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Pianist Nikita Magaloff remembers the first time he heard Lipatti

In the preface to Dinu Lipatti (Lausanne: Payot, 1991)
“The first chance I had to listen to Lipatti playing was in 1943, in the small town of Martigny. There was war going on, and a car was impossible to find, so I had to go there riding the local train; this meant I could only hear a part of his recital, as I had to catch the last train back. Still, this half recital was enough to make me realise I was sitting in the same room with a great pianist; the first comment I made to my wife expressed the certainty I had that this young man could face any public whatsoever, because he belonged to the international class of great performers.”

Biography / Writings / His Recitals Reviewed




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"The first chance I had to listen to Lipatti playing was in 1943, in the small town of Martigny. There was war going on, and a car was impossible to find, so I had to go there riding the local train; this meant I could only hear a part of his recital, as I had to catch the last train back. Still, this half recital was enough to make me realise I was sitting in the same room with a great pianist; the first comment I made to my wife expressed the certainty I had that this young man could face any public whatsoever, because he belonged to the international class of great performers.

The career that followed, during which Lipatti instantly made a name for himself, proved me right, even if the cruel illness that prematurely took him away from us didn’t allow us to know how much his art could have evolved. Luckily his discography at Columbia – and we have to thank Walter Legge, his competency and enthusiasm, for that – leaves us a precious testimony of this art.

Our friendship, our personal relationship developed quickly; today I still re-read with great emotion the countless letters and messages impregnated by his lively and full of humour temper. When he had to give up his position at the Geneva Music Conservatory he asked me to replace him, and this sign of trust moved me so that during all the many years spent there I always took pains not to betray that trust.

His last touching gesture of friendship towards me was to ask me to be the one who plays his transcription of Bach’s Pastorale in F major for organ. I still experience a strong emotion each time I perform this wonderful piece bringing back so many unforgettable moments.”