Celibidache e Bologna, edited by Luigi Girati and Luigi Verdi, Prefation by Silvia Gajani, Bologna, Forni 2004, 217 pp.

Review by Piero Mioli, in Musica e Scuola,
XIX, 9, 2005, pp.16.

The history of interpretation is one chapter of the musical historiography which is still rather short; when it starts systematically, then all cronologies, material collections, all possible critical anthologies will be helpful. And as to Orchestra Conducting,  this Celibidache a Bologna which Luigi Girati and Luigi Verdi have edited for the Forni publishers in S.Agata Bolognese (2004) will be helpful too. This book is elegant and illustrated with taste and sobriety, and consists of various parts, all written by several authors, dealing with the excellent Rumenian conductor (1912-1996) ’s relations with the city of Bologna and the Teatro Comunale, where he worked for a long time, and of  some elements typical of his art; then he published a couple of old interviews and several witnessing texts by orchestra professors, pupils and esteemers; finally, it provides  really useful tables, press-reviews , repertoires and so on. And even if it lacks a specific and objective critical approach including the artist in the century’s conducting field (Toscanini, Furtwangler, Walter, Klemperer, Karajan, Giulini, Bernstein, Abbado), it sketches a lively and pertinent portrait of the renowned conductor and of the man who, as it is known, was not easy-going. Infact, Mario Baroni asks himself “Was he a director or a composer?” in his contribution, and the question is really a fair and “very rare compliment” , as from Puccini ‘s Madama Butterfly. Tito Gotti’s essay, finally, is rich in pregnant and meaningful words; Celibidache’s “famous rigours”, his “proclaimed censorious fierceness”, his “inexorable condemnations”, “The virtuosity of disqualification and of demolition” (actually “ a bit Levantine”) the “destructive anathema” are the outside aspects of a “universal teaching because going beyond any borders of music discipline”, of a “boundless culture marrying humanism to science” of the “iron firmness of an analytical-operative conception” of a “prodigious technique”, maybe by means of the wonderful “blissful overflowing of a communicative wealth” and the “flowing of an irresistible expressive word”.

Piero Mioli  



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