Friday, July 19, 2013

Jacqueline du Pré and Daniel Barenboim perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Enigma Variations

   Every instrument has its own story with moments of happiness and passages obscured by troubles, and as in every story should be a hero or a heroine, in the story of every musical instrument there are more than few featured personalities. In history of the cello performing art there were many great soloists. And one of the most featured artists is Jacqueline du Pré (1945-1987), phenomenal and prematurely died British artist. Since her debut recital of Handel, Bach, Brahms, Debussy and de Falla sonatas in the age of 16 she was widely acclaimed as prodigy virtuoso. One year later in 1962 she debuted in symphonic program performing Elgar’s Concerto with BBC Symphony Orchestra. For more than a decade she became sensational virtuoso admired for fluency and deep, beautiful sound.
   From the beginning the career of Jacqueline du Pré was developing and interlacing with Cello Concerto E Minor Op.85 by Edward Elgar. Performing in 60’s Elgar’s work almost constantly with orchestras all over the world, recording in 1965 with London Symphony Orchestra and John Barbirolli and five years later for CBS Masterworks with Daniel Barenboim conducting Philadelphia Orchestra, Jacqueline du Pré became the one who’s congenial interpretation has the power of definition for this inspired concerto.

Edward Elgar - Concerto and Enigma Variations (1976)

   Edward Elgar (1857-1934) composed his Cello concerto when 1st World War was sought to end, in 1919. Variations on an Original Theme known as Enigma Variations was work composed 20 years earlier in 1899. Original idea of Enigma Variations cycle built on a hidden theme corresponds with 20th century tendency to avoid hierarchic structures. Recorded in 1976 by London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim is an example of perfect balance between logic of repetitive schemes and spontaneity of emotional development of formal thinking. It has been issued with Cello concerto recorded with Philadelphia Orchestra during live performance, November 27 and 28, 1970. The sound of this performance is astonishing. Orchestra and soloist play with perfect articulation and expressive sound. Jacqueline du Pré’s cello sounds in full volume of dynamic and in whole range of sound – from as light and bright as violin, to powerful consonances and arpeggios. Five stars performance for perfect cello, great conducting and perfect orchestras.

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