Sergiu Celibidache
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Video:

Bruckner Symphony No 8 Celibidache Münchner Philharmoniker Live Tokyo 20 Oct 1990

Video:

How to pronounce Sergiu Celibidache (Romanian/Romania) - PronounceNames.com

Alexander Scriabin was the composer who wanted to compose us all into nirvana. Sergiu Celibidache was the conductor who wanted to conduct us into enlightenment.

Celibidache brought Zen Buddhism to the conductor’s podium along with a Japanese concept called ichigo ichie. The phrase comes from the traditional Japanese tea ceremony and was first developed as a concept in the 16th Century.

Ichigo ichie means “one opportunity, one encounter.” Each time we interact with someone it is a unique experience and should be treated as a once in a lifetime event. It will never recur in the same exact way.

Celibidache famously did not condone recordings of the concerts he conducted. If we consider his dedication to the concept of ichigo ichie then we can begin to understand his position.

Celibidache tried to create an environment of transcendence at each of his concerts. He required extra rehearsals and was mindful of the atmosphere in the physical space of the concert hall. He felt as though recordings did not support a transcendent experience.

Sergiu Celibidache.

Sergiu Celibidache.

Celibidache preceded Herbert von Karajan as the music director of the Berlin Philharmonic. There could not be two conductors more diametrically opposed when it came to recordings. During his lifetime there were almost no recordings of Celibidache available. Von Karajan created his own video production and distribution company.

It is tempting to judge one approach as superior to the other.

In the included video we can see and hear how Celibidache's contemplative style lined up well with the compositions of Anton Bruckner, the most contemplative of composers. The videos of Celibidache conducting Bruckner are monumental. It is as if they are carved in stone for the ages.

After his death, Celibidache’s family authorized the release of several recording and videos of his concerts.

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