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Elgar: Cello Concerto / Bach: Cello Suites Nos. 1 & 2

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
Few classical albums have the stature of Jacqueline du Pr?'s 1965 studio recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto -- for its most recent reissue, EMI made it the capstone in the Great Recordings of the Century series -- but the premiere release of her 1967 broadcast of the same work from the BBC archives is still cause for great enthusiasm. A year and a half after the studio sessions, du Pr? was on tour in eastern Europe with Sir John Barbirolli her favored collaborator in Elgar and the BBC Symphony Orchestra when this concert in Prague was taped. Considering the brevity of her career, it's invaluable to have another document of du Pr?'s Elgar made available; the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
Few classical albums have the stature of Jacqueline du Pré's 1965 studio recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto -- for its most recent reissue, EMI made it the capstone in the Great Recordings of the Century series -- but the premiere release of her 1967 broadcast of the same work from the BBC archives is still cause for great enthusiasm. A year and a half after the studio sessions, du Pré was on tour in eastern Europe with Sir John Barbirolli her favored collaborator in Elgar and the BBC Symphony Orchestra when this concert in Prague was taped. Considering the brevity of her career, it's invaluable to have another document of du Pré's Elgar made available; the performance doesn't differ drastically from the familiar one, but soloist and conductor seem to have grown even more mutually comfortable and responsive to the interplay of tempo and expression. They savor the work's resigned melancholy more than its tragic drama, conveying a less extreme but equally moving vision of Elgar's masterpiece. The coda of the last movement is touching above all, with du Pré's ineffable calm sustained magically throughout the final minutes. It's always shocking to remember du Pré's age at the time of her classic recordings -- 20 when she took Elgar into the studio, and all of 21 when she performed this concert. When she played Bach's first two solo cello suites for BBC broadcasts in 1962, she was only 16, and those recordings fill out the present release. If they're less essential than the live Elgar and also available as part of her Early BBC Recordings, 1961-1965, they do offer another priceless glimpse of the young artist and a strong preview of the speed with which her musical maturity would advance over the next few years.
All Music Guide - James Leonard
This is not the classic 1965 Jacqueline du Pré / John Barbirolli / London Symphony Orchestra recording of Elgar's profoundly elegiac Cello Concerto. This is a previously unreleased live recording made by du Pré and Barbirolli in Prague two years later with the BBC Symphony. Is it as good? No, of course, not: the 1965 du Pré / Barbirolli recording has rightly been acknowledged to be the greatest recording of the work ever made -- the most intense, the most passionate, the most compelling and far and away the most heart wrenching -- and even in front of an audience of spellbound Czechs, Du Pré and Barbirolli cannot match that performance. But they do come amazingly close. Live or in the studio, Du Pré is so deeply under the skin of the music that it's nearly impossible to tell where Elgar's score ends and Du Pré's interpretation begins. And while there are inevitably some small slips in her technique, the added power of a live performance makes her playing here nearly as compelling as her earlier recording. Plus, the addition of Du Pré's emotional performances of Bach's first two Cello Suites from a 1962 live radio broadcasts makes this disc a real treat for her fans. And although Testament's re-mastering can only do so much to clean up the sonically antiquated recording, the mere sound of Du Pré's soaring cello will be enough to make even the strongest men weep.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/14/2006
  • Label: Testament Uk
  • UPC: 749677138820
  • Catalog Number: 1388
  • Sales rank: 89,004

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–4 Cello Concerto in E minor (also arr. as Viola Concerto by F.Salmond), Op. 85 - Edward Elgar & BBC Symphony Orchestra (30:02)
  2. 5–10 Suite for solo cello No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Jacqueline du Pré (19:48)
  3. 11–16 Suite for solo cello No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008 - Johann Sebastian Bach & Jacqueline du Pré (21:41)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jacqueline du Pré Primary Artist
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