Renaud Capuçon performs concertos by Dusapin, B Mantovani and Rihm

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COMPOSERS: B Mantovani,Dusapin,Rihm
ALBUM TITLE: Dusapin * B Mantovani * Rihm
WORKS: Dusapin: Aufgang; B Mantovani: Jeux d’eau; Rihm: Gedicht des Malers
PERFORMER: Renaud Capuçon (violin); †Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Myung-Whun Chung; Vienna Symphony; *Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris/Philippe Jordan
CATALOGUE NO: 2564602687


These concertos by living composers (Bruno Mantovani, born in 1974, is not to be confused with the light orchestral arranger of the last century) were all first performed by Renaud Capuçon – indeed two of these live recordings come from their premieres. Wolfgang Rihm’s Gedicht des Malers is the shortest, and takes its cue from the continuing lyrical tendency in German music: there are, tellingly, echoes of Berg’s Violin Concerto in some of Rihm’s harmonic and melodic twists and turns, beautifully played. On the whole though, it’s a more kaleidoscopic piece, where the warm and the fragmented rub shoulders, creating an ongoing tension, which is never quite resolved.

Pascal Dusapin’s Aufgang is more conventionally in three movements. The quiet opening, where Capuçon soars questioningly and effortlessly above the orchestra, is sometimes disturbed by audience noise, but this is masked as the music becomes louder and more active. Even then, the harmonic progress is stately, with much of the activity revolving around slowly mutating, repeated motifs: the second movement, with its bell-like scales, gave me an unexpected vision of John Tavener’s The Protecting Veil. And although the finale is more acerbic for much of its length, it does briefly revisit the attenuated sonorities of the very opening, before a decisive end.

The recorded sound in Mantovani’s Jeux d’eau isn’t quite as focused, with orchestra and soloist both a little distant, and the work itself sometimes seems to be marking time with effects – rapid arpeggios, trills, tremolos, harmonics – rather than developing a musical argument. The more exciting music is often in the orchestra, but it’s a tribute to Capuçon’s skills that, like both of the other works it is completely under his skin.


Martin Cotton