Friday, January 29, 2016

Album review: Capuçon's 'fresh-as-paint' violin concertos
David Mellor

Violin Concertos by Max Bruch and others
Renaud Capuçon/ Warner Classics

The French violinist Renaud Capuçon, who celebrates his 40th birthday on Wednesday, already has a formidable discography that attests not only to his virtuosity and warm, ingratiating tone, but also to his wide range of musical sympathies both in concertos, and chamber music.

This celebratory album winningly combines the familiar and the unfamiliar, and offers a snapshot of classical music between 1868 and 1878, when these three pieces were premiered.

Obviously the Bruch Concerto is incredibly well known, but it comes up fresh as paint here, with a particularly effective, fleet footed finale.

Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole is shamefully neglected. Its five movements are beautifully laid out for violin and orchestra, and each one contains a memorable melody. It was premiered in 1874 by the Spanish virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, so it was a charming idea to complete this exceptional album with Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, a memorable ramble through Hungarian gypsy themes.

Capuçon plays well throughout, and the Orchestre de Paris accompany attentively under Paavo Jarvis

In today’s programme from 7pm, I will be playing the first and third movements of the Bruch, and Zigeunerweisen - a feast for violin lovers.

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