Dinu Lipatti: The Solo Recordings = Works of SCARLATTI, MOZART, BRAHMS, CHOPIN, RAVEL & ENESCU – Regis

by | Jun 7, 2012 | Classical Reissue Reviews

Dinu Lipatti: The Solo Recordings = SCARLATTI: Sonata in E Major, L. 23; Sonata in D Minor, L. 413; MOZART: Sonata No. 8 in A Minor, K. 310; BRAHMS: 7 Waltzes from Op. 39; CHOPIN: Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, Op. 58; RAVEL: Alborada del gracioso; ENESCU: Sonata No. 3 in D Major, Op. 24 – Dinu Lipatti, piano/ Nadia Boulanger, piano (in Brahms) – Regis RRC1370, 78:07  [Distr. by Qualiton] ****:
Yet another reincarnation of classic inscriptions from Romanian piano virtuoso Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950), noted for the purity and authenticity of his keyboard style. The recordings, 1937-1950, include his work with teacher and mentor Nadia Boulanger in four-hand, bubbly and lilting Brahms waltzes, as well as his eminently pearly readings of Scarlatti (1947) and Mozart, the latter from his last recital in Besancon, France, 1950. The 1948 Ravel Alborada from Miroirs stands in a class by itself for singleness of purpose, its brilliant application of staccati filigree a testament to the strength of Lipatti’s hands. Delicacy, immaculate taste, and structural continuity mark his Mozart A Minor Sonata, the lines taut and clear in a manner suggestive of synoptic Olympian vision. Lipatti’s personal credo “softness through strength” virtually defines the Andante cantabile con espressione movement. The nervous excitement of the sturm und drang Presto communicates only subtle mastery from Lipatti, the quicksilver etched figures in stunning motion and peerless articulation.
Lipatti eschewed performing the music of Beethoven in public, feeling that his personal development has not matured to that level, although at one time a radio broadcast tape of the Waldstein Sonata existed.  Had he lived longer, we might have had an Emperor Concerto planned with Walter Legge’s EMI. But Chopin lay well within Lipatti’s grasp, intellectually and emotionally. His 1947 B Minor Sonata occupies a special place for collectors, given the reading’s innate poetry and ease of transition. Given Lipatti’s tragically brief career, we listen to every note  and balanced phrase for those “intimations of mortality” with which posterity has marked his legacy. The Largo movement alone provides a fitting memorial to Lipatti’s inspired, plastic talent. The Enescu Sonata No. 3 (there never existed a No. 2, by the way) dates from October 1943, a document that certifies a potent relationship, not only between two great interpreters but between two active composers of the same national orientation. The outer movements enjoy Lipatti’s animated, skipping phraseology, the ornaments suggestive both of folksong and birdsong. The Andantino cantabile speaks gossamer volumes of love of homeland. The brilliant Allegro con spirito demands a diverse palette and touches, all of which Lipatti negotiates with diaphanous aplomb, a skill that obviously aroused the jealous attentions of the gods.
—Gary Lemco

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