Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

I think I put off watching Hillary and Jackie because Jacqueline du Pre was a part of my young adulthood, when I still had hopes, dreams of becoming a musician myself, actually making a living that way. She burst upon the scene when I was in my early twenties, she was about my age, she was a monstrous talent. I was so in awe of her. I bought her recordings, I read of her marriage to Daniel Barenboim, and thought about what it must be like to be part of that beautiful, extraordinary couple.

Later, when I would hear Daniel play somewhere I would think, is he thinking of Jackie? It must be hard to have lived through the loss of your love that way. I saw him recently on television and he had changed. Instead of the striking, handsome, young talent, he was an older man, pudgy and ordinary-looking. At that time I thought about all that talent, all that passion, inside that ordinary-looking body. And again, I thought, does he think of her?

The movie indicates, though, that he was off seeing other women when Jackie was suffering alone with MS. I'm not feeling so much compassion for Barenboim now.

The other part, the other reason I think I put off seeing this is to do with myself. In a way, Jackie's loss was my loss, although mine was so less spectacular. I left behind the traveling musician, made a decision not to pursue this as a career. I knew it would have been nuts to try it. I was not a technical wizard, and you have to be to get the music into your fingers before you can make real music of it, quickly. To get a repertoire that stands up. I started too late to take myself seriously and ended too soon. So here I am, barely able to play simple stuff on my piano with the sticking keys. And I mourn that loss. I was, I am, a musician to my very soul. It hurts. It is only now and then that this all comes flooding back and the movie did that to me, brought it back so I was crying my eyes out this morning, watching it.

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