music clip of the day


Tag: Dinu Lipatti

Tuesday, August 20th

never enough

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Nocturne No. 8 in D-flat major, Op. 27, No. 2; Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950, piano), 1947




reading table

Consonants are the body; vowels are breath.

—Sadiqa de Meijer, “The Ebbing Language,” Poetry, 9/19

Saturday, May 28th

three takes

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor

Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997), live




Artur Schnabel (1882-1951), 1939





Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950), live, France (Besancon), 1950


The A minor sonata is the first of only two Mozart piano sonatas in a minor key . . . It was written in one of the most tragic times of his life: his mother had just died.


Saturday, May 16th

There are a handful of pianists whose every note I’m hungry to hear—he’s one.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Sonata No. 8 in A Minor; Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950), recording, 1950




art beat

Bruce Davidson (1933-), Palisades, New Jersey, 1958


Thursday, January 2nd

another take

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Nocturne in D-flat major, Op. 27, No. 2; Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950), piano



musical thoughts

Things didn’t have to be this way: you could have been born into a world without music.

Saturday, 5/12/12

Imagine what it would’ve been like to sit in the late afternoon with a cup of tea, listening to him, in the next room, practicing.

Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950), piano
Mozart, Sonata No. 8 in A Minor, K. 310,
Recorded live in Besancon, France, 9/16/1950

More? Here. And here.



As the date of his appearance in Besançon approached, Lipatti was becoming more and more ill [Hodgkin’s lymphoma]; nevertheless, in the days before the recital he wrote to his teacher Florica Musicescu and also to Paul Sacher that his health was fine. The morning of his performance, he practiced on the Gaveau piano in the Salle du Parliament without any problems. That afternoon, however, he developed a strong fever, and his doctor begged him to cancel; Lipatti did not want to consider this but admitted that he didn’t think he could perform. The organizer of the recital was contacted by telephone, and when he stated that the hall was already full, Lipatti made the decision to play. After some injections, he walked robot-like to the car that transported him to the hall. He took each step deliberately, with such difficulty that he decided that he would not leave the stage between pieces. The Radiodiffusion Française cancelled the live transmission of the recital, fearing the worst, but recorded the performance for future broadcast.

The hall was packed, with additional seating behind the piano . . . The concentration of both the artist and the audience members is palpable in both the photographs and the recording of the recital, with enthusiastic applause greeting each work.


Despite other planned concerts later in September and in October, Lipatti did not give another public performance.

Mark Ainley

Friday, 12/25/09

John Lee Hooker, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Dinu Lipatti: where else would you find these three artists together, performing back to back, besides a cyberstage?

John Lee Hooker, “Blues For Christmas” (1949)


Rahsaan Roland Kirk (tenor saxophone, manzello, flute, stritch), “We Free Kings” (1961)


Dinu Lipatti, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” Johann Sebastian Bach/Hess transcription (1947)

Tuesday, 11/17/09

Some music is so beautiful that words just seem—no matter what you say—tawdry.

Chopin, Nocturne Op. 27, No. 2 in D flat Major (1836)/Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950), piano



Want to hear Thelonious Monk play Chopin? Go here (a home recording [click on “LISTEN TO THELONIOUS PLAYING CHOPIN”]).


Like all his [Monk’s] nieces and nephews, Teeny [Benetta Smith] treated her uncle as an uncle—not as some eccentric genius or celebrity. During one of her many visits in 1959 or ’60, when she was about twelve years old, Teeny noticed a book of compositions by Chopin perched on her uncle’s rented Steinway baby grand piano. Monk’s piano was notorious for its clutter. It occupied a significant portion of the kitchen and extended into the front room. The lid remained closed, since it doubled as a temporary storage space for music, miscellaneous papers, magazines, folded laundry, dishes, and any number of stray kitchen items.

Teeny thumbed through the pages of the Chopin book, then turned to her uncle and asked, ‘What are you doing with that on the piano? I thought you couldn’t read music? You can read that?’ The challenge was on. In response, Monk sat down at the piano, turned to a very difficult piece, and started playing it at breakneck speed.

‘His hands were a blur,’ she recalled decades later.—Robin D. G. Kelley, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (2009)

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