Irene Aitoff, The Great Lady

Portrait of the great pianist

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Irène Aïtoff — Pianist

Mireille Delunsch — Soprano

Sylvie De May — Soprano

Rié Hamada — Soprano

Meral Jaclin — Mezzo-soprano

Laurence Dale — Tenor

Thierry Félix — Baritone

Richard Rittelmann — Baritone

Elisabeth Cooper — Pianist

Program notes

A documentary about the prodigious Mozartian pianist Irène Aitoff, guardian of the lyrical temple, who died in 2006.

The incredible pianist Irène Aitoff performed Mozart like no other, and was even called "Mozart's widow." Appointed singing master at the Aix-en-Provence festival in the 1950's with Gabriel Dussurget, Irène Aitoff is also very knowned for having trained singers to perform Debussy's Pelleas and Melisande, under the resquest of Herbert von Karajan in the 1960's. A true French music scene icon, Irène Aitoff was keen on deciphering, examining in details and sometimes transposing the scores she knew by heart. She declared: " It is not about what is written, the most important is what you find behind, what you have to deduce. (...) When Yvette Guilbert sang Le Voyage à Bethléem, she knocked on one door, and then silence. On another door, and then silence again. And all those silences were different. It helped me a lot to perform Mozart's operas." (Renaud Machart, Le Monde).

In this documentary, the perfectionist and tireless worker tells us about her life, and trains young singers; a singing lesson turning into a great life lesson!.

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