Dinu Lipatti


He was born on March 19, 1917 in Bucharest. Taking his first piano lessons from his mother, Lipatti became a student of Mihail Jora and Florica Musicescu at the Bucharest Conservatory. Lipatti, who won the second place with the majority of votes at the International Vienna Music Competition held in 1933, attracted the attention of the legendary pianist Alfred Cortot, who was unanimous and was quite angry with the decision. For those who don't know, Cortot: born in 1877, pianist studied piano with Chopin's student Émile Decombes at the Paris Conservatory. In 1907, he was appointed a professor at the conservatory by another legend - Gabriel Fauré - instead of another legend Raoul Pugno.

Cortot, together with Auguste Mangeot, founded the 'Ecole Normale de Musique' school in Paris. Continuing her piano education at the school, Lipatti had the opportunity to work with Lefebure, Munch, Paul Abraham Dukas and perhaps most importantly, French composer, pedagogue and pianist Juliette Nadia Boulanger, born in 1887. II. With the outbreak of World War II, Lipatti, who fled to Switzerland with his fiancee in 1943, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a type of lymphoma.

Appointed as Geneva Conservatory Professor, Lipatti held this position for five years. The pianist, who signed a contract with EMI in 1946, was able to record only a few hours, and died in 1950 when he was only 33 years old. These records have been in catalogs since the day they were released and are in high demand.

Final Recital – Besançon Festival—With EMI Classical Music Producer Walter Legge:

After listening to Dinu in Chopin's F-minor concerto rehearsal, I endorsed Francis Poulenc's description of an "artist with a divine soul" told to me in Paris in 1944. Beginning in January 1946, Lipatti had signed an exclusive contract to record with the British Columbia company. Lipatti, who had a fragile/weak childhood, was a sick man. Tours of Australia and North and South America earned him the money he needed. For the concerts that he canceled at the last minute for his health on doctor's orders, his only thought would be the inconvenience he caused to others and the costs incurred. We started our first recordings in Geneva, in July 1946. Unfortunately, the recordings could not be used due to a material problem. After this unfortunate start, we got all the recordings at 'Abbey Road' studios in London. Dinu's health problems were responsible for the few records. His wife, Madeleine, was an invaluable business partner. A very accomplished pianist and teacher herself, Madeleine had a great ear. Able to discern even the smallest nuances, Madeleine had Dinu's ears when the time came. After the July recordings I mentioned, Dinu only gave two concerts. One is Herbert von Karajan and Mozart's C-major concerto at the Lucerne festival, and the other is the Besançon festival in France. I do not believe there is or will be a pianist like Dinu Lipatti. This is not just a difference in quality, but a difference in style. Tuse thought a lot about the use of pedals, and deserved the definition of a 'connoisseur' (expert in a subject) of the 17th century more than the 'virtuoso' definition of the modern world. He played Jazz to entertain his friends. This would surprise the overly serious guests and make them smile. He approached music with the thoughts of its composer. When I first met him, he had not yet played Beethoven: he did not see himself at that level yet! He performed the Waldstein sonata, which he played in the last two years, with the persuasion of the famous Beethoven interpreter and friend Artur Schnabel. Beethoven needed four years for Piano Concerto 5 and three years for Tchaikovsky. He left nothing to chance in his work. The works and detailed work schedule for the next five years were always ready. His soft tone came from his strength. He had big and strong hands. He was listening to Beethoven's F-minor quartet half an hour before he died. Turning to his wife, he said, 'Do you hear? Being a good composer is not enough. To be able to compose like this, you must be God's chosen instrument'.

From the Pen of Alfred Cortot:
In a letter to his manager Charles Kiesgen, Cortot mentions Lipatti's Montreux recital… 'My dear friend, I would like to recommend the young pianist, second Horowitz, whose outstanding talent I had the chance to see at the Vienna International Music Competition, an extraordinary talent. It is my duty to inform you about this talent that will be the star of the future. We are talking about a new enlightenment and discovery in the piano horizon. His name is Dinu Lipatti.'

Nadia Boulanger: '… instead of just passing through a difficult passage, his measures would be worked out hundreds of times. While working on an important composition, there was always the fear of not being worthy of the composer…'


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