Les Frères Duport - The Paris Sonatas (2020)


Guillermo Turina, Manuel Minguillon

Jean-Pierre and Jean-Louis Duport were two of the most important musicians of their time. Their influence has been decisive for the place the cello occupies nowadays. Born in Paris in 1741 and 1749 respectively, they took their first musical steps in the same city. Jean-Pierre began his studies with the renowned cellist Martin Berteau, and made his public début with one of his sonatas in 1761 in one of the Concert Spirituel organized in the Tuileries Palace, with immediate success. He quickly became one of the regular musicians in those soirées, praised by the critics. As the Mercure the France said, “the instrument is no longer recognizable in his hands. It talks, expresses, makes everything go beyond this charm which only the violin was thought to have”. Following in his brothers footsteps Jean-Louis’ début in front of a Parisian audience was on the same stage in 1768, after being taught by his older brother. Naturally, he gained public recognition in these concerts, in which he played until the early 1770s. Like all the great musicians of their time, the Duport brothers wanted to try their fortune in front of a London audience. Although they did not travel together, they both achieved great success in the English scene. However, they still had to make the journey that would change their lives and the history of the cello forever. Jean-Pierre travelled to Germany in 1773 with the intention of giving some concerts; shortly after, he was already working in the court of Frederick “the Great” of Prussia. His abilities did not go unnoticed, so he was named superintendent of music in 1786, with the accession of Frederick William II to the throne. This could have been the reason, alongside the outbreak of the French Revolution, why Jean-Louis joined his brother in 1789 and was appointed first cellist of the court.

The flourishing and musical quality of that court, together with the monarch’s interests, made the best musicians visit it and compose for the Duport brothers. Such is the case with Haydn and Mozart, and their Prussian Quartets, and of Beethoven, who wrote his sonatas Op.5 to play with them. These were the first sonatas for cello and piano in the history of music. Moreover, during those years, Jean-Pierre wrote his last book of sonatas and Jean-Louis, his famous method Essai sur le Doigté du Violoncelle et sur la Conduite de l’Archet.

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Guillermo Turina

Guillermo began his cello studies at the age of three with teacher Arantza López, following the Suzuki method. He continued his education with María de Macedo and Miguel Jiménez, until he entered the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón, where he studied for his Bachelor of Music degree, specializing in the cello, under the tuition of Angel Luis Quintana, Maite García and David Apellániz. He also attended advanced musical courses with Jaap ter Linden, Anner Bylsma and Pieter Wispelwey.

After his bachelor studies, he studied a Master of Music Degree in Orchestal Performance, in the Barenboim-Said Foundation in Sevilla, as well as the diploma of the Formation Supérieure au métier de l’orchestre classique et romantique in Saintes, under the tuition of Hillary Metzger and Christophe Coin. He broadened his studies in the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, specializing in the Baroque cello, with Bruno Cocset, Emmanuel Balsa, Andrew Ackerman and Emilio Moreno, with the highest possible grades. He also studied the Master of Music Degree in Musicology in the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

During his career he has played as principal cello in orchestras such as the Joven Orquesta Nacional de España, the Jeune Orchestre Atlantique, the Nederlandse Orkest Ensemble Academie and the European Union Baroque Orchestra, where he has worked with masters such as Philippe Herreweghe, Mark Minkowski, Jordi Savall, Rachel Podger and Lars Ulrik Mortensen. He collaborates regularly with national and international ensembles such as Sphera Antiqva, Regina Ibérica, Ensemble Nereydas, Temperamento, Ímpetus, Os Músicos do Tejo and Vespres d’Arnadí. His activity as a soloist has taken him to play both solo recitals and orchestra concerts in various concert halls throughout Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. He is a founding member of the ensemble Academia de las Luces and member of ATRIUM ensemble, La Tempestad and Paperkite.

On the other hand, his work as a musicologist has resulted in a recent publication: the critical editions and study of the cello methods written in Spain at the end of the 18th century, by SEPTENARY editions. 

Guillermo Turina plays a violoncello Marchal à Paris, from late 18th century.

photo: from artist's website

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Les Frères Duport - The Paris Sonatas (2020)


Guillermo Turina, Manuel Minguillon

    Luister, mei 2020 -

Het boeiende van deze composities is vooral de veelzijdige en al volwassen behandeling van het cellospel. In warme klanken geven de Spaanse musici Turina (cello) en Minguillón (luit en gitaar) deze sonates met hun toegewijde en technisch tot in de puntjes verzorgde spel een gouden randje.======================================== The fascinating thing about these compositions is the versatile and already mature treatment of the cello playing. In warm sounds, the Spanish musicians Turina (cello) and Minguillón (lute and guitar) give these sonatas a golden edge with their dedicated and technically perfect play.

Frank Hougee

    ResMusica april 2020

"Guillermo Turina combining all the required qualities, his service is appreciable even fascinating from start to finish. We are charmed by the clarity of the melodic line, by phrasing which makes us think of human song in the best sense of the term, by bright and colorful highs (never sweet), revealing a refined expressive power. Added to this is the agility of the fingering, even in passages subjected to a relatively quick tempo, as in Presto, the finale of Sonata V op. 2 by Jean-Pierre Duport. Turina signs an exemplary execution of these pages with precision in attacking the strings, far from any pretentious demonstration, with a suitably measured expression, with the lightness of the bow, and finally thanks to the tuning fork tuned to 415 Hz, typical of the German baroque , allowing you to savor a different timbre from the one we hear today. As for the accompaniment, Manuel Minguillón proves to be a chamber musician attentive to the breathing of the soloist, who by the flexibility of the articulation and the delicacy of the touch, succeeds in establishing an exquisite dialogue with the cellist, making us perceive the beauty of counterpoints and the harmonic elegance that these works contain. Here is a jubilant disc which allows to better understand the transition between baroque and classicism. Note also that the sound recording is remarkable, supported by a balance which, thanks to the microphones arranged neither too close nor too far, gives the impression of attending a concert."

Maciej Chizynski[read full review]


Of the two cellists Jean-Pierre (1741-1818) and Jean-Louis Duport (1749-1819), cellist Guillermo Turina and lute player / guitarist Manuel Minguillon play six cello sonatas. The cello accompanied by plucked instruments was not uncommon at the time. The two musicians play these works in the fast movements in an extremely vital and dance-like manner, while the slow movements are carefully explored. The cellist's virtuosity and richness of colors is very impressive.

Remy Franck[read full review]

    Opus Klassiek, march 2020

Grote waardering voor deze Spaanse musici die niet alleen deze sonates aan de vergetelheid hebben ontrukt, maar in hun spel ook blijk geven van groot expressief engagement in een technisch perfecte omlijsting. ========== Great appreciation for these Spanish musicians who not only removed these sonatas from oblivion, but also demonstrate in their playing great expressive commitment in a technically perfect frame - Aart van der Wal

Aart van der Wal[read full review]

Les Frères Duport - The Paris Sonatas (2020)


Guillermo Turina, Manuel Minguillon

Cables: Acoustic Revive
Digital Converters: HAPI, Merging Technologies
Mastering Engineer: Tom Peeters
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer 4003 modified by Rens Heijnis
Producer: Tom Peeters
Recording date::

October 24,25,26 2019

Recording Engineer: Tom Peeters
Recording location: Koepelkerk, Renswoude, The Netherlands
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD 256
Speakers: KEF 105/3

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COBRA0073: Les Frères Duport - The Paris Sonatas
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Sonata I. Op.1 - Allegro
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Sonata I. Op.1 - Adagio
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Sonata I. Op.1 - Minuetto avec variations
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Sonata IV. Op.2 - Allegro
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Sonata IV. Op.2 - Adagio
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Sonata IV. Op.2 - Allegro molto
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Sonata V. Op.2 - Allegro
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Sonata V. Op.2 - Adagio
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Sonata V. Op.2 - Presto
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Sonata I. Op.2 - Allegro
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Sonata I. Op.2 - Rondeau
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Sonata II. Op.2 - Allegro moderato
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Sonata II. Op.2 - Variations
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Sonata III. Op.2 - Allegro
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Sonata III. Op.2 - Siciliano
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Sonata III. Op.2 - Tempo di Minuetto
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