Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Jaqueline du Prè – A Cellist Without the Same


Hello everybody,

I would like today, different from my previous practice to present classical music. As well in the classic music genre examples can be found which are for me incomparable musical moments. So I've always been interested in the different interpretations of the cello play. In particular, but it is the supreme joy of incomparable Jaqueline du Pré, which I would like to present here with some essential records today. Due to her early tragic life end, the list of original recordings on vinyl is short, all first releases were published with EMI or Angel label for the US-market. The Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto with Sir John Barbirolli and the London Symphony Orchestra was her first recording in 1965, which established her fame arose (LP record can be seen lying in the back).
Other recordings of the major cello concerts and an extensive concert career followed on. As well a lot of chamber music was recorded in the first years. One of my favored records is the exceptional take with Stephen Bishop for the Beethoven cello sonatas (LP lying in front). Very typical for du Prés play is the incomparable vitality and the playing pleasure, which is in this case more than exceptional. The recording gives a deep intimate insight into the music and delivers a exquisite conserve in terms of dynamics, presence and energy of both performers. With good play back equipment it will give a reasonable illusion of the live event in your listening room. Something which is almost impossible with greater orchestrated pieces like a symphony. The sheer mass of the instruments, i.e. amount of moved air and the size of the location is impossible to capture with hifi.



Through du Prés friendship with Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Mehta and Pinchas Zukerman, the famous film by Christopher Nupen on Franz Schubert's Trout Quintet was formed. In 1967, Jacqueline du Pré married the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim. Their marriage was the basis for a fruitful musical collaboration that can be proven as a pianist or conductor through many recordings with Barenboim.

Jacqueline du Pré was born at the 26th January of 1945  and died at the 19th October of 1987 in London. She grew up in a musical family - her mother was a pianist and piano teacher - and at the age of five years showed interest in the cello. At the age of ten she studied with William Pleeth as her main mentor. She studied as well in the following years with Pablo Casals, Paul Tortelier and Mstislav Rostropovich. In 1961 she received a Stradivari cello of 1673, which is now called "Du Pré Stradivarius". Since 1964 she played on the "Davidov Stradivarius" of 1712. Both instruments were gifts from her godmother Ismena Holland.

In the fall of 1973 she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Then she occasionally worked as a teacher until her health deteriorated so that she could no longer perform and died at the age of 42 years. Only a few records were published in that decade, but some of these are some of the best interpretations of the 20th century.

Read on soon about other soloists, Volker