New York Times
"The most thorough and measured treatment of du Pré’s life and artistry to date." —The New York Times
James OestreichR....[S]ets things right with the most thorough and measured treatment of du Pre's life and artistry to date....Ms. Wilson knew du Pre personally....[T]his book is not a panegyric....Neither does Ms. Wilson sensationalize....[T]he very depth and detail of [the] discussion...makes Ms. Wilson's work...valuable...
New York Times
Library JournalCellist Jacqueline du Pr was arguably the most famous British musician of the 20th century. A "golden girl" prodigy, she was part of a dazzling group of musicians that included her husband, pianist-conductor Daniel Barenboim; Itzhak Perlman; Vladimir Ashkenazy; and John Williams. Her gift for communication through music and her imaginative, free-spirited nature caught the attention of the press and the public. Her fame only increased when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 28 and her career was cut tragically short. Wilson, herself a cellist, had access to family papers and the full cooperation of du Pr 's husband. Her thorough book goes into great detail about du Pr 's musicianship without slighting her compelling personal story and replaces Carol Easton's more general Jacqueline du Pr : A Biography (Summit, 1989. o.p.), which focuses less on du Pr 's music. This will be of special interest to musicians and music lovers, though the recent release of the biographical film Hilary and Jackie may increase general interest. Highly recommended.--Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, NY
James R. Oestreich...[S]ets things right with the most thorough and measured treatment of du Pre's life and artistry to date....Ms. Wilson knew du Pre personally....[T]his book is not a panegyric....Neither does Ms. Wilson sensationalize....[T]he very depth and detail of [the] discussion...makes Ms. Wilson's work...valuable...
The New York Times
Kevin BarryElizabeth Wilsonis aware of the limitations of biography, [so her life of] du Pre is satisfying and invaluable....Her method is discreet, methodical, informed and accurate...measured in its tone. She provides us with multiple points of view....[Wilson] admires the Romantic musicianship but stands back from scandalous romantic prurience.
The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus ReviewsThis biography of barrier-smashing cellist du Pré (1945�87) is the literary equivalent of an étude: important for the lessons it teaches, but dry and decidedly lacking in musicality. No one can quibble with the author's attention to detail. A professional cellist who wrote this biography with the cooperation of du Pré's widower, pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim, Wilson gives an exhaustive, nearly day-by-day recounting of her subject's concert life: Elgar's Cello Concerto here, followed two days later by a performance of the Bach's C Minor Suite for Unaccompanied Cello there, etc. She relies heavily on contemporary reviews and the comments of today's classical music stars to explain exactly how du Pré fared in each and every performance. All of this is interesting enough, but it hardly captures the flair of one of the most exciting people to hit the classical music scene in the 20th century, not to mention a woman who almost singlehandedly opened up the predominantly male field of cello playing. An exuberant, musical dynamo known for powerful, evocative, and provocative playing, du Pré deserves more emotional analysis, especially in light of the unorthodox personal life now widely familiar through her brother and sister's book (A Genius in the Family by Hilary Finzi and Piers du Pré, not reviewed) and the popular new film based on it, Hilary and Jackie. Du Pré's open affair with Hilary's husband, for example, receives about three pages here, and the author fails to dwell at length on du Pré's battle with multiple sclerosis, which struck her down in the prime of life and career, ultimately killing her at age 42. Wilson wouldhave been better off summarizing du Pré's irrefutable abilities and spending more time analyzing the human relationships and complexities that made her so able to soar via music. Informative but ultimately unsatisfying. (16 pages b&w photos) .
- Arcade Publishing
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- 6.00(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.40(d)
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