatti

In classical music, some records stand out as testaments of not only genius and divine inspiration but incredibly moving feats of courage and transcendence in artistic achievement. Dinu Lipatti fits in this restricted category of exceptional artists. Born in 1917, this Romanian pianist of unequalled brilliance studied under Alfred Cortot, Charles Munch, Paul Dukas and Nadia Boulanger.

What distinguished Lipatti from other pianists was that, in a very short time and while being still very young, he reached such a height of technical perfection and intellectual musical maturity that whenever he played he became "invisible". Great pianists have the tendency to "be there", genius talent and all. Therefore the music that you listen to, is "interpreted". In the case of Lipatti the only one present was Music.

Unfortunately early on in his life he was diagnosed with leukemia. In 1950, with diminished strength and against the advice of his doctors, he decided on one last concert in Besançon. And what a fairwell to music that was! Despite being under a lot of physical pain, this modest Artist gave unmatched performances of Bach’s B flat major Partita, Mozart's A minor Sonata, Schubert's G flat major and E flat major Impromptus, and thirteen of Chopin's 14 Waltzes. He only excluded No. 2, which he was too exhausted to play. He died less than 3 months later at the age of just 33 but his legacy will live on for ever. Listen and marvel.

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