On August 30, 1969, five young musicians—all well on their way to establishing themselves as renowned international artists—came together to play Schubert's "Trout" Quintet in London's new Queen Elizabeth Hall. Their names: Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jacqueline du Pré, and Zubin Mehta.
The reason for making the film in the words of its director, Christopher Nupen:
It was clear to us that the concert might well become legendary in time and so we decided to make a film about it. The intention was twofold: to film the concert itself live on stage, exactly as it happened, with five of the newly invented, silent 16mm film cameras and to make an introduction to it during the preceding week, documenting the preparations and, in particular, the spirit behind the event. The artists had all been intimate friends for many years, but, more importantly, they had a great deal in common musically and, in addition, they shared an exuberance in their talents which was as appealing as it was filmable.
Christopher Nupen on the film itself:
The introduction takes the television viewer into areas of music-making that are not normally accessible even to the committed concert-going public and the first part of the film ends with the final seven minutes of back-stage preparation before the concert. They are minutes which contain scenes that have passed into musical and television history. The film then continues with the complete performance shot during the concert, just as it happened, with not a note re-taken.
Photo: © Allegro Films
A film by Christopher Nupen
"I know I played every note" – A film by Christopher Nupen
The complete Beethoven sonatas