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Dinu Lipatti - The Master Pianist


Release Date: 09/02/2008 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 07318   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachWolfgang Amadeus MozartDomenico ScarlattiFrédéric Chopin,   ... 
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti
Number of Discs: 7 
Recorded in: Mono 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



DINU LIPATTI—THE MASTER PIANIST Dinu Lipatti (pn); Nadia Boulanger (pn); 13 Herbert von Karajan, cond; 1 Alceo Galliera, cond; 2 Otto Ackermann, cond; 3 Eduard van Beinum, cond; 4 Ernest Ansermet, cond; 5 Paul Sacher, cond; 6 Read more Philharmonia O; 7 Lucerne Festival O; 8 Concertgebouw O; 9 Tonhalle O Zurich; 10 O de la Suisse Romande; 11 Southwest German RSO 12 EMI 07318, mono (7 CDs: 380:53)


BACH Partita No. 1 (2 versions). Nun komm’, der Heiden Heiland (arr. Busoni). Ich ruf’ zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (arr. Busoni). Cantata No. 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude (arr. Hess). Flute Sonata, BWV 1031: Siciliano (arr. Kempff). Keyboard Concerto, BWV 1052. 4,9 SCARLATTI Sonatas: K 380; K 9. MOZART Piano Sonata No. 8 (2 versions). Piano Concerto No. 21. 1,8 CHOPIN Nocturne, op. 27/2. 14 Waltzes (2 versions of all but No. 2). Mazurka in c?, op. 50/3. Barcarolle in F?. Sonata No. 3 in b. Piano Concerto No. 1. 3,10 Etudes: op. 25/5; op/ 10/5. LISZT Années de pèlerinage: Sonetto 104 del Petrarca. Piano Concerto No. 1. 5,11 RAVEL Miroirs: Alborado del gracioso. BRAHMS Waltzes for Piano Four Hands: op. 39/1,2,5,6,10,14,15. 13 ENESCU Piano Sonata No. 3. SCHUMANN Piano Concerto. 1,7 GRIEG Piano Concerto. 2,7 BARTÓK Piano Concerto No. 3. 6,12 SCHUBERT Impromptus: D 899/3; D 899/2


All that glitters is not gold; but all that is gold, glitters. If I were forced to sum up Dinu Lipatti’s life and achievements in one sentence, that would be it. He was the first post-modern pianist, the link between Schnabel, Rubinstein, and Cortot on the one hand and Gulda, Pollini, McDermott, and O’Conor on the other. His style combined old-world elegance and terraced dynamics with a new-world approach to structure and balance. He was the bridge that most modern pianists, even Glenn Gould, crossed to get from point A to point B. Only five years older than Noel Mewton-Wood and William Kapell, he was considered a more finished artist than either, a pianist who immersed himself so deeply in the music that his spirit came out the other side of the keyboard; yet he smoldered with a cooler intensity, a blue or orange flame rather than red.


Here at long last is his complete EMI legacy, excepting only 1947 test pressings of sonata excerpts with cellist Antonio Janigro (first movement of the Beethoven Third and a movement of a Bach cello sonata), and most of his live performances, wrapped up in one handsome package. The Chopin concerto here is the authentic one, not the performance by Halina Czerny-Stefanska erroneously issued on a Seraphim LP and reissued in 1981. Details of this recording’s history may be found online at http: //www.markainley.com/music/classical/lipatti/chopin_scandal.html. Neither the Chopin nor Liszt concertos have very clear sound; the Liszt is in fact even worse than the Chopin. But the complete package gives us a better overall picture of Lipatti than is generally assumed by those who only know or have heard his Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Grieg and Chopin. This set includes the Enescu sonata and concertos by Bartók and Liszt, music outside the mainstream of his day.


Lipatti liked to talk about the “Ur-spirit rather than the Urtext” of his performances; his Chopin, in particular, was revolutionary for its time. Though elegant, it spurned a then-common notion that one must play with hands slightly out of synch in order to penetrate the “mysteries” of the music, as Paderewski, de Pachmann, and Friedman did. I still find Lipatti’s reading of the Barcarolle less songful or persuasive than Walter Gieseking’s superb Columbia recording, but it is excellent nonetheless. Lipatti structures the Sonata No. 3 more like Beethoven than Chopin, yet it works to convey this later, terser musical statement. The waltzes, quite simply, belonged to him. He played what was written, but emphasized structural details, and turnaround phrases, in a way that drew out the emotion in the music without fuss or eccentricity. Lipatti also showed his stylistic independence, even from Rubinstein, in his muscular and unusually phrased version of the First Concerto. Despite slow tempos, there’s nothing dreamy or romantic about this performance; it has the smoldering intensity of a dormant volcano. You’ll never hear anyone play the E-Minor Etude like he does either. No one yet has caught up to him in any of this music.


His performance of Liszt’s “Petrarch Sonnet” is more poetic than Gyorgy Cziffra’s, if less rhythmically stunning, but he pulls out all the stops in Ravel’s “Alborada del gracioso,” the finest performance of this piece I’ve ever heard and, in fact, a disc to equal Kapell’s contemporaneous recording of Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz in power, color, and nuance. Equally dazzling, and entirely new to me, was his version of Enescu’s Third Sonata, a thorny work that he makes crystal clear by rapidly shifting color and mood, turning the “thorny” dissonances convincingly musical. The same approach is applied to the Bartók Third Concerto, which, if you are familiar with Bartók’s own playing on disc, you’ll find is an authentic approach.


The Grieg and Schumann concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra are equally classic, so convincing that it’s hard to get away from their combination of glittering technique and smoldering intensity. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe that Lipatti disliked Karajan’s “super-classical” approach: there’s a kinetic energy here that works wonders. Leif Ove Andsnes has since surpassed his Grieg, due in large part to the more highly charged conducting of Mariss Jansons, but the only version of the Schumann I’ve heard that is better than Lipatti/Karajan is a 1950 broadcast by Lipatti with Ernest Ansermet.


EMI could have put this set onto six CDs instead of seven, but at the budget price ($6.85 per disc), why carp? The programming is more thematic than chronological, Lipatti’s first recording (the Brahms waltzes for piano four hands with the legendary Nadia Boulanger) coming near the end of CD 3, while the first two largely consist of his most famous recordings (the Bach, Mozart, and Scarlatti sonatas, Chopin waltzes and isolated pieces) made near his home, at Radio Geneva, in July 1950. The final recital, however, does encompass all of CD 7, and although most of this material was commercially recorded a few months earlier, it’s a necessary disc. All the music is played with entirely different tempos and phrasing, the Bach Partita drier and sounding more “plucked” as if on a harpsichord, the Mozart and especially the Chopin given entirely different tempos and rhythmic emphasis. It struck me, when listening to this set, that Lipatti played the piano almost as if it were a large, wide-ranging guitar. I wonder if he ever played that instrument at any point? Even if not, the guitar simile stands. His phrases sound with a kind of clarity that resembles a plectrum rather than the hammers.


It isn’t often that I recommend the complete recordings of any pianist. Much as I loved them, I don’t have the complete recordings of Cherkassky, Rubinstein, Schnabel, Gould, Cziffra, Kapell, or Haskil. But Lipatti was a special case. Nothing he did was ordinary, not ever, and none of it was predictable. He was in his own way what Jelly Roll Morton called jazz: “The sound of surprise.”


FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley
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Works on This Recording

1.
Partita for Keyboard no 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Orgelbüchlein: Nun komm'der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Ferruccio Busoni 
3.
Orgelbüchlein: Ich ruf'zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1713-1717; Weimar, Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Ferruccio Busoni  
4.
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147: Jesu bleibet meine Freude "Jesu, joy of man's desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Hess 
5.
Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord in E flat major, BWV 1031: 2nd movement, Siciliano by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1734; Leipzig, Germany 
Notes: Arranged: Kempff 
6.
Sonata for Piano no 8 in A minor, K 310 (300d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
7.
Sonata for Harpsichord in E major, K 380/L 23 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 18th Century 
8.
Sonata for Harpsichord in D minor, K 9/L 413 by Domenico Scarlatti
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1738 
9.
Nocturnes (2) for Piano, Op. 27: no 2 in D flat major, B 96 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
10.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 3 in F major, B 118 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Paris, France 
11.
Waltz for Piano in A flat major, B 131/Op. 42 "Grande Valse" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France; Paris, France 
12.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 1 in D flat major "Minute Waltz" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
13.
Waltzes (2) for Piano, Op. 69: no 1 in A flat major, B 95 "L'adieu" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
14.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 2 in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
15.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70: no 1 in G flat major, B 92 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1833; Paris, France 
16.
Waltzes (2) for Piano, Op. 69: no 2 in B minor, B 35 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Poland 
17.
Waltz for Piano in E minor, B 56 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
18.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 2 in A minor, B 64 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Poland 
19.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64: no 3 in A flat major by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
20.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70: no 2 in F minor, B 138 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841; Paris, France 
21.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70: no 3 in D flat major, B 40 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Poland 
22.
Waltz for Piano in E flat major, B 62/Op. 18 "Grande valse brillante" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Poland 
23.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 1 in A flat major, B 94 "Valse brillante" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Paris, France 
24.
Mazurkas (3) for Piano, B 145/Op. 50: no 3 in C sharp minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Paris, France 
25.
Barcarolle for Piano in F sharp major, B 158/Op. 60 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845-1846; Paris, France 
26.
Sonata for Piano no 3 in B minor, B 155/Op. 58 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Paris, France 
27.
Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année, S 161 "Italie": no 5, Sonetto 104 del Petrarca by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1837-1849; Weimar, Germany 
28.
Miroirs: Alborada del gracioso by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904-1905; France 
29.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 1 in B major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
30.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 2 in E major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
31.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 5 in E major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
32.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 6 in C sharp major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
33.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 10 in G major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
34.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 14 in G sharp minor by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
35.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39: no 15 in A flat major by Johannes Brahms
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
36.
Sonata for Piano in D major, Op. 24 no 3 by George Enescu
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933-1935; Romania 
37.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 54 by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1841-1845; Germany 
38.
Concerto for Piano no 21 in C major, K 467 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1785; Vienna, Austria 
39.
Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16 by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868/1907; Norway 
40.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in E minor, B 53/Op. 11 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
41.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 25: no 5 in E minor by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832-1834; Paris, France 
42.
Etudes (12) for Piano, Op. 10: no 5 in G flat major "Black Keys" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
43.
Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor, BWV 1052 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1738-1739; Leipzig, Germany 
44.
Concerto for Piano no 1 in E flat major, S 124 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849/1856; Weimar, Germany 
45.
Concerto for Piano no 3, Sz 119 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945; USA 
46.
Partita for Keyboard no 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
47.
Sonata for Piano no 8 in A minor, K 310 (300d) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1778; Paris, France 
48.
Impromptus (4) for Piano, D 899/Op. 90: no 3 in G flat major by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria 
49.
Impromptus (4) for Piano, D 899/Op. 90: no 2 in E flat major by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1827; Vienna, Austria 
50.
Waltz for Piano in A flat major, B 131/Op. 42 "Grande Valse" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: France; Paris, France 
51.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, B 164/Op. 64 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1846-1847; Paris, France 
52.
Waltzes (2) for Piano, Op. 69 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1835 
53.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 70 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829-1841 
54.
Waltz for Piano in E minor, B 56 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Poland 
55.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 2 in A minor, B 64 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Poland 
56.
Waltzes (3) for Piano, Op. 34: no 3 in F major, B 118 by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1838; Paris, France 
57.
Waltz for Piano in E flat major, B 62/Op. 18 "Grande valse brillante" by Frédéric Chopin
Performer:  Dinu Lipatti (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1831; Poland 

Featured Sound Samples

Waltzes for Piano, op 34 (Chopin): No 1 in A flat "Valse brillante"
Sonata for Harpsichord in E, K 380 (Scarlatti)
Partita for Keyboard no 1 (Bach): V. Menuets I & II

Sound Samples

Partita No. 1 in B flat BWV 825 (1999 Digital Remaster): Prelude
Partita No. 1 in B flat BWV 825 (1999 Digital Remaster): Allemande
Partita No. 1 in B flat BWV 825 (1999 Digital Remaster): Courante
Partita No. 1 in B flat BWV 825 (1999 Digital Remaster): Sarabande
Partita No. 1 in B flat BWV 825 (1999 Digital Remaster): Menuets I & II
Partita No. 1 in B flat BWV 825 (1999 Digital Remaster): Gigue
Chorale Prelude: Nun kom', der Heiden Heiland, BWV. 599 (Arr. Busoni) (1999 Digital Remaster)
Chorale prelude "Ich Ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" BWV. 639 (arr. Bussoni) (1999 Digital Remaster)
Chorale "Jesu Bleibet meine Freude" (from Cantata 147, BWV 147) (arr. Hess) (1999 Digital Remaster)
Sonata No. 2 for Flute and Keyboard, BWV 1031: Second movement: Siciliana (arr. Kempff) (1999 Digital Remaster)
Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor K310/K300d (1999 Digital Remaster): I. Allegro maestoso
Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor K310/K300d (1999 Digital Remaster): II. Andante cantabile con espressione
Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor K310/K300d (1999 Digital Remaster): III. Presto
Sonata in E major Kk 380/L 23 (1999 Digital Remaster)
Sonata in D minor Kk 9/L 413, "Pastorale" (1999 Digital Remaster)
Nocturne in D flat major, Op. 27/2 (1997 Digital Remaster)
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.4 in F Op.34 No.3
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.5 in A flat Op.42
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.6 in D flat Op.64 No.1
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.9 in A flat Op.69 No.1
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.7 in C sharp minor Op.64 No.2
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.11 in G flat Op.70 No.1
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.10 in B minor Op.69 No.2
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.14 in E minor Op.posth.
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.3 in A minor Op.34 No.2
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.8 in A flat Op.64 No.3
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.12 in F minor Op.70 No.2
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.13 in D flat Op.70 No.3
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.1 in E flat Op.18
14 Valses/Waltzes (2005 Digital Remaster): No.2 in A flat Op.34 No.1
Mazurka in C sharp minor, Op. 50/3 (2005 Digital Remaster)
Barcarolle in F sharp major Op. 60 (2005 Digital Remaster)

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 My desert island piano set December 23, 2011 By Petros L. (Providence, RI) See All My Reviews "I find the FANFARE review by Lynn René Bayley quite right. These are some of the best piano recordings I've ever heard. I was 14 years old when I first listened to a Lipatti recording, Chopin's Nocturne op. 27/2, and was awestruck. More than thirty years on, my admiration for Lipatti continues unabated. This set is a must for anyone who loves piano music. " Report Abuse
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