What makes Jacqueline du Pre so legendary

CD • SACD • DVD-Audio • DVD Video

Jacqueline du Préin Portrait

BBC Classics OA CN0902 D

1 DVD video • 2h 35min • [C 2004]


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Classic today

Jacqueline du Pré, the English cellist who died in 1987 at the age of forty-two, would have turned sixty that year. On this occasion, BBC / Opus Arte is publishing a portrait of the unforgettable artist with two films by Christopher Nupen, which are being released here for the first time on DVD, "Jacqueline du Pré and Elgar's Cello Concerto" and "The Ghost", which relates to Beethoven Ghost trio relates. The first film focuses on the work that, like no other, is inextricably linked with the name of the young cellist. The fact is all the more astonishing as Elgar's concerto is a mature late work, the very personal, melancholy swan song of the great composer. Jacqueline du Pré played the work for the first time at the age of 17 with a depth and authority that even then seemed unsurpassable and which also characterizes the legendary performance with the New Philharmonia Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim in 1967, which is reproduced in full in the film. During her career, which lasted only ten years, but also in the following years, in which she carried out her teaching activities with enthusiasm despite progressive multiple sclerosis, the Elgar concert formed the heart of her repertoire. The portrait of the extraordinary artist is entwined around this piece, touching on childhood, early discovery of her talent, studies, wedding with Daniel Barenboim, concerts and tours, but also the last few years when the disease made public appearances impossible. Interviews with the parents or the conductor Sir John Barbirolli and valuable archive material, which the cellist shows in a duet with her teacher William Pleeth or at the piano - accompanied by her mother or her husband - are interwoven.

The second - in contrast to the first color - contains a captivating recording of Beethoven's Piano Trio op. 70 No. 1 from 1970 with Pinchas Zukerman and Daniel Barenboim. Ingenious camera work and skilful cuts make the communicativity of du Pré's game vividly tangible in cooperation with the partners. Christopher Nupen's music films are among the best that is on offer in this field. He approaches his subject with intelligence, sensitivity and - especially in this case - with unlimited admiration, which the viewer is ready to share without hesitation.

King Sixtus † † [01/26/2005]

Composers and works from the recording

Performers of the recording