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Thread: Best Elgar Cello Concerto?

  1. #16
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    Any performance with the name du Pré on it. Similarly for the violin concerto, any performance with the name Menuhin on it.
    Facts don't care about your feelings.

  2. #17
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    Du Pré and Tortelier. Both French, if you think about it.

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    Weilerstein's version on Decca is my favorite and better than Du Pre's for me ironically.

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    Senior Member MoonlightSonata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TalkingHead View Post
    Du Pré and Tortelier. Both French, if you think about it.
    Actually, du Pré was English. She was born and raised in Oxford.
    ≥12

  5. #20
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    Du Pre/LSO/Barbirolli (EMI, rec.1965), Cohen/LPO/Del Mar (EMI, rec.1980).

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    Du Pre & Barenboim, live 1970. The first couple of minutes are incredible. Just one take. Live. Can you believe that? Never heard anyone play the cello like this. The 1965 recording with Barbirolli seems cold and rather empty and boring in comparison.

  7. #22
    Senior Member MoonlightSonata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chordalrock View Post
    Du Pre & Barenboim, live 1970. The first couple of minutes are incredible. Just one take. Live. Can you believe that? Never heard anyone play the cello like this. The 1965 recording with Barbirolli seems cold and rather empty and boring in comparison.
    One take? For my favourite recording? Wow.
    ≥12

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    I’m working my way through Warner’s Barbirolli box and heard his 1958 mono recording with Andre Navarra. I found myself quite taken by it. The performance is quite different from du Pre’s sensationally individualistic reading two disks later, but I would hate to be without either one. As with all great compositions, no one conception can encapsulate the whole. The recordings also make clear just how great an Elgarian Barbirolli was, and it’s fascinating how he shapes the accompaniment around two very different players. I have no doubt that Barbirolli was one of the greats and consider the box one of the best purchases I have ever made.

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  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GKC View Post
    Doesn't hurt to have more than one.

    I really like Starker/Slatkin RCA. Good sound, too.
    Yes, I also liked that a lot.

    Just posting to note that I got it as part of a very cost-effective box set of Slatkin and Elgar. 199 Czech Kr from Supraphonline (- if you are willing to tolerate their clunky download and tagging issues), which is around £6. It's also got Zukerman doing the VC (which I also liked a lot) and a good Symphony 1 (- I haven't listened to his Symphony 2 yet), plus overtures and the serenade.

  11. #25
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    I loathe the Du Pre recording with Barenboim. It was an emotional moment - she briefly returned to performing before her illness took her - so I get it. But as music making it is horribly over the top. The recording with Barbirolli is a classic, however.

    A good one to try - you get used to the historical sound because the performance is so absorbing - is that made by Beatrice Harrison with Elgar conducting. I still think it may be the best account recorded.

    BTW - Why is this thread in the Chamber Music section of the forum?
    Last edited by Enthusiast; Jul-04-2021 at 14:52.

  12. #26
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    An acquaintance of mine swears by a recording made by a French cellist, Anne Gastinel, which I haven't heard yet. The cello concerto is actually not a huge favourite of mine (I much prefer the violin concerto) so I only have the famous du Pré/Barbirolli recording.
    Last edited by Animal the Drummer; Jul-05-2021 at 16:09.

  13. #27
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    DuPre with the LSO and Barbirolli is the gold standard for me for my favorite cello concerto. I am less enamored of her recording with her husband Barenboim. But I would still feel impoverished if it was the only recording I could listen to for this magnificent cello concerto. I am particularly fond of Fournier with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Wallenstein. Of recent recordings we have the fortune of multiple fine recordings including the above referenced ones by Anne Gastinel, Sol Gabetta and Alisa Weilerstein.

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    Senior Member HenryPenfold's Avatar
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    Although I can't get past Du Pre in a recording, I've witnessed some dog's danglies performances in concert.


    (Dog'danglies aka dog's bollox* - British-English term for rather good)


    *x replaces cks to get round house context-ignorant bowdlerisation

    One wonders if Shakespeare ever really existed!!
    Last edited by HenryPenfold; Jul-05-2021 at 19:22.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    As much as I still love Du Pre / Barbirolli it's not a version that I can play often. Weilerstein / Barenboim gets more airtime here. The last one I played was probably Isserlis / Jarvi but as a sleeper I've got to admit I like Bailey / Urbanski.
    Last edited by Merl; Jul-06-2021 at 19:54.

  18. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Animal the Drummer View Post
    An acquaintance of mine swears by a recording made by a French cellist, Anne Gastinel, which I haven't heard yet. The cello concerto is actually not a huge favourite of mine (I much prefer the violin concerto) so I only have the famous du Pré/Barbirolli recording.
    I have the Gastinel recording and rate it highly - it is a very understated account, no sign of the heart on the sleeve emotion of the Du Pre recording(s). Another vote for Weilerstein plus I also like Andre Navarra with Barbirolli and if you can handle the bacon sizzling sound (I jest its not that bad after its been cleaned up) the Beatrice Harrison conducted by the composer has a ring of authenticity that has to be heard.

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