I’ve been on a Richard Strauss listening binge the last few weeks, including spending some quality time listening to Tod und Verklärung, which I hardly know at all, and Don Quixote, which I don’t know well enough. Dave provided me with several recordings I hadn’t heard before, including a wonderful, wonderful recording of Don Quixote with Jacqueline du Pré on cello. (DQ is loosely in the form of a theme and twelve variations, and the main theme, representing DQ himself, is on a solo cello; some of the variations also use the solo cello to portray him. So, while the cellist is not exactly a featured soloist in the manner of a concerto, he or she gets a lot of opportunity to stand out.) Du Pré poured an astonishing amount of depth of emotion and thought into her solo passages. No other recording I’ve heard so far comes anywhere near it in that regard.