THURSDAY JANUARY 18 2001
BY DALYA ALBERGE ARTS CORRESPONDENT
THE conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim has tried to reveal the truth about the late Jacqueline du Pré, to whom he was married.
Barenboim had until yesterday observed a pained silence over the 1998 film Hilary and Jackie, which portrayed the great cellist as little more than a spoilt and foul-mouthed sexual predator. But in response to questions from an invited audience at a screening of a new television documentary, The Real Jackie, Barenboim said last night: "To me she’s a person I lived with and made music with." He said that he came from a modest family "and we did our laundry ourselves". After a brief pause, he added: "We’ve always done it at home never in public."
Privately Barenboim is said to have been outraged by Hilary and Jackie. He claims that du Pré’s dazzling genius was utterly diminished by the film, which focused on her affair with her sister’s husband, "Kiffer" Finzi, said to have been a serial seducer.
The documentary, filmed by Christopher Nupen and scheduled to be shown on Channel 5 on February 18, aims to be "a true picture of her through the eyes of those who knew her best". Nupen, a veteran music documentary-maker, was for 26 years a friend of du Pré, who died of multiple sclerosis at the age of 42, in 1987.
Nupen, whose archive contains 95 per cent of all known footage of the cellist, said: "It is a sad fact that ever since illness touched her, at the age of 28, the public image of her personality has been progressively distorted, particularly by the fiction film Hilary and Jackie." His documentary includes reminiscences by musicians such as Pinchas Zukerman and Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd.