Elgar: Cello Concerto & Sea Pictures
Jacqueline du Pré, Janet Baker, London Symphony Orchestra & Sir John Barbirolli
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This release is famous as one of the triumphs of Jacqueline du Pré’s all-too-short career. Her featured performance on the Elgar Cello Concerto is a master class in how to brood without losing momentum. There’s always a songlike quality to her tone, even when she brings out the grain in her instrument’s sound. John Barbirolli’s conducting keeps everything in balance. And the addition of Elgar’s Sea Pictures, with Janet Baker singing, makes this a top recommendation among all-Elgar sets.
This is the definitive recording and performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto. It is said that even the great Rostropovich removed it from his repertoire upon hearing this performance. This is a moody, wistful, melancholic and powerful rendition of a concerto written after the First World War and in response to the loss that people felt - not only of lives, but of a golden age. The fact that it was performed by a tremendously talented cellist who died before her time only adds to the mystique. The Sea Pictures are an OK add-on but the main reason you would buy this is for the tremendous cello concerto.
Born: January 26, 1945 in Oxford, England
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s