Renaud and Gautier Capuçon have all the musicality and talent and taste and flair for the stage that, once experienced in person, makes their avid following credible. Both of these young men know their way around scores of major and minor works, orchestral works and chamber music. This recording is all about hero worship - both for the two handsome and inordinately talented men they are, but also about their passion for fascinating programming and music of all kinds. This is a recital, a private concert with no extraneous interference, just simply the two brothers playing their hearts out. They are electrifying.
The first work on this recording served as the spontaneous encore after a performance with Dudamel and the LA Phil of the Brahms Double Concerto (spectacularly sinewy) - Johan Halvorsen's tribute to Handel - the 'Passacaglia and Sarabande with Variations in G after Handel for violin & viola (in this case cello) is a work that bows to Handel's themes and structures but from there becomes a showpiece for sheer virtuosity on the parts of the soloists. It works wonders here: it led to an audience eruption of adoration when live in the concert hall.
The haunting Zoltan Kodaly 'Duo for violin & cello, Op. 7' gives both instruments the full court press as far as physicality is concerned. Eric Tanguy's 'Sonata for violin & cello' is another through-composed work that the Capuçons understand completely as is the Ervin Schulhoff 'Duo for violin & cello' - a much less familiar composer and work. But the piece that allows the physicality of these two men is the rather strange but beguiling 'Variations brillantes et concertantes on "God Save the King", for violin & cello' by Joseph Ghys and Francois Servais - an unlikely theme written by French string players Joseph Ghys (1801 - 1848) and Adrien-François Servais (6 June 1807 - 26 November 1866) for the French soloists. It makes a charming finale. This recording will likely become an archival items as both of these brothers continue to dazzle the musical world both together and alone. Grady Harp, June 11