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This is fabulous music. Rafaël Pidoux plays on a 1680 Giofredo Cappa instrument, while the Nantes-based Stradivaria also uses authentic instruments for this classical, sometimes proto-romantic, eminently gallant music. Jean-Louis Duport (1749-1819) is the younger brother of Jean-Pierre Duport (on one of whose themes Mozart wrote a famous set of variations). Jean-Louis penned six cello concertos in total; Peter Hörr on Dabringhaus offers Nos 4-6 therefore overlapping two concertos. Both Hörr and Pidoux are fine cellists, but Pidoux’ freshness, particularly in soloist/ woodwind exchanges, is captivating.

The fourth concerto, heard first, sets the scene with its myriad technical challenges for the soloist; the finale is cripplingly hard up top, you can feel the stress occasionally. Slow movements in all three concertos are short (less than two minutes in the case of No 5), putting the emphasis on the outer segments. All three concertos boast rondeaux as finales, winning, suavely performed.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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