Jacqueline Du Pre: The Complete EMI Recordings (17 CD box set, APE)

Performer: Jacqueline du Pre, Valda Aveling, Daniel Barenboim, Gerald Moore, Ernest Lush, Pinchas Zukerman, Gervase de Peyer, William Pleeth, Herbert Downes, Desmond Bradley, Stephen Kovacevich, Roy Jesson, Osian Ellis, John Williams
Composer: Elgar, Delius, Saint-Saens, Dvorak, Schumann, Monn, Haydn, Chopin, Franck, Bruch, Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Couperin, Strauss, Lalo, Brahms, Boccherini, Falla, Tchaikovsky, Paradis, Mendelssohn, Faure, Britten
Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Adrian Boult
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 17 CD box set
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: EMI Classics
Size: 4.68 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

CD 01
01-04 Elgar – Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
05 Delius – Cello Concerto (Lento – Con moto tranquillo – …)
06-08 Saint-Saens – Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33

CD 02
01-03 Dvorak – Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104
04 Dvorak – Silent Woods, Op. 68
05-07 Schumann – Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129

CD 03
01-03 Monn – Cello Concerto in G minor
04-06 Haydn – Cello Concerto in D, Hob.VIIb2
07-09 Haydn – Cello Concerto No. 1 in C, Hob.VIIb1

CD 04
01-04 Chopin – Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65
05-08 Franck – Cello Sonata in A
09 Bruch – Kol Nidrei, Op. 47

CD 05
01-06 J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 1 in G, BWV 1007
07-12 J.S. Bach – Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008
13-16 Handel – Sonata in G minor, HWV 287

CD 06
01-03 Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 1 in F, Op. 5, No. 1
04-06 Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 2 in G, Op. 5, No. 2
07-09 Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 3 in A, Op. 69

CD 07
01-02 Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 4 in D, Op. 102, No. 1
03-05 Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 5 in D, Op. 102, No. 2
06 Beethoven – 12 Variations on Handel’s ‘See The Conqu’ring Hero Comes’ in G, WoO 45
07 Beethoven – 7 Variations on Mozart’s ‘Bei Maennern’ in E flat, WoO 46
08 Beethoven – 12 Variations on Mozart’s ‘Ein Maedchen oder Weibchen’ in F, Op. 66

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CD 08
01-04 Beethoven – Piano Trio No. 1 in E flat, Op. 1, No. 1
05-08 Beethoven – Piano Trio No. 2 in G, Op. 1, No. 2
09 Beethoven – 14 Variations in E flat, Op. 44

CD 09
01-04 Beethoven – Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3
05-08 Beethoven – Piano Trio No. 6 in B flat, Op. 97 ‘Archduke’
09 Beethoven – Piano Trio in B flat, WoO 39 – Allegretto
10 Beethoven – Piano Trio in E flat, Hess 84 – Allegretto

CD 10
01-03 Beethoven – Piano Trio No. 4 in D, Op. 70, No. 1 ‘Ghost’
04-07 Beethoven – Piano Trio No. 5 in E flat, Op. 70, No. 2
08 Beethoven – 10 Variations on Mueller’s song ‘Ich bin der Schneider Kakadu’, Op. 121a

CD 11
01-03 Beethoven – Piano Trio in E flat, WoO 38
04-06 Beethoven – Clarinet Trio in B flat, Op. 11
07-11 Couperin – Les Gouts-Reunis – Treizieme Concert a deux instruments a l’unisson

CD 12
01-13 Richard Strauss – Don Quixote, Op. 35
14-16 Lalo – Cello Concerto in D minor

CD 13
01-03 Brahms – Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38
04-07 Brahms – Cello Sonata No. 2 in F, Op. 99
08-10 Boccherini – Cello Concerto No. 9 in B flat, G.482

CD 14
01-04 Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 3 in A, Op. 69
05-07 Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 5 in D, Op. 102, No. 2
08-13 Falla – Suite populaire espagnole

CD 15
01-03 Brahms – Cello Sonata No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38
04-07 Brahms – Cello Sonata No. 2 in F, Op. 99
08 Bruch – Kol Nidrei, Op. 47

CD 16
01-04 Brahms – Cello Sonata No. 2 in F, Op. 99
05-06 Tchaikovsky – Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50

CD 17
01 Paradis – Sicilienne
02-04 Schumann – Fantasiestuecke, Op. 73
05 Mendelssohn – Song without Words in D, Op. 109
06 Faure – Elegie in C minor, Op. 24
07 J.S. Bach – Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C, BWV 564 – Adagio
08 Saint-Saens – Carnaval des animaux – Le cygne
09 Falla – Suite populaire espagnole – Jota
10-11 Britten – Cello Sonata in C, Op. 65
12 Paradis – Sicilienne
13-15 Schumann – Fantasiestuecke, Op. 73

A Fitting Memorial to a Great Artist — and an Astonishing Bargain

That Jacqueline du Pré was a great musician, as well as an extraordinarily courageous human being, is beyond dispute. Though her recorded legacy, most of which is included in this inexpensive box, tends to be uneven, given the circumstances of a career tragically cut short by a debilitating illness, one must still regard every track as precious.

There are many first-rate performances included here. Her ripely expressive Elgar concerto with Barbirolli is an all-time “classic of the gramophone” (as they would put it in the UK), and many of the other concertante works are given splendidly passionate, deeply expressive treatment by this youthful artist. One might wish for a less fulsome tone in the Haydn, Boccherini-Grützmacher and Monn concerti (listeners concerned for period manners may be put off by Du Pré’s heavily romanticized readings), but she triumphs in the Schumann and gives a remarkably involving, if wayward, account of the Dvorák. She is overparted as Strauss’s Don Quixote–one of her less successful ventures–but makes ample amends in an elegant live performance of the Lalo Concerto and a fragrantly earthy rendition of the Delius.

It could be argued that Du Pré’s finest legacy remains in the field of chamber music, where she consistently engaged in intimate, soulful and playful conversation with some of her closest companions (as well as husband Daniel Barenboim). Here is a veritable treasure trove of trios and sonatas, including stunning live performances of the Beethoven cello sonatas with Barenboim, leaner and more concentrated studio versions of Sonatas 3 & 5 with Stephen Bishop Kovacevich, and a set of Beethoven trios (featuring Zukerman and Barenboim) performed with youthful ardor and gusto, If I am less impressed by her Bach suites 1 & 2 (recorded very early in her career), I found the Handel sonatas quite charming. I was bowled over by the Tchaikovsky trio (with the same personnel as the Beethoven), the Chopin Cello Sonata and the Franck Violin Sonata in transcription (all with Barenboim in youthfully combustible form). Indeed, this is the only version of the Chopin I have heard which convinces me that it belongs in the canon of great chamber works for cello. Her Brahms sonatas (both live and studio) are certainly involving, if at times overheated. It is particularly gratifying to hear Du Pré in some spikier twentieth-century literature, including Britten and de Falla. The shorter, “encore” pieces, though mostly insubstantial, are hugely enjoyable.

In sum, then, this box offers the collector a unique opportunity survey the career of one of the Twentieth Century’s most remarkable musical personalities. Despite vicissitudes of live performance (a few slips here and there) and recording (ranging from cloudy to vivid), I recommend this amazingly inexpensive set with the utmost enthusiasm. If, perchance, there are any listeners who have not yet encountered the vibrant artistry of Jacqueline Du Pré, here is your chance to get acquainted–in a rather big way. Rest assured: you won’t regret the investment of time and treasure.

23 Comments

  1. My friends, how do I separate the songs by bands?
    Could someone give me a tutorial?

    embrace all

  2. Listening to the very first concerto by Elgar makes me realize that my simple thanks does this set little justice. I am totally floored by du Pre’s playing. Thank you Whatever. This is beautiful music.

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