Bach, Britten, Falla, Brahms, Couperin & Handel

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COMPOSERS: Bach,Brahms,Britten,Couperin & Handel,Falla
ALBUM TITLE: Jacqueline du Pre – The Early Recordings 1961-1965
WORKS: F major Sonata; Cello Sonata
PERFORMER: Jacqueline du Pré, William Pleeth, Stephen Kovacevich, Ernest Lush
CATALOGUE NO: 586 2362
These early broadcast examples


from Jacqueline du Pré’s all too brief

recording career are repackaged as a

tribute to her 60th anniversary. BBC

engineering in the early 1960s was

hardly state of the art, yet du Pré’s

musical magnetism almost always

transcends the grainy sound quality. If

her Bach sounds over-Romantic to ears

attuned to the more fluid articulation

favoured by present-day performers,

there’s no doubting the conviction

and instinctive musicality with which

she draws the melodic line. Likewise,

the Brahms F major Sonata, recorded

live at the 1962 Edinburgh Festival,

has a raw spontaneity and exuberance

perhaps preferable to the more

sophisticated yet mannered reading

she later gave with Daniel Barenboim.

A Couperin duet, although

stylistically anachronistic, illustrates

the extraordinary musical bond du

Pré enjoyed with her teacher William

Pleeth, while the tantalisingly brief

but strongly characterised excerpts

from the Britten Cello Sonata with a

highly responsive Stephen Kovacevich

show that du Pré was just as capable of

committing herself to contemporary


repertoire. Erik Levi