Sunshine and shadow - as portrayed by du Pre.
P. Rah | Sion, Switzerland | 10/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No one played the Schumann concerto like Jackie - it is simply gorgeous! It must surely count among her most glorious recordings. I say this because everything she does here is perfect: the tone of her cello, the tempi (although to some ears, the second movement might be extraordinarily slow)etc... It is impossible to tell you everything that is right about what she does - there are too many things discuss, and one has to listen to it to believe it. The whole concerto is spaciously laid out, and it suits the Romanticism of Schumann's music (who, of course, was a true Romantic). The second movement is unmatched in its heartbreaking beauty - not even Rostropovich with Bernstein (who was, incidentally, a conductor who conducted Jackie very frequently in this piece)- and the last movement is played with furious passion from both soloist and orchestra alike. In the end, Jackie and Barenboim triumph joyfully (sadly not the fate that was in store for Schumann). The piano concerto is another matter. It is a very good recording and performance, with Barenboim showing the contemplative side of this piece, rather than the virtuosic side, as it isoften played. A minor drawback is the conducting. Fischer-Dieskau is great as a singer, not as a conductor (well, at least for this piece anyway). Sure, it is good enough, but when one listens from a whole point of view, it lacks in depth and fire. To be fair, though, he does support Barenboim more than well, and the overall structure is good. But it is ultimately amatuerish conducting which mars the performance. However, the Introduction and Allegro apassionato, is a welcome inclusion, as it is not recorded often enough. Overall a beautifully satisfying performance. Highly recommended, and at mid price too!"
Gradations and Harmony like Sun and Fog (or mist)
jack schaaf | 09/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It had been described by Clara Schumann that while her husband was in an asylum he devoted much effort to making corrections upon his cello concerto (I850). There are fluctations in overall mood, a sort of interplay between light and shadow, a series of gradations and tonalities particularly prevalent in the interaction between the cello and piano, which, after managing to find their own placement during the progression of the work evenly settles into a sort of polished harmony before then arriving at its passioned finale. Unlike the trademark eloquent passion and rhapsodic angst of her recording of the Chopin Sonatas (see e.g., Sonata for Celloa nd Piano in G Minor BI60/Opus 65; a good starting point for anyone interested in the cellist), du Pre does interpret the Schumann concerto in a contemplative and classic manner. With Barenboim, this recording manages to convey much of the talent, competence (and virtousity)for which she was known"