Inventions

COMPOSERS: Bach,Bartok,Beffa,Eisler,Klein,Kreisler,Martinu
LABELS: Virgin
WORKS: Duos for Violin and Cello, *march miniature viennoise.
PERFORMER: Renaud Capuçon (violin), GautierCapuçon (cello), *Aude Capuçon (piano)

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Following hard on the heels of the much-acclaimed ECM recital featuring violinist Frank-Peter Zimmermann and cellist Heinrich Schiff (reviewed in November), this latest release from the Capuçon brothers shares a similar preoccupation with placing Bach in the context of 20th-century repertory.

Although the Capuçons don’t offer anything quite as substantial as the Ravel Sonata offered on the ECM disc, the selection of original works for this combination is no less interesting, contrasting the gritty and acerbic language cultivated by Hanns Eisler and Gideon Klein in their respective Duos with the more nostalgic folkorientated Second Duo of Martin?, one of the composer’s last works.

It’s a pity however that the rather contemplative Masques by Karol Beffa, which receive their first recordings here, are not quite so engaging, their generally slow and lugubrious tempos failing to sustain one’s interest.

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As one would expect with siblings who perform together so regularly, both Renaud and Gautier have an almost telepathic understanding of nuance and phrasing, their performances, captured here in a warmly ambient acoustic, managing to combine immaculate ensemble with a winning spontaneity, nowhere more effectively manifested than in the dazzling Bach and Bartók transcriptions. The Kreisler is a delightful bonus.