Magazine article Gramophone

A Birthday Tribute from One Pianist to Another

Magazine article Gramophone

A Birthday Tribute from One Pianist to Another

Article excerpt

November 30 is the 70th birthday of the great Romanian pianist, Radu Lupu. It is as good an occasion as any to celebrate his art. Lupu is far more than a great pianist; listening to him, my attention quickly slips away from the actual beauty of his piano-playing and I am taken deep below and far above the surface. He illuminates the musical content impalpably and there appears a feeling of magic. My professional habit of analysing 'how is this done?' yields only partial results when applied to his music-making, as the whole impression is greater than the sum of its ingredients.

Lupu's concerts remind me of what Ferruccio Busoni once wrote about the musical art: 'It is practically incorporeal. Its material is transparent. It is sonorous air. It is almost Nature itself.' The instrument recedes into the background, and what remains is a lone figure expressing the composer's ideas with fidelity, while seeming to compose them on the spot. In the opening of Schubert's final sonata, one phrase is enough to give a sense of the entire concert hall embraced by him. …

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