On August 30th 1969 five young artists, all of whom were beginning to be established as international artists of the highest rank, came together to play Schubert's "Trout Quintet" in the new Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Their names: Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jacqueline du Pré, Zubin Mehta and Daniel Barenboim.
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 two-fold: to film the concert itself live on stage, exactly as it happened, with five 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 important, they had a great deal in common musically. In addition, they shared an exuberance in their talents which was unforgettable. The introduction takes the television viewer into areas of music-making and musical personalities that are not normally accessible even to the committed concert-going public. The first part of the film ends with the final seven minutes of back-stage preparation for the concert, which contain scenes that have passed into television history. The film ends with the complete performance shot during the concert with not a note re-taken later.
THE TROUT is almost certainly the most frequently televised classical music programme made until now. It was broadcast for the eighth time in Germany on May 25th, 1994 on the ARTE network and it drew the biggest audience of any classical music transmission on that network during the whole of the first six months of 1994 - twenty-five years after the film first appeared!
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 (Trout Quintet)
Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto