Tribute to Jacqueline du Pré

A film by Christopher Nupen

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Program notes

If the story of Jacqueline du Pré remains one of the most heartrending in music history—a cellist with seemingly limitless talent and generosity of spirit, struck by multiple sclerosis before her thirtieth birthday—the enduring love and affection that her memory still inspires is a testament to her unshakeable legacy as a musician and as a human being. This half-hour special by documentarian Christopher Nupen, who began working with du Pré when she was just 22, gives us a precious glimpse at the phenomenon who accomplished so much in her too-short time.

Interviews with Zubin Mehta (“musicians loved her, even people who had never spoken to her”), Daniel Barenboim (“I have never met somebody before or since who was such a musical conversationalist”), Pinchas Zukerman (“she was probably the greatest human being that I ever met”), and Itzhak Perlman (“I can’t listen to [the ‘Trout’ Quintet] any more… It’s not Jackie”) round out archival footage of Du Pré tackling Couperin, Brahms, Schubert, and the Elgar Cello Concerto, a piece that is still, decades after her untimely death, inextricably associated with her genius.

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Further listening: featured works

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