Piano Street Magazine

Through Nupen’s Eyes: Young Legends Play Mozart

May 28th, 2019 in Top Video Picks by | 2 comments

On 11 March 1966, two great young pianists appeared together in public for the first time: Daniel Barenboim and Vladimir Ashkenazy played Mozart’s Concerto for two pianos at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. Looking in the back mirror we realize the unique importance of this performance hi-lighting the two young pianists in the middle of building world famous careers.

Enjoying the sound of their different personalities, it is easy to get captured by their cultivation, spontaneity and mastery of dialogue. By covering rehearsal and private situations, film maker Christopher Nupen manages to communicate a deeper understanding for the artists’ personalities when giving their voices in Mozart’s wonderful double concerto in E-flat major, a work originally written for Wolfgang himself and his sister Maria Anna.

Barenboim, Ashkenazy: Double Concerto

Documentary of 1966

0:31 Workshop
5:06 About Daniel Barenboim
8:20 About Vladimir Ashkenazy
10:20 First rehearsal
16:55 First rehearsal with the Orchestra
29:45 Barenboim conducts Mozart – Symphony No. 29
32:58 Double Concerto, First movement
43:14 Double Concerto, Second movement
51:16 Double Concerto, Third movement

Film Maker Christopher Nupen

Renowned music film maker Christopher Nupen began his broadcasting career in the Features Department of BBC Radio when he made HIGH FESTIVAL IN SIENA in 1962 for the BBC Third Programme at the invitation of Laurence Gilliam, a radio documentary of a new kind about the extraordinary summer music school of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, where Nupen studied with Andrés Segovia and Alirio Diaz.

As a result of his radio programmes, he was invited by Huw Wheldon to move to television where he became the originator of a new kind of intimate classical music film – made possible for the first time by the invention of the first silent 16mm film cameras in the 1960s. His first film (DOUBLE CONCERTO) made in 1966, at the invitation of Huw Wheldon and David Attenborough with Vladimir Ashkenazy and Daniel Barenboim won two international prizes (Prague and Monte Carlo) and became a seminal work.


  • Belinda Masumura says:

    I was delighted to watch two piano greats perform together during their youth. It was beyond my imagination that this opportunity to watch Barenboim and Ashkenazy together was made possible thru piano street. Many thanks.

  • Malcolm Bolan says:

    I well remember this event. I was at the Royal College of Music in London, and 20 years old (doesn’t time fly??) This is a film of which I would really love a copy , and wonder how one would proceed in obtaining one, if this is possible. I have folloed these two excellent pianists for the past 53 years, and hold each of them in the highest regard. Daniel Barenboim came to the RCM and was interviewed by Antony Hopkins. Absolutely fascinating.

    Many thanks for providing this film.

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