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RECORDINGS: ALLA BREVE

August 31, 1986|JOE SALTZMAN

ELGAR: CELLO CONCERTO. Jacqueline du Pre, cello. ELGAR: "SEA PICTURES." Janet Baker, mezzo-soprano. Sir John Barbirolli conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. EMI/Angel Compact Disc CDC 7 473289. Two irreplaceable LP performances: Du Pre's first recording of the Elgar cello concerto in 1965; for many, it is one of the most cherished recordings of the LP era. It captures the unbashedly romantic, unrestrained playing of a young girl in the full blossom of her early career, a career soon to be destroyed by a crippling illness. Barbirolli responds to Du Pre's every whim and fancy. He also offers passionate support to Baker's youthful, articulate account of "Sea Pictures." In both instances, Barbirolli is shepherding a young artist.

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