Yep, the Du Pre might be a subject of endless talks. As much as Mussorgsky I consider was the most natural raw talent among all composers as much Du Pre was probably the most natural rawest talents among the musicals of 20 century. There are a few mistakes in the film above. Her infamies cello was not given to her by “anonymous donor” but was purchased for her by her godmother for $100k or something like this.
There is a lot of interesting things about the Du Pre’s instrument. In my signature line I use Nietzsche’s point that for a writer his writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts. Nietzsche made this observation after he switched from hand writing to typewriter and then with time he begin to observe that his prose, his way the construct sentences and his ways to express his thoughts in writing begun to change after the introduction of the typewriter. The same is with Du Pre’s instrument. It is unthinkable to imagine Du Pre’s Elgar concerto without the sound of that Davodoff’s Cello. When I use within my site the phrases like “Absolute Tone” in drivers or cartridges is was exactly what I mean – under the best other conditions, what absolute magnitude of tone quality an instrument (cello, cartridge, driver etc) is able to show off. In the case of Davodoff’s Cello, and particularly in the Du Pre’s hands it was like nothing else. Interesting that after Du Pre the Davodoff does not shine as it use to be. It underwent a few restorations and modification and I feel it become darker, bolder and a way louder. It kind of lost that “fragility” that it use to have under Du Pre. I know that a few years back Yo-Yo Ma who own Davodoff for years broke off the cello neck (an accident in airport), then it was rebuilt, perhaps it made the difference. Rostropovich played the same quality of instrument and he had the similar Absolute Tone with his Duport Strad but he got it in mid 70s and the most ”interesting” times of the “young” Rostropovich he did not use “great” instrument.
Among what Du Pre did the story with her Elgar concerto is the most remarkable. In the film it is referred as one of the greatest concerto ever written but it do not think so. I in fact feel that many things in the Elgar Cello Concerto do not make sense. In fact I do not like it at all, well, except in the Du Pre version. What is in a way sad in this hall story is that Du Pre closed up the Elgar Cello Concerto for any further interpretations, literally killing this work for future cellists. The same Rostropovich said that “there is nothing more can be expressed in Elgar Cello Concerto” in addition to what Du Pre did and refused to play/record this work after Du Pre. I have heard a few attempts by different cellist to play the Elgar Concerto and they were trying to do a different something that I call “anti- Du Pre” version. I think it was a smart move and it is impossible to beat her in her version of the concert. They went away from the Du Pre’s melancholy and glumness and played it more “victorious” and less melodramatic. They did OK but then the “weakness” of the composition itself exposed under the new light pretty much killed the effect of the concert. It is interesting is anyone will find other ways to read the speak by the Elgar Cello Concerto. If not then it will lastingly be known as the Elgar-Du Pre’s concert.
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche