...on Lipatti


Yvonne Lefébure, his piano teacher at the Music Conservatory in Paris
in a letter to Dragoș Tănăsescu, dated November 17, 1957:
“At his seventeen years, Lipatti has an exceptional technique, a structured mind and a sense for music rarely encountered. He is the most diligent, the most conscientious and the most modest of my students.”

Composer and professor Paul Dukas
with whom Lipatti studied composition at the Music Conservatory in Paris, quoted by Anna Lipatti in La douleur de ma vie:
“Brilliantly gifted, he has only to play as much as possible, so that, by the experience thus gained, he learns how to fully manage his talent.”

“Young Romanian Lipatti is my best student as well as a remarkable piano virtuoso. I believe he will be the second Enescu.”

Composer Nadia Boulanger
on her classes with Lipatti, in Hommage à Dinu Lipatti:
“Dinu arrived in Paris as an already fully formed pianist (excellent Miss Florica Musicescu had been responsible for this, and Lipatti worshipped her) and as a proper composer (having been armed with such knowledge by Mihail Jora). But his own judgement was of such a nature that he, far from being content with what he had already learned, was only preoccupied with what he thought he didn’t yet know.

You could tell his entire soul by his appearance. His pale, serene face, the way he would look at you, seriously, with velvety, gentle, shining eyes, his beautiful white hands – all this told of the sensibility and the strength of his soul. His being gave off an extraordinary purity, for he was just as cheerful and as thoughtful as he had been as a child.

He had, for his work, the same respect he had for the people and the things surrounding him. He heard, he listened as only somebody concentrating deeply hears and listens, so that I don’t think he ever played or wrote a note mechanically. It was so difficult - but then he was so patient! Rather than abandon a passage to imperfection, whether in playing or in composing, he would work on that passage hundreds of times, without even imagining this effort might tire him. He knew the risks involved when approaching a masterpiece, and he was always afraid that he wasn’t ready yet to put himself in its service, that he didn’t listen profoundly enough to grasp all meanings, that he couldn’t convey it as it was worthy of being conveyed.

And how passionate he was about his piano! When I would advise him to make more time for composing he would laugh: I know this very well, but I can’t get myself away from the piano. If you only knew how much I love it!

His ear was sensitive to the most delicate aural changes, to the most subtle rhythmic inflexions. To obtain them, the precision he structured his fingering with, and he practiced on the rhythms and their attacks with, only his wife, Madeleine Lipatti, could and should tell us.

This “handicraft side” of his work, as he liked to call it, was constantly at the back of his mind. In his compositions, whose importance has not yet been given an exact evaluation, there are the same deep marks of a distinguished personality, as well as the same perfection. These works bear witness of a true creative talent and are worthy of sitting next to the recordings which make the brilliant performer still live.”

Pianist Alfred Cortot
in a letter to his impresario, Charles Kiesgen, on the occasion of Dinu Lipatti’s recital in Montreux:
“Dear friend, let me recommend to your untiring attention an exceptionally deserving young pianist, a second Horowitz, whose remarkable talent I was in the measure to observe during the International Piano Competition in Vienna, where he was awarded second prize, even if he should have by far won the first one. It is my duty to point out to you this great Ace of tomorrow, and I can assure you that it is in your own interest that I do so, as we are talking here about nothing less than a revelation on the piano horizon. His name is Dinu Lipatti.”