In 1979, the much-loved British cellist Jacqueline du Pre, then beset with multiple sclerosis (she was diagnosed in 1973), stepped into the recording studio to make what was to be her last recording – not as cellist but as an engaging narrator in ‘Peter and the Wolf’. Her husband, Daniel Barenboim, conducted a spacious and relaxed account of this timeless story. The coupling was an expanded version of the movements that are frequently heard as Leopold Mozart’s ‘Toy Symphony’ – the Cassation in G. Her spirit ever indomitable, du Pre had actually taken part in performances of this work in 1976 at the Royal Albert Hall, playing a toy drum. (Earlier, as a little girl, she performed it with much enthusiasm on a television show, managing to rupture the instrument!).
This timeless recording has never before been released on CD and in the spirit of musical-storytelling it’s released in a coupling with two other favourites – Dukas’ ‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ and Saint-Saens’ ‘Danse macabre’ both recorded some years later by Barenboim.
Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67*
Cassation in G for Orchestra and Toys*
Jacqueline du Pré, narrator 
English Chamber Orchestra
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Orchestre de Paris
* FIRST RELEASE ON CD
Recording producers: Steven Paul, Werner Mayer (Prokofiev, L. Mozart); Günther Breest, Wolfgang Stengel (Dukas); Steven Paul, Klaus Scheibe (Saint-Saëns)
Recording engineers: Hans-Peter Schweigmann, Joachim Niss (Prokofiev, L. Mozart); Klaus Scheibe, Klaus Behrens (Dukas); Hans-Rudolf Müller, Klaus Behrens (Saint-Saëns)
Remastering engineer: Lennart Jeschke (Emil Berliner Studios)
Recording locations: Henry Wood Hall, London, UK, October 1979 (Prokofiev, L. Mozart); Notre Dame du Liban, Paris, France, January 1977 (Dukas); Maison de la Mutualité, Paris, France, October 1980 (Saint-Saëns)
‘Jacqueline du Pre’s is a leisurely and intimate account, like a bedtime story’ Penguin Guide to CDs