Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ludwig van Beethoven, Jacqueline Du Pre, Daniel Barenboim|
Beethoven: Cello Sonatas & Variations
Listen to Samples
Light-hearted Give and Take, There is Plenty and More
stradgirl | Toronto, ON | 02/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe after listening to an allegedly more rejuvenating recording, Tortelier's in the previous reviewer's case, even this recording could sound a little too tamed. Having said that, it is completely wrong to say this recording is just another dull and grim, all-too-serious set of Beethoven Sonatas. Firstly, if one finds no joy and vitality in this recording, I do not know where one possibly can. Do they really play "as if they are going to church for solemn mass"? I would take it as a profoundly sarcastic joke. Compared with any other popular sets, this album definitely stands out mostly for its energy and the "fun" of the interpretations. It's a live recording all right, from performances given at the 1970 Edinburg Festival which were brocast on BBC3 that same year. So there is no deniyng that there's plenty of the live concert excitement, either.
Secondly, the "light-hearted give-and-take" is what the couple's ensemble is all about. I find it even comical that one would use such an expression to describe them otherwise. True, maybe the cello is brought out a little more at places, but that still does not make Barenboim "colourless" and "monotous"ly unmusical. There is glowing intimacy in the rapport between the two performers. Barenboim's ability to support the sometimes whimsical and over-the-top twists and turns of Du Pre, only comes from the intense musical trust and understanding of each other. One may as well skip this set, and maybe seek out that allegedly finer recording by Tortlier and Heidsieck; I have not listented ot the recording, so I cannot comment on that. But two stars for this recording? That's only extreme, either. Ma/Ax recordings also display awesome display of musicianship and intimacy, full of that covetted "light-heartedness" in this often gravely interpreted music. However, they are spanned over three separate albums, and if I had a choice once again to choose between that and this complete Beethoven set, I would go for this CD without second thoughts. I give it five stars, and I do so with conviction."
Most Enjoyable, Convincing Reading of Beethoven Sonatas
stradgirl | Toronto, ON | 01/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have bought and very intently listened to recordings of theses works performed by Rostropovich, Ma, Fouriner and Casals. I very much appreicate the classical and noble interpretaions of Rostropovich and Fouriner, and Ma's more lively and captivating performance with its simplicity and perfect unity with Ax has been, without a doubt, my favourite of all time: until I happened to listen to the G minor Sonata(No.2) on this set. Given the fact that the first two sonatas were written for PIANO AND CELLO(as opposed to the latter three written for CELLO AND PIANO), the main focus of the music on piano rather than on cello, the G minor sonata couldn't be said to be the most exciting and cellistic out of the five. The melodies can easiliy sound boring and repetitive and dull, but being the most natural singer on this instrument that she is, Jacquline Du Pre makes it sound the most entertaining and beautiful piece existing on the earth. The percussionstic accompaniment parts are played with such vigour, and never once does she miss the opporunity to sing out in the occassional lyrical passages, making every note come alive with a strikingly beautiful and appropriate tone colour. Listening to this album is a true musical experience, each time I listen to it the pieces come through with more profundity and even more beauty. The temperament and loftiness of Beethoven seems to be the perfect match for Jacquline Du Pre."
Great recording from 1970 with coughing in background
Wayne A. | Belfast, Northern Ireland | 11/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During a certain moment in Solti's Rheingold one can hear the distinct sound of the ice machine in the lobby (I checked the score and Wagner makes no mention of it anywhere although Strauss called for one in Don Quixote). At one perilous instant in a Kabasta Bruckner recording we can dimly make out the detonation of a 100 pound bomb off in the distance somewhere in wartime Munich (and, worse, you can hear Nazis coughing!). People should be prepared for the problems inherent in live recordings and be willing to put up with them in order to hear fine spontanous performances. One should think of them as sort of like, well, being at a live concert for real. The late Ms. du Pre's playing is so ear-catching I'd be willing to put up with a recording of her performing in a rail yard. It's hardly an issue.
The other reviews cover the merits of this set well. 'Nuff said."