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13.1.15

Classical: Jacqueline du Pré

Classical: Jacqueline du Pré | Ses Rêveries

I watched Hilary & Jackie over the holidays during one of those it's-2am-and-I-can't-sleep-so-I'll-just-watch-whatever's-on-before-teleshopping-starts slumps, and absolutely fell in love with little Jackie because of how animated she got when she played. Whenever I mastered a piece, I did exactly the same back when I played the piano, so it was like finding my cellist spirit animal. I just had to find and share videos of the real Jacqueline after that.

I went with the Elgar Concerto because (and if my research is correct, it really does warrant this response) duh, and her rendition of Camille Saint-Saëns' Allegro Appasionato because it's such a moving piece, it felt like the obvious choice for displaying just how impassioned her performances were.

Born in 1945, Jacqueline du Pré was quite the star back in the day for reasons I personally don't understand, considering she was a classical musician; not exactly what you'd call competition for the likes of, say, Jimi Hendrix or the Beatles in pop culture at the time. But, where a similar talent today would only find such success in the classical music community or the film industry (enter Hans Zimmer, stage left), she conquered the masses from a young age, going on to marry critically-acclaimed Argentinian pianist Daniel Barenboim and gather as much international recognition as her accolades. Brilliant and incredibly passionate, she rightfully earned her place as one of Britain's treasures which has lasted even now, long after she lost her battle with the then-undiscovered disease, multiple sclerosis at 42 in 1987. I was really intrigued by Barenboim in the film as well, particularly his perspective on the moments leading up to her death and his life afterwards (check out the video of them playing together below; otherworldly), and found this wonderful 2004 interview he had with Michael Shelden for the Telegraph here; definitely worth the read.

A few notes on the film though; I found it a bit difficult to digest at some points as I have a sister. For those who have seen it, let me first state for the record that I love Mo but, like, nahhhh. Not even if she was dying. I would personally pay for her transportation to and board in the nearest mental health facility because she must be tripping if that thought ever even crossed her mind. I mean, if ever there was a moment that truly called for a "b---h, please", Jacqueline found it.

If you're anything like me, you're already searching for where to find it to watch, so I will say it's a really good film told from the perspective of Jacqueline's sister, Hilary with outstanding performances from the likes of the mesmerizing Emily Watson and the incredibly underrated Rachel Griffiths. It's very British as well with its no-holds-barred appeal served in an unapologetic but endearing manner, leaving your emotions and feelings about the musical prodigy entirely in your own hands.

But even after all that: YOYO if you watch it, bruh.










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