The 40th anniversary of the Orchestre National de France
Historical reminder of the Orchestre National de France on its 40th anniversary, and excerpt of a concert conducted by Sergiu Celibidache with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli on piano, given on this occasion. Sergiu Celibidache speaks some words on the life of French music and the high level of musicianship of French musicians.
Born in 1912, Sergiu Celibidache studied music and philosophy in Bucharest and in Berlin. At the end of the war he was a director of the Berlin Philharmonic. Then, he directed numerous orchestras around the world (South America, Scandinavia, France, Italy), and after that devoted himself to the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra from 1979. He directed the great German repertoire, Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert, but also Russian music, Debussy, Ravel and particularly Bruckner, which has given some famous recordings. On that topic, it must be noted that, contrary to Karajan, he practically never wanted to record, neither in studio nor in public. He thought that recording didn't capture the essence of music, the union of a place, moment, audience and access to transcendence. In this we see one of his terribly demanding aspects. Many recordings do exist, often cult-objects for music-lovers, but they were recorded without the conductor knowing, or at least at his indifference. Another fascinating aspect of Celibidache's personality are his lyrics: his very personal and mystic conception of music, his oral training, his taste for philosophy and especially Zen Buddhism have all contributed to build the legend of this mythical conductor who passed away in 1996.