Jean-Louis Duport (1749-1819) was a contemporary of Mozart and Haydn, but unlike these two giants, his stock has never been even modestly popular. Incredibly, practically every cellist knows the 21 Etudes, but the six cello concertos composed to compliment his virtuosic abilities and his numerous concert engagements are almost unknown.
Neither sheet music editions nor CD recordings exist, so this issue is not only most welcome, but is also an overdue recognition of Duport's natural genius.
The three works on this disc highlight the composer's mastery in creating pieces that demand total concentration, and the many difficult passages put the soloist's precocity under pressure to perform with the utmost accuracy.
In keeping with the style of the times, these concertos are full of good tunes, and the "cantabile" episodes are spread out with subtlety thus creating and overall balance in both tone and dynamic content.
Peter Horr distinguishes himself both as soloist and conductor, and his refreshing approach and beautifully paced tempi give these woefully neglected concertos a much needed boost. Fine advocacy of a composer who surely deserves to be better known.
Copyright © 2009, Gerald Fenech