Cello made by Nicolas Lupot in Paris in 1823. Frida Fredrikke Waaler Wærvågen plays on this instrument.
Although born in Stuttgart in 1758, Nicolas Lupot was hugely influential and important in the blossoming of French violin making in the nineteenth century.
The Lupot family had roots in Mirecourt in the mid-seventeenth century, and may even have extended back to the sixteenth century Lupo violinmakers of London and the Netherlands. Nicolas’ father Francois was born in Plombieres, but took an appointment as violin maker to the Duke of Wurttemberg in Stuttgart. Nicolas trained there with his father, but began a working partnership with Francois Pique of Paris in around 1792. Lupot moved to Paris himself in 1794, and was quickly established as the leading maker there. His brother Francois joined him and became one of the foremost bowmakers of Paris, and his assistants Charles Francois Gand and Auguste Bernardel went on to found another leading Paris atelier.
Lupot paved the way for the work of J.B.Vuillaume, the best-known and most successful makers of his time. His style is based on enlightened re-examination of the work of the old masters, and in particular a deep understanding and appreciation of the work of Antonio Stradivari, up until that point still somewhat swamped by the popularity of bulbous-arched Staines imitations throughout Northern Europe.
Lupot’s cellos are rare, which makes this example, in an almost unequalled state of preservation, all the more significant. Lupot followed Stradivari’s perfectionist workmanship devotedly, and this cello is built on the most famous of the master’s cello models, designated the ’Forma B’ by Stradivari himself. Certain touches are Lupot’s own, the slightly exaggerated turn of the purfling mitres in the corners, and an increased fullness in the breadth of the arch across the centre of the instrument, showing Lupot’s conscious effort not just to duplicate, but to improve, both aesthetically and tonally, on the work of the maestro Stradivari. The return to precision and care in construction, and his farsighted recognition of Stradivari’s superiority are Lupot’s legacy to the makers of Paris, and ultimately to all modern luthiers.
Frida Fredrikke Waaler Wærvaagen
Frida Fredrikke Waaler Wærvågen (b. 1988) is considered to be one of Norway´s greatest young talents in classical music. Since the age of 11, Frida Fredrikke has won first prices and Honorary awards in several international and national competitions. (Photo by: Morgan Nicolaysen)