Les Frères Duport – The Paris Sonatas

Guillermo Turina, Manuel Minguillon

(4 press reviews)
Original Recording Format: DSD 256
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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.


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Sonata I. Op.1 - Allegro
Sonata I. Op.1 - Adagio
Sonata I. Op.1 - Minuetto avec variations
Sonata IV. Op.2 - Allegro
Sonata IV. Op.2 - Adagio
Sonata IV. Op.2 - Allegro molto
Sonata V. Op.2 - Allegro
Sonata V. Op.2 - Adagio
Sonata V. Op.2 - Presto
Sonata I. Op.2 - Allegro
Sonata I. Op.2 - Rondeau
Sonata II. Op.2 - Allegro moderato
Sonata II. Op.2 - Variations
Sonata III. Op.2 - Allegro
Sonata III. Op.2 - Siciliano
Sonata III. Op.2 - Tempo di Minuetto

Total time: 01:05:32

Additional information





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Acoustic Revive

Digital Converters

HAPI, Merging Technologies

Mastering Engineer

Tom Peeters


Bruel & Kjaer 4003 modified by Rens Heijnis


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Original Recording Format


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


KEF 105/3

Release DateFebruary 21, 2020

Press reviews

Luister, mei 2020 5 out of 5

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.

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.”


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.

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


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