According to filmmaker Christopher Nupen, “Jacqueline du Pre:
A Celebration of Her Unique and Enduring Gift,” is a sequel to his 2004
release, “Jacqueline du Pre: In Portrait.” This 2007 film expands upon
“In Portrait” in many ways, with more interviews and testimonials
from those who knew and worked with du Pre, including Dietrich
Fischer-Dieskau, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Mehta, and
The DVD consists of two films, “Who Was Jacqueline du Pre?” and
“Remembering Jacqueline du Pre,” each lasting roughly 56 minutes.
Sandwiched between these two films is a 12-minute audio excerpt from
a Brahms Sonata, played by du Pre and Daniel Barenboim with a photo
montage, and a 15-minute interview with du Pre by Nupen from 1980.
This interview was originally conducted for television, but never before
seen in its entirety. As Nupen rightly states, this is one of the beauties
of the DVD format. By this time, Jacqueline du Pre was confined to a
wheelchair, due to the effects of multiple sclerosis. This made the
interview and much of the remaining footage difficult to watch with
While viewing this disc, it became obvious to me how music naturally
flowed from du Pre, like a cascade. At one point, when clowning around
during rehearsals of Schubert’s “Trout Quintet,” with Itzhak Perlman,
Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta and Pinchas Zukerman, everyone swapped
instruments. Jacqueline du Pre did a decent job of playing Perlman’s violin, while
holding it like a cello! Other film clips showed her playing the piano. Of course,
her cello playing and sound were amazing.
Although the slow movement from Beethoven’s “Ghost” Trio and a five-minute
excerpt from the Elgar “Cello Concerto,” are also shown in their entirety
on the “In Portrait” DVD, most of the material here is different footage.
As with the “In Portrait” disc, “Jacqueline du Pre: A Celebration of Her Unique
and Enduring Gift,” ends with a 38-minute compilation of excerpts from
26 other Nupen films. In my opinion, both of these DVDs are essential
viewing and once again, Christopher Nupen “knocks it out of the park.”