My favorite things Romania

1. Schubert pianist: Radu Lupu.

2. Conductor: Sergiu Celibadache.  A high variance obsessive, Amazon doesn’t seem to carry his important recordings.  At his peak he is one of the best conductors ever and can force a total rethink of the music upon you.  He demanded so much rehearsal time, and so much perfection, that he was often impossible to work with.  There is a short YouTube bit here.

3. Painter: I can’t name one, sorry.  I have seen some nice folk art icon paintings on glass, see the image at the bottom of this post.

4. Sculptor: Constantin Brâncuşi, with a preference for Bird in Space.

5. Chopin pianist: Dinu Lipatti, especially the Waltzes.

6. Producer of maxims: Emil Cioran.  I have enjoyed all of his books.

7. Poet: Paul Celan.  I am surprised he is not more widely read in the United States.  At his peaks I don’t think any 20th century poet is better or more important.

8. Novelist: Herta Müller, better in German than English, both linguistically and culturally.

9. Violinist: Georges Enescu, of course he was a composer too.

10. Mozart pianist: Clara Haskil.

11. Movie: I’ve tried a bunch of the famous recent ones, but I can’t get through them and this is from a man who gladly watched the entire 7 hour, 12 minute Sátántangó .

12. Former NBA basketball center: G. Muresan.

13. Economist: Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.

The bottom line: There is some real beauty here, and aesthetic romance, but I don’t have a good theory for why novels and painting are not stronger.


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