Film by Norbert Busè (Germany 2012)
Sergiu Celibidache (1912 – 1996) was de facto principal conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker from 1945 to 1952. His idiosyncratic rehearsal methods and refusal to make recordings, and, even more, his authoritarian manner, unwillingness to compromise and unacceptable demands led to a break with the orchestra in 1954.
Celibidache then pursued his career elsewhere: in South America, Stockholm, Italy, Paris, Stuttgart and finally in Munich, where from 1979 until his death he was principal conductor of the Münchner Philharmoniker, leading the orchestra to international renown. He conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker only one more time, at the Berlin Konzerthaus in 1992, 38 years after his departure.
In his film, Norbert Busè not only traces the development and career of this uncommon conductor, but also approaches his essence: Celibidache’s conception of music. Along with the conductor we hear from musicians and the students and participants in his courses on the phenomenology of music. For the first time Celibidache’s sister and his son Serge also have their say. The result is “the portrait of a conductor who was virtually unique in combining analysis with passion, ruthlessness with sympathy – a maestro furioso” (ARTE) for whom the perfection of his art was the ultimate goal.