When it comes to Jacqueline Dupre, perhaps many people are unfamiliar with this name. But British director Anand Tucker’s debut feature film “Hilary and Jackie” (Hilary and Jackie) filmed in 1998, I believe many people have seen it, and the soundtrack of the film is even more familiar to the world. As the winner of the Oscar for Best Original Score, the music of the entire film is composed of the recordings of Jacqueline Dupre, a talented cellist who died young. It is precisely because of listening to Dupree’s emotional piano sound in the film that people can’t help thinking, what made her extraordinary life?
On January 26, 1945, Jacqueline Dupre was born in Oxford, a famous city in England. His father, Derek Dupre, was a financial writer, and his mother, Alice Dupree, was a pianist and composer who taught at the Royal Academy of Music. It is precisely because of the influence of her mother that Jacqueline showed her musical talent very early. It is reported that when she was four years old, after listening to the cello performance broadcast by the British radio station, she told her mother: “I want to make that sound too”, and since then she has developed an indissoluble bond with the cello. Soon she had her own cello. From the age of five, Du Pré began to learn the piano at the London Cello School hosted by Herbert Warren. The school was the first in the UK to teach women how to play the cello in the male seated position, a bold move at the time. In Britain during World War II, the cello was still considered an instrument that only men could play, and few women became professional cellists. In addition, British women at that time even used side saddles with their legs on the same side when riding horses. People’s attitude towards playing the violin with their legs spread apart can be imagined. However, these secular concepts did not dissuade the Dupre family from letting their daughter learn the piano. Mrs. Dupre wrote some small pieces for her daughter to stimulate her feelings and enthusiasm for music, and copied them all in a notebook. Titled “Jackie’s First Cello Book”. Each song is accompanied by unique lyrics and pictures on the side. The songs and pictures in the book were written by Alice at night after the children were asleep. Every morning, when Dupree woke up from her sleep, she found a newly composed piece of music beside her bed, with text and picture explanations on the score, and she was very excited. As soon as she had mastered the piece, she was ready to create a new sound, so the mother would write a new piece according to her intention. The next morning, the first thing Du Pré did after getting out of bed was to rush downstairs to practice the new piece with her mother. The text of the explanation inside may be just letters such as C, G, D, A, etc. The mother and daughter will have a great time practicing, but each song is new and challenging. With the active encouragement of her mother and her own unremitting efforts, Du Pree performed in public for the first time at the age of six. She became famous with her unique understanding of music and was soon praised as the school’s “star student”. At a school recital, Du Pré played Schumann’s “Adagio”, Schubert’s “Moment of Joy”, a traditional piece of music with a quartet, and three short trios in one breath. song. Ms. Meera Henderson had already seen that Dupree was “a star far away in the sky. She was a round little girl with pale blue eyes, and she was not very talkative, mostly by her mother. I I think most of the other girls found it difficult to talk to her, but everyone was amazed by her extraordinary hearing, her ability to listen without distraction, and the notes she played.”
In 1955, Du Pré learned from the famous cellist William Pulitzer and affectionately called him her “cello father”. The following year, she won the first international award in her music career – the Sagia Award, becoming the most watched performer in the UK. In this competition to commemorate the Portuguese cellist Sagia, her teacher Pulitzer strongly recommended Dupree to the jury, believing that she has extraordinary musical talent and incredible mature mind, and firmly believes that she will shine in the music industry . Another musician, Barbirolli, also said frankly: “As soon as she played the piano, I knew that the champion must be her.” In 1958, Du Pré appeared on TV for the first time, participating in a file called “Young People’s Concert”. programme. Two years later, Du Pré was awarded the Queen’s Medal and participated in a master class with Pablo Casals, performing Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto in A Minor in a debriefing performance. At the age of 16, Du Pré acquired his first Stradivari cello and gave his first recital at Wigmore Hall, London. This performance will allow more people to know this beautiful and talented performer. She plays with full energy and vigor, her body swaying with the melody, her head bobbing and her fingers confidently moving up and down during cadenzas. At the same time, without losing the delicateness of women, the subtleties are emotional. The sound of the piano transmitted from her fingertips makes people completely infected by her enthusiasm and musical interpretation. Her unusual way of playing has been praised by the media. In 1962, she performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Royal Concert Hall in London, where she presented her famous work, the Elgar Cello Concerto, to the audience. This piece of music is the first cello concerto in the 20th century, and it is also the pioneering work of this genre in the history of British music. When Elgar wrote this concerto, it coincided with the end of the First World War, but the shadow left by the war was still lingering on him; coupled with old age and sickness, poor career, financial difficulties, and the loss of old friends. The successive deaths made him feel extremely desolate and lonely. Therefore, on the whole, this concerto is full of desolation and nostalgic sadness, which precisely contributes to its unique deep beauty. Du Pré’s use of changing and colorful timbres added unique artistic charm to it, and he devoted himself to free imagination and melancholy feelings, conveying the composer’s special meaning of contemplation. She reinterpreted this piece of work with a hint of old age in a young way. The British “Guardian” called her “the first cellist with great potential born in the UK”. Percy Carter, a commentator of the “Daily Mail”, said with emotion: “It’s hard to imagine that this is actually done by a young girl The girl played for us. Since then, this elegiac piece has become her must-have repertoire. So far, her artistic path has begun to bloom like fireworks.
Since 1962, Dupree, known as the “child prodigy”, has performed around the world. In 1965, she went to North America to perform with the London Symphony Orchestra. Together with the conductor Sir Barbirolli, she presented her famous work “Elgar Cello Concerto” to the audience of Carnegie Hall, which received rave reviews. People think that this is the most perfect version of interpretation. The media in New York praised her as being as famous as the cello masters Casals and Rostropovich at the time, and believed that her performance had re-established the standard for this famous piece. To put it bluntly, “Without Jacqueline Dupree, Elgar’s work would not be so famous.” Time magazine commented, “Sometimes she looks like a naughty milkmaid, but then she becomes crazy Ophelia. She can’t sit still for a moment. Wrapped in a ball of red that reaches the ground In chiffon, she attacked her cello with a kind of inelegant madness, she arched her back and shook her head, and surrounded her cello again and again.” Du Pré is famous all over the world for this “crazy swing” .
Just as her career was booming, the goddess of luck favored Dupre again. In 1966, she found her Prince Charming—Israeli pianist Barenboim. They only had a few phone calls before the two officially met. According to Barenboim, their acquaintance was due to an illness. “Once, I called her and said, do you know who I am? Then I heard that she also had a fever, and we started complaining about the ringing in our ears.” Kind of like that.” Later, at the home of the pianist Fu Cong, she fell in love with Barenboim at first sight. It is said that when Barenboim came, Dupre and Fu Cong had just finished playing a piece of music. Fu Cong recalled: “Barenboim was like a child, sometimes saying provocative words, ‘You don’t look good. Like a cellist?’ Du Pré immediately jumped up and said, ‘Cong, let’s play together!’ We played a cello arrangement of Franck’s Violin Sonata in A Major, and after we finished, Daniel was completely captivated by her. And so, their romance began.”
Like Dupre, Barenboim is also a musical prodigy. He held his first piano recital at the age of 7 and became a world-renowned young pianist at the age of 15. In 1965, he served as the conductor of the British Chamber Orchestra. Perhaps it was his love for music and his gifted personality that brought the two young people together to compose a love song. In their first public performance together they performed brilliantly Beethoven, and in April 1967 they gave their first orchestral concert for the Royal Symphony Society, and then recorded Haydn and Paganini for the American Music Society. Concerto, engaged at the end of April. For love, Dupre made a bold move—converting to Judaism. On June 15, 1967, they got married in Jerusalem, leaving a good story for the classical music scene. The combination of the queen of cello and the prince of classical music was a sensation at the time, and the news of the marriage of the golden couple made headlines in almost all newspapers in the UK. Their first public joint concert was with Barenboim conducting the English Chamber Orchestra, performing Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major at the Royal Festival Hall. The sparks they burst out shocked the audience. When they performed Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D Major together at Lincoln Center on July 11, 1968, music critic Roger Kahn wrote in the newspaper: Im leaning on the armrest of the podium with his feet crossed. The posture expressed his admiration and pride for his beloved wife. Sometimes, after Du Pré played a technically difficult passage, she would turn her head and smile at him. After he nodded, the orchestra played the strongest sound, and she then played the most difficult arpeggio with the bow. Her blonde hair fluttered along with the music, bringing the music to its climax. The audience all stood up in unison. Applause.” In the following years, the couple frequently performed on the same stage in concerts around the world. Sometimes Barenboim played a concerto for Du Pré as the conductor of the band. In addition, he often served as the piano accompaniment in Du Pré’s recitals. The wonderful joint performance of the two brought endless artistic enjoyment to music fans.
The sweet married life gave Dupree more enthusiasm and vitality, and her performance was also more passionate and infectious, as gorgeous as fireworks in full bloom. But behind the seemingly harmonious married life, there are unknown sufferings. Du Pré is not sociable. After the concert, he likes to be alone or to rest quietly; while Barenboim, who is keen on socializing, can cope with the life of flying around. He often invites twenty or thirty people after the concert Eat, party. The difference in personality between the two parties and the days when they got together and separated more brought their relationship to an end. A few years later, the news that Barenboim and Russian pianist Helen officially lived together and had children became public in the music industry. secret.
However, no one’s life is smooth sailing, and Dupree can’t get rid of the tricks of fate. In March 1969, Du Pré suddenly felt numb in his fingers during a tour and could not move. But this physical discomfort quickly subsided, so it was not taken seriously. After that, her physical condition was not optimistic. In the autumn of the same year, in a performance in the United States, Du Pré’s perfect performance, which has always been praised by others, appeared several times out of tune and in tune, which aroused doubts from the audience. Physical discomfort brought great obstacles to Dupree’s performance. Although she reduced the number of external performances, her condition still did not improve. In 1973, Du Pré, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, made her public stage for the last time in London. Under the command of Jewish musician Zubin Mehta, she once again played the “Elgar Cello Concerto”, which is most closely related to her. Since then, he has bid farewell to the music stage due to illness.
However, with an optimistic and sunny nature, she did not give up her love for the cello. She often plays and sings with friends at home, continuing her love of music. She loves to laugh, and her friends call her “Smile Baby”. She also likes to play and listen to jokes. It is reported that her favorite playmate is an actor named Edward Fox. One night, the old man came running out of breath. As soon as he entered the door, he hurriedly apologized because “our 91-year-old neighbor, Ms. Diana Cooper, was in danger.” Hearing him say this, Dupree immediately said: “Her father is dead?” Her synonym is also her antidote to disease.
In addition, she also taught music to some students to help those promising young people realize their musical dreams. In 1977, she founded the “Jacqueline Dupree Multiple Sclerosis Research Fund”, hoping to contribute to the cause of medicine with her modest efforts. Du Pré, who became seriously ill, occasionally met with the public to impart music knowledge. What people saw was still the strong blonde woman, but she no longer had a cello in her hand, and replaced it with a cold wheelchair under her body.
In view of her significant contribution to music and society, the British government awarded her the Order of the British Empire in 1976, and in 1980 she was named the most outstanding musician of the year by the British public. Even Prince Charles, the Crown Prince who likes to play the cello, admires her very much. In fact, they met as early as 1956, and the process of meeting was quite interesting. At the time, Prince Charles, who was just eight years old, asked Du Pré if he could let him play on her cello. After speaking, he rode up at once, grasped the piano tightly, and fiddled with his fingers up and down on the strings. “Don’t touch my cello like this,” Dupree said, and took the cello back unceremoniously, and reprimanded sharply, “It’s not a horse.” In the following years, Prince Charles corresponded and met with Dupree many times. After learning of her illness, he encouraged the English rose to face the illness bravely.
On October 19, 1987, the talented cellist passed away forever at the age of 42. Before she died, she said to her pastor: “I was so lucky to have everything when I was young. Now that all my repertoire has been recorded, I will die without regret.”
Du Pré passed away three months Finally, at the special commemorative concert, Zubin Mehta burst into tears halfway through conducting and could not continue. To commemorate Du Pré, Zubin Mehta immediately announced that he would no longer conduct Elgar’s cello concerto: “The unbearable first theme rang in my ears again, and it was the song of fate that Du Préla gave himself.”
Today, people still regard her performance of the “Elgar Cello Concerto” as an eternal swan song. And her life seems to be arranged in the dark, like the “Elgar Cello Concerto”, full of endless poignancy and sorrow…