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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 February 2010
Personally, I think this live performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto, with Daniel Barenboim, is the most profound and moving of all. There's an uncanny rapport between the cellist and the orchestra, and the longer pauses in crucial moments, especially in the slow movement and the finale, only increase the sense of deep Elgarian longing and inevitability of fate. It is a miracle that the couple sustains the perfect marriage of expressive freedom and noble control. This is definitely the one of those performances in which the emotional concentration is so intense and focussed that the music transcends this world.

The performance of Enigma Variations already shows the signs of Barenboim's greatness as a conductor to come. Again, he captures all the subtle nuances and deep lyricism of the music, allowing each voice of the orchestra much freedom to express, while his intellectual grasp of the architecture of the whole work never wavering. There is a timeless quality in this performance, as in Barenboim's account of Elgar's two symphonies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Elgar is one of the most beautiful concertos ever written and now a staple in the cello repertoire. It is my favourite cello concerto and I own more than a dozen recordings of the work. I heard this on Classic FM while in the car, when I switched the radio on it was well into the third (slow) movement and...slow it was indeed, pedantic, soporific, lacking emotion, I didn't know who the soloist was. The 4th movement was better, the tempo was better, although some of the passages I found were a bit too harsh, too aggressive. When the radio presenter revealed the name of the soloist and conductor I was very surprised. No doubt Jackie Du Pre' was an extraordinary cellist, a spirited woman and fantastic musician, her life so tragically and prematurely cut off. But I am afraid this version of the Elgar with Barenboim just didn't do anything for me. The Classic Brit award 1985 winning recording with the RPO, Julian Lloyd Webber and Yehudi Menuhin conducting remains for me the best and unsurpassed. Menuhin had recording the Elgar violin concerto with Elgar himself conducting, he knew very well what the composer wanted to communicate through his music. Of course the "favourite" is a personal choice, there are many, many recordings of the Elgar out there. All I can say is that I didn't like this one with Du Pre' and Barenboim at all and I would have been very disappointed by the CD if I had ordered it based on the feedback I saw here. If you are after a recording of the Elgar with Du Pre' try the one with Barbirolli conducting, much, much better!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2013
Du Pre brings a depth to playing the cello that isn't heard elsewhere. Listen carefully and you will hear an audience member cough part way through the performance; but still probably the best recording of this piece available.
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on 9 April 2013
I had the vinyl version of this album and the remastering has worked well.
I'm not a big fan of digital remasters and classical music which one might think would benefit most from remastering given its larger dynamic range as a rule than pop or rock. However until fairly recently although the surface noise disappears in digitising the music, it is often left too bright and lifeless as compared with the warmth of an analogue recording. Don't forget that all the instruments in this recording are analogue, so it is only as digital technology has improved that this remastering process has contributed anything at all, apart from the lack of the usual surface noise, pops and clicks of a vinyl recording.
The pieces played here are from two musicians at the height of their powers and even today stands up well against any modern version. I've been a huge fan of the young Barenboim so perhaps I'm biased, but like his original recording of the Moonlight Sonata and the Pathetique this is still a benchmark by which other performances are judged.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2011
I bought this for myself having lost a previous copy. It was wonderful to hear it again - one of the few pieces that brings a tear to the eye. I once recorded a programme about Jacqueline du Pre, where she played this at the end, but in the days of VHS someone recorded over it. What a pleasure it is to be able to listen to this fabulous recording once more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2011
I bought this CD primarily because I like Jacqueline du Pré. Elgar's Pomp & Circumstance Marches and the Enigma Variations are are ecellent pieces, but when combined with Jacqueline du Pré it becomes superb.
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on 3 May 2015
Where do you people come from? Without doubt, this is the worst recording of Elgar's Cello Concerto I have ever heard. It is plainly obvious that it has been transcribed form a vinyl LP, for you can hear all of the attributable sounds, and it has been a great disappointment to me as far as an appreciable recording is concerned. I shall now seek a worthy recording.
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on 31 May 2014
This is the only true recording of Elgar's Cello Concerto and played by the 'Master' Jacqueline du Pre. Recorded over 40 years ago it still makes for a truly wonderful listen. Only complaint is that the linear notes could have included information on du Pre and Barenboim.
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on 14 January 2013
Intensely feeling. I marginally prefer it to the studio recording and to those of any other cellist..The supporting pieces are also excellently performed, especially the Pomp and Circumstance marches..
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on 25 December 2014
Having purchased the original vinyl version of this brilliant performance in the 70's it is most enjoyable to be able to play this re-mastered version on disc ! Thank you.....
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