Slippedisc daily comfort zone (41): Lipatti’s last

Slippedisc daily comfort zone (41): Lipatti’s last

Daily Comfort Zone

norman lebrecht

May 25, 2021

The immortal Romanian’s final recital, weeks before his death at the age of 33.


  • marcus says:

    That’s as good as it gets.

  • E says:

    This is so beautiful: the piece, the playing, the reminiscence of the circumstances…

  • Nijinsky says:

    How tragic, and what a loss.
    A time when performers were performers not entertainers. And one would hear music, simply that.

    How tragic!

  • Geoff Radnor says:

    My Angel LP of this was played many times.

  • Geoff Radnor says:

    It was said that he didn’t, or couldn’t, play the last of Chopin’s waltzes. This Schubert was not in the program, guess rights are to blame.

  • Robert Levin says:

    Dinu Lipatti was touched by an angel – he was in a class by himself. One will never hear more spiritual and beautiful piano playing.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    I have heard this so often and still I could hear it every day….
    Lipatti was truly a miracle.
    This kind of playing puts the Horowitzes and the Lisitsas in perspective.

  • Amos says:

    Marvelous playing. What a pity his decision from 1941-1943 to regularly perform in Austria, Germany, and Italy fail to demonstrate a similarly admirable moral compass.

  • Colin says:

    Wonderful playing. Can someone explain to me please why he plays cords as a sort of warm up before starting the piece and not go straight into it?

  • Petros Linardos says:

    I fully agree with all above superlatives on the great Lipatti – have thought so for more than 40 years.

    I find it interesting that the piano at the historic recital was a Gaveau. Does anyone know what pianos Lipatti played on other occasions? I am particularly curious about the pianos he used for the Bach transcriptions. Whenever I get into the ridiculous exercise of naming my all time favorite piano recording, I first think of “Ich ruf’ zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ” by Lipatti.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Gaveau is the third and least-known major French piano maker. Lipatti’s teacher Alfred Cortot preferred Pleyels, as did Chopin. Ajkan and Liszt preferred Erards. Schnabel and Moriz Rosenthal liked Bluthners. Bolet, Iturbi, and Moiseiwitsch liked Baldwins. Metropolitan Opera’s house piano was the Knabe for a long time. Many of these firms are no longer in business.

    Horowitz made one of the best records of this Schubert Impromptu in G-flat in 1986, on film and CD for DGG. It’s sometimes said to be the longest continuous melody in music, a cavatina.

  • geoff radnor says:

    The last half of the program, the fourteen Chopin Waltzes, proceeded well, until a fumble near the end of the Waltz Op.64 No.3. There were two more waltzes on the program: Lipatti gave a heroic performance of the famous Grande Valse Brillante, Op.18, and then, sadly, came the most famous episode of his career. He was too weak to play the final waltz he had programmed, Op.34 No.1. While no recording of this part of the concert has been found, it is said that he began the waltz, and then stopped and left the stage. The audience waited in heavy silence. Then Lipatti reappeared, and played Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, the leitmotif of his career,