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...on Lipatti

Biography


Henri Gagnebin, the Director of the Music Conservatory of Geneva
during the time Dinu Lipatti held classes there:
“Between 1935 and 1950, Dinu Lipatti brightened the world of music. Admirable performer, composer of high perspectives, man of angelic purity, he seemed destined to dominate the art of our times. His life on this earth was short-lived. Take from us when he was thirty-three, he could have been a meteorite: passing across the sky and leaving no trace behind. The miracle is that after twenty years he is still alive - through his recordings, his music, and his memory, as his mother and his wife call up.”

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin
in the preface to Lipatti:
„If it is true that music makes human relationships grow bigger and stronger, it is just as true that Dinu Lipatti was like a brother to me – George Enescu being our spiritual and musical godfather.”

Pianist Madeleine Lipatti, the artist’s wife
about Lipatti’s first public recital ever, in May 1922, at the Romanian Athenaeum. Aged then five years, she was one of the spectators:
“A five-year old boy dressed in black velvet was seated in front of a piano. Leaning gently towards him, the father seemed to encourage the child to play. And so he did – a series of piano pieces he himself had composed, and which charmed us all. In guise of fee, the boy was offered a small fox-terrier. He left the stage hugging it tightly to his breast.”

Composer Mihail Jora
on meeting Lipatti for the first time
“One bleak autumn day, a small, frail child was being brought to me by his parent so that I would become his tutor. When I asked the father if the boy knew anything about music, he answered Nothing at all. He doesn’t even know the name of the notes, but he plays the piano by ear and he likes composing. I had seen such lot before in my room, so I didn’t get my hopes too high. Rather bored, I asked the child to sit down at the piano. But this time, I realised, my very experience had played me a trick: little Lipatti, as he would years to come be known, had an intuition and a gift for music which were completely unusual.”

Pianist Cella Delavreancea
about hearing Lipatti for the first time, in From a Century’s Lifetime:
“I remember the amazement, the thrill I felt as I was listening to 15-year old Dinu Lipatti play Liszt’s E flat major concerto. It was as if I had only then discovered the true value of this work; the usually carnivalesque brilliance was turned into that enthusiasm the soul experiences before the vision of Nature in full bloom; and the music now seemed so grand! One felt the particular nature of the talent he had even then. Focused, weighing the importance of the music’s modulations, he showed a keen sense of tempo and he carefully tended to every facet of each phrase, polishing them until he had reached the perfect expression. Destiny, sometimes in a hurry to light, in a person of her choice, the flame of genius, illuminated this precocious intellect, and the young musician became a fully-developed artist at an age when his contemporaries look for superficial success and pleasure.”