Gautier Capuçon

Dvorák, Herbert: Cello Concertos

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The Dvorák Cello Concerto has become one of the most iconic concertos in the instrument's repertoire, having been recorded (often more than once) by the vast majority of cellists who typically perform concertos. With so many recordings out there, it's difficult for new recordings and new cellists to distinguish themselves. Cellist Gautier Capuçon, in this album for Virgin Classics, throws his hat into the ring along with Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. There is no denying Capuçon's impressive technical abilities; his intonation is impeccable, he maneuvers around the fingerboard with impressive ease, and his tone is rich but transparent. His interpretive powers are equally refined, often deeply introspective, and possessing an innate knowledge of the score far beyond his years. For much of his Dvorák performance, Capuçon's playing somewhat resembles Leonard Rose: clean, nimble, driven. In an apparent effort to set himself apart, however, Capuçon hits the "slow motion" button just when things are moving along. Unusual and unnecessary ritardandos and ritenutos throughout the outer movements rob the concerto of some of its vitality and exuberance and may be a serious sticking point for some listeners. Also on this album is Victor Herbert's Second Cello Concerto. Although this composition lacks the continuity and catchiness of Dvorák's concerto, it seems to thrive in Capuçon's hands, greatly benefitting from the elasticity of his tempos.

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