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Brahms Berg Violin Concertos

Renaud Capuçon Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £11.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Born in Chambéry in 1976, Renaud Capuçon studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with Gérard Poulet and Veda Reynolds. He was awarded first prize for chamber music in 1992 and first prize for violin with a special distinction from the jury in 1993. In 1995 he won the Prize of the Berlin Academy of Arts. Then he studied with Thomas Brandis ... Read more in Amazon's Renaud Capuçon Store

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Conductor: Daniel Harding
  • Audio CD (17 Sep 2012)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,012 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I. Allegro non troppo
2. II. Adagio
3. III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace - Renaud Capucon
4. Andante - Allegretto
5. Allegro - Adagio

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Fine Coupling 1 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This disc offers an interesting coupling; on one side, one of the most beautiful concertos of the entire repertoire, and on the other, the chromatic, twelve-note creation of Berg in the 1930's. I don't think any music lover would dispute the greatness of the former whereas the latter may not be to everybody's taste.

Capucon plays both concertos really well with excellent support from the Vienna Philharmonic under Harding who just lets the music unfold naturally. But I would recommend this recording on the strength of the Brahms concerto alone. The recording is very good with astonishing clarity of orchestral detail.

Needless to say there are many fine recordings of the Brahms concerto in the catalogue and it would be difficult to pick one particular recording as the best. Top contenders in the modern digital age would probably be Gil Shaham/Abbado, Repin/Chailly, Fischer/Kreizberg and Perlman/Barenboim. Gil Shaham's wonderful live recording with the Berlin Philharmonic under Abbado in 2002 in Palermo probably comes really close to greatness. For greatness and a monumental recording of this timeless masterpiece try the unforgettable Oistrakh/Klemperer recording.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb versions of both concertos 10 Sep 2012
By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Renaud Capuçon is one of the great violinists and his partnership with Daniel Harding proves very fruitful again in this unusual coupling. The two works, both having a close connection with Vienna, go very well together, suggesting that city over two different centuries. The sound of Capuçon's violin is beautiful without any picturesque aspect, sounding very fine indeed against the plush Vienna strings and their immaculate ensemble. The Brahms is given a muscular, subtle performance with fine orchestral detail - I've never been able to separate out the different wind strands in the slow movement as here, for instance, with the violin embedded in the orchestral texture, yet soaring nonetheless. I would say it was quite a rugged approach, beautifully sprung, and somehow sounding as if the notes were still wet on the page. I don't know how they achieve this, but they do. I like the way the lyricism isn't too effulgent - I first heard this piece in a very ripe Isaac Stern reading - but Brahms' passion couldn't be more present. The slow movement is tender and finely paced, while the finale fairly dances along, set off by a strong emphasis across both strings in the rondo subject, without excessive vibrato, yet vibrant. The high interjections from the violin, going up an octave out of the double-stopping, are electrifying - Capuçon's tone seems to expand like an enormous bow launching an arrow to the heavens. Speaking of double-stopping, he plays the less familiar cadenza by Kreisler that has more of this technique than Joachim's and helps the piece to sound fresh and vivid - while also making a better link to the Berg where double-stopping is also much in evidence. Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Memento mori 24 Nov 2012
By Entartete Musik TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Alban Berg was only twelve when Brahms died in Vienna in 1897; he was just a glimmer in his parents' eyes, however, when his predecessor penned his violin concerto for Joseph Joachim. Nevertheless, Brahms's 1878 and Berg's 1935 masterpieces form a fine pairing, a sort of Viennese post-Romantic fons et origo.

Earlier this year, Isabelle Faust, the Orchestra Mozart and Claudio Abbado paired the Berg with the Beethoven concerto. Placing the Beethoven last, the darkness of the Berg found its way to the light of classicism. On this new disc from Virgin Classics, Renaud Capuçon, the Wiener Philharmoniker and Daniel Harding leave us with the Berg, a vanishing memento mori.

Brahms and Berg's world provokes that kind of nostalgia. Compared with our own times, those halcyon days of literary, artistic and musical experiment seem rich and rare to us. Yet delivering these works through a dewy-eyed haze undermines the potency of the memory. The orchestral playing is, to a larger extent, exquisite, employing that characteristic honeyed Central European tone, which, when the VPO is on form, none can better. But wedded to Harding's languorous tempi and communicated through endlessly merging phrases, the effect is choking, as if one were drowning in Schlagobers.

Capuçon has a comparably sweet tone, paying dividends in the lyrical passages of the Brahms and the closing 'Es ist genug' chorale in the Berg. Yet he also brings aggression and attack. There's real muscularity in the earlier concerto - not least in its vertiginous cadenzas - similarly provoking fury in the Berg, as the composer's grief over the death of Manon Gropius manifests itself across a vast emotional range.
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