Top positive review
on 11 February 2015
Utterly captivating performance by Starker and the LSO, and it's hard to believe that this recording is over 50 years old. The disc contains three separate versions, a CD layer as originally issued in the 1990s and two newly remastered (circa 2006) DSD versions on the SACD layer in stereo and 3 channel respectively. Compared to the roughly contemporary EMI recording of Jaqueline du Pre and the Chicago SO from their CD box set of Du Pre's recordings, which has long been a favourite of mine, the sound quality is in a different league even for the original CD transfer. The DSD versions, particularly the 3 channel one, give even greater clarity and better stereo imaging. (I should say though that EMI's own remastered SACDs of Du Pre's Elgar and Delius cello concertos are also excellent). I could detect no hint of the background hiss reported by one other reviewer, on any of the versions though there may be some slight traces of audience noise- I believe these were live recordings. On first hearing I thought the orchestral accompaniment just a little over-bright, especially in the first movement, and a little too prominent at the expense of the solo parts. But on further listening those first impressions have faded and it now sounds just right to me with all parts being heard clearly. Starker's interpretation is rather more austere than Du Pre's with less ornamentation but wonderful precision and delicacy - and passion too, though tightly controlled. One to treasure.