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Interview with cellist Marin Cazacu about Radu Lupu

Tuesday, 3 May 2022 , ora 20.29

One of the sad news in the musical life these days it's the passing of the piano player Radu Lupu. So, Mr. Marin Cazacu, who was Radu Lupu for you?

I must confess that it was an honor to play alongside Radu Lupu. Actually, it was a privilege for everyone who met him and mostly for the ones who listened to him. I could say that his art will continue to inspire entire generations of piano players and musicians in general, from all around the world, just as Dinu Lipatti, for exemple, became an interpretative rolemodel across the globe, who keeps inspiring everyone to this day, 70 years since his passing away.

For me, Radu Lupu, as I met him, had an out of the ordinary human and spiritual dept. I might add that he appreciated the romanian humour and that he was really happy to help the remarkable talents of Romania. I remember, for exemple, that he was the first Romanian artist from abroad to offer financial aid to the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra right after the revolution. I have to say that we still have the memory of a great genius- because that's what he was-who gave us the highest artistic moments.

Do you have a personal memory about Radu Lupu that you would like to share with us?

I have many, but the nights we spent after the concerts, after we had played together, were unforgetable. The man on the stage who truly transmitted that special connection with the most elevating spirituality became the man who was so close to you and who was truly happy for your accomplishments, and really glad to hear stories from your life. He left such a warm impression upon my soul that I considered him my friend and I think he considered me a friend as well.

What part of Radu Lupu's art do you think made him so loved by the public? It is known that over time he didn't want to have a close relationship to the press and that he stopped recording in studios in the 90's. With all that, his appearences were all the more appreciated.

It is true. But the recordings that already exist- some of them together with the Philharmonic of Israel and the conductor Zubin Mehta- those who listen to them, his Beethoven concertos, are fascinatated to this day by his piano art. Radu Lupu- if he were caracterised by piano players, they could say it way better than me, because I am a celloist- but he could induce this unprecedented state of spiritual elevation even in people who do not play the piano, because Radu Lupu dominated his music from a philosophical point of view. I remember, for exemple, Beethoven's concerto no 4 interpreted in Bucharest, which to me was the greatest interpretation of it I've ever heard. The Sonatas by Schubert that he played during the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest as well or the concertos that he played together with Daniel Barenboim, on two pianos, the Mozart concerto, for exemple, in the opening of the Enescu festival...you could think you were in heaven in that moment and that you were receving the most beautiful moments human kind has created. Radu Lupu was part of the superior people. Maybe he retreated inside his soul exactly so that he could offer these moments that he was living in a certain way, and that no other artist that I know managed to achieve...that is why I put him alongside Dinu Lipatti, because they had so much in common, regarding the quality of their sound, but most importantly regarding the spiritual understanding of the music they interpreted.

Interview by Alexandra Scumpu
Translated by Ioana Busuioc,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu