The Music Plays On

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Sergiu Celibidache

The Romanian conductor, Sergiu Celibidache, was to many a musical guru. His approach to music encompassed language, acoustics, science, spirituality, and philosophy. He didn’t believe that recordings could truly capture the ephemeral nature and acoustical qualities of inherent in live music making and for most of his career did not make any commercial studio recordings. However, there are a few videos and live recordings that captures Celibidache’s unique gifts as an interpreter.

One of them is surely the video of conducting George Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody №1 with the “George Enescu” Philharmonic Orchestra of Bucharest from 1978. There are two qualities that he brings out in this piece that are unmatched in other performances: the thematic dialogue that often happens between solo instruments throughout the orchestra, and the dance-like quality of every section.