Saint-Seans, Dvorak: Cello Concertosby Jacqueline du Pré
The story of Jacqueline du Pré's tragic life inspired the 1998 film Hilary and Jackie, but even the most sensational biopic is no match for the high drama of du Pré's playing. The cellist's exceptional intensity is quite palpable on recordings, and these newly issued live performances capture her at white heat. The Saint-Saëns A Minor Concerto was taped early in 1971, when du Pré had already started her struggle with multiple sclerosis. The liner notes claim one can occasionally hear her falter, but one would be hard-pressed to find any conspicuous technical shortcomings. Technique is beside the point here: Du Pré's passion seems to know no bounds, sweeping the listener along on a brief but unforgettable emotional journey. Those who think of Saint-Saën's music as polite stuff might want to make a quick reassessment after hearing this. Du Pré's husband, Daniel Barenboim whips the Philadelphia Orchestra into a frenzy, no doubt sparked by the cellist's ardor. Sergiu Celibidache, the legendary Romanian-born conductor, was rarely, if ever, frenetic on the podium, and it is sometimes odd to hear his restrained, spacious approach juxtaposed with du Pré's wild abandon in the 1967 performance. At times it seems that the cello will splinter apart under the expressive weight of the bow, whereas the playing of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra remains a bastion of calm throughout. The result is not necessarily cohesive, but setting du Pré's style in such stark relief certainly enhances the sense of theater. All told, this is an essential release for du Pré's admirers -- another precious memento of one of the greatest performers ever to play before a microphone.
- Release Date:
- Cello Concerto No. 1, in A minor, Op. 33
- Cello Concerto in B minor, B. 191 (Op. 104)
Performance CreditsJacqueline du Pré Primary Artist
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I own this CD & cant get enough of it. The 1st thing that struck me was the sudden immediacy & spontaneous tone of the cello in Saint Saens Cello Concerto which is played fast & virtoustic by Ma Du Pre. The Dvorak cut deep down my guts, its warm, sumptous & the ochestra allows the soloist to shine at the right time esp. the 2nd movement.Du Pre no doubt was the greatest Cellist that ever lived.This recording will go down as one of the best ever performances I have no doubt.The sound is great for a 1967 and 1971 performances.Daniel Barenboim is a great conductor in Saint Saens.Du Pre uttered the above words(headline)& I think she succeeded to give us glimses of eternity.The only thing missing here is the applause which I think would have made the recording more intense than it is already since these are live performances but thats is not important i guess.When Du Pre's bow touches the strings sparks fly as a listner you actually hear the pressure being exerted on the strings with Ma Du Pre pushing the cello almost beyond its limits.The music here is very lush,vibrant,emotional and very warm. It will take your mind to a world you have never been thats how beautiful the music in this CD is. I must also say that the engineers have not taken anything away as the music sounds so good & very much authentic as it was at the time of the performance.Its a MUST HAVE cd.Words can never be enough to describe the beauty, greatest talents, capabilities of the the brightest Cellist in the world no one compares to Jacqueline Du Pre.