Fifty years ago, at London’s newly opened Queen Elizabeth Hall, and on newly mobile cameras, Christopher Nupen filmed Jacqueline du Pre, Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Zubin Mehta plays Schubert’s Trout Quintet.
It was the end of August ’69 and the future looked bright. Television was ravenous for behind-the-scenes music programmes. The artists seemed to represent a breath of fresh air in a fusty field.
What happened since. Du Pre died young of multiple sclerosis. Mehta is about to retire. Zukerman’s then-wife is living with Alzheimers. The QEH is a semi-programmed venue that nobody films or reviews any more. And TV is off classical music altogether.
But the music plays on.