Jean-Louis Duport Cello Concerto No. 4
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Have you ever heard of Jean-Louis Duport? I imagine that unless you are a professional cellist, or someone who studied cello as a child, you probably haven’t. Even though my sister is a professional cellist, I had never heard of him before I was asked to make this show. Duport is a historical figure who has been almost completely forgotten, though he was part of a fascinating group of musicians who encountered Beethoven, Frederick the Great, and even Napoleon! He and his brother Jean-Pierre were two of the greatest cellists of their era, and Jean-Louis lives on for cellists as the writer of a set of etudes or studies that are still used by cellists all over the world to refine their techniques. But Jean-Louis Duport also wrote 6 cello concertos, pieces which show his profound connection with the instrument, as well as his mastery of the style of his time. Today on the show I’ll take you through one of those concertos, his 4th, but I’m also going to do something a bit different. Since this will be my first time encountering the music of Duport, I want to show you how I might approach this piece as a conductor learning it for the first time. I’ve been conducting professionally now for almost 15 years, so there aren’t a lot of pieces that are brand new to me anymore, but if I were to conduct this concerto, it would be totally new to me, which means that I approach this music in a totally different way than a piece I’d conducted a few times before. So today on the show we’ll go through the piece, as well as my process for how I would learn a work like this, from start to finish. Join us!