Jacqueline Du Pré, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim – Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor (1971)
Jacqueline Du Pré, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli – Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor (1965) [Japan 2018]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 103:07 minutes | Basic Scans | 4,15 GB
or FLAC (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Basic Scans included | 2,14 GB
At a young age, cellist Jacqueline du Pre achieved mainstream popularity. She is regarded as one of the most distinctive cellists of the last half of the 20th century. Her career was cut short by a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis which stopped her performances at the age of 27. This Japanese SACD reissue from 2018 combines Dvorak’s Cello Concerto In B Minor from 1970 (as well with the additional piece of music “Silent Woods”) and a gut-wrenching performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor from 1965 (as well with the additional pieces of “Sea Pictures”).
This seems to be a straight reissue of UPC 4943674173556, which was remastered in 2011 and UPC 4988006887916 (for the Elgar pieces), combined into a single disc. The sound of the Elgar concerto and of Sea Pictures is excellent and I would recommend the SACD upgrade if one already has the Red Book version. The Dvořák concerto, on the other hand, has always been recognized as a recording with major sonic issues, the biggest problem being the balance between the solo cello and the orchestra. I don’t own a Red Book version of this one, so I can’t make a Red Book-SACD comparison. I can say, however, that it still sounds rather poor on SACD. It unfortunately seems to be one of those recordings that no amount of remastering and resolution can save. Of course, I am only reviewing the sonics here! The actual performances are excellent; Jacqueline du Pré’s playing on the Elgar concerto, in particular, is absolutely wondrous.
01. Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor Op.104, B191: I.Allegro
02. Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor Op.104, B191: II.Adagio ma non troppo
03. Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor Op.104, B191: III. Finale (Allegro moderato)
04. Dvořák: Silent Woods Op.68 No.5, B182
05. Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor Op.85: I. Adagio – Moderato –
06. Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor Op.85: II. Lento – Allegro molto
07. Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor Op.85: III. Adagio
08. Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor Op.85: IV. Allegro – Moderato – Cadenza – Allegro, ma non troppo – Adagio – Allegrto molto
09. Elgar: Sea Pictures Op.37: I. Sea Slumber-Song (Roden Noel)
10. Elgar: Sea Pictures Op.37: II. In Haven (Capri) (Caroline Alice Elgar)
11. Elgar: Sea Pictures Op.37: III. Sabbath Morning at Sea (Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
12. Elgar: Sea Pictures Op.37: IV. Where Corals Lie (Richard Garnett)
13. Elgar: Sea Pictures Op.37: V. The Swimmer (Adam Lindsay Gordon)
Jacqueline du Pré – cello
Dame Janet Baker – mezzo-soprano on “09-13”
Chicago Symphony Orchestra – Conducted by Daniel Barenboim
London Symphony Orchestra – Conducted by Sir John Barbirolli
Tracks “01-04” Recorded on November 11, 1970 at Medinah Temple, Chicago.
Tracks “05-08” Recorded on August 30, 1965 at Kingsway Hall, London.
Tracks “09-13” Recorded on August 19, 1965 at No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London.