Musical genius: Jacqueline du Pré

The cello genius.

As you know, I'm an amateur violinist. I love playing the violin as much as I can do. Since my 7th year, I'm playing this instrument. But before I started to play the violin, I have played the cello for one year at the age of six. And that wasn’t a big success, I can tell you! I didn’t want to go to the lesson. Screaming a lot - if I may believe my father - when I went to lessons on Friday. Yes, I remember the day I went to lesson.

As a good amateur violinist, I don’t listen to violinist only - or violin music, but I also listen to other musicians in other classical music scenes. Better: I play the cello concerto by Dvorak with my orchestra. I love this piece so much. There are lots of different recordings by different musicians.


One of these recordings is from Jacqueline du Pré! I love how she interprets the concerto. If I listen to different kind of recordings of this piece, I will want to hear this one time after time. In this live recording in The Royal Albert Hall, her string broke. That could happen.

She brings out this interpretation very intense, as if you were there when she played the piece. Like she pulled you over to her through the screen of your laptop or when you play it on your player, she pulls you over, to come and listen, to try to touch what she means with what she plays. But you may not touch it directly, but try harder every time. And at the end, she takes your hand, and wants to tell you: ‘here it is, take it’.

Working with others

In her musical career - she played until she was 28 years old - she had the pleasure to play with so many different musicians. She played with - her husband - Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman and others. In the video below she plays with these two fellow musicians. And as though they would end up playing this as soloists isn’t true. This is how we should make music. Delicate, knowing what they’re doing, and making the right kind of music.

One of my favourite cellos sonatas: Brahms No.1 in E minor. I get the same feeling as I wrote above. Together with her husband.

In the past, there have been a documentary about her by AllegroFilms and the director Christopher Nupen. He captured her as a lovely simple lady from UK.

Suddenly she got Multiple Sclerosis. An illness that took away the ability to play the cello again. Unfortunately she became 42 years old. Her lung concussion was the cause of her death.

Sometimes I am thinking about why I didn’t continue to play the cello and why I was too stubborn to go to lessons. I think I heard my sister playing the violin. And I wanted to do that too. I think that instrument was more like me.

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