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Renaud Capuçon: Promotes Korngold's Violin Concerto

img  Tobias

Musically speaking, these Concertos may indeed not have all that much in common. Public perception of them has accordingly been very different: On the one hand, we have one of the cornerstones of the Violin oeuvre, an acknowledged masterpiece which has proven its value over the centuries. And on the other, we have a piece which is only slowly working its way up the ranks to the echelon of the standard repertoire. This, however, is exactly Renaud Capuçon's point: By placing these seemingly contrary compositions next to each other, he is essentially assigning equal value to them and promoting Korngold's still fairly unknown work to the rank of a true classic. Capuçon may have a point: Even though Korngold was a difficult and much-debated case during his lifetime, he was also a childhood prodigy generally regarded as the „next Mozart“. His career as a soundtrack composer was extremely successful and yet, it also prevented his orchestral works from ever being awarded fair and unbiased judgement.

It is not as though no one else had recognised the quality of the Korngold Concerto. Jascha Heifetz, after all, played the solo part at the world premiere and documented it in a now historical recording. To Renaud Capuçon, however, it was extremely important to supplement Haifetz' version with a contemporary counterpoint. To Capuçon, the dual approach of the Violin Concerto as a perfect example of late romanticism and its biographical character (expressed through the frequent use of some of his most memorable film-motives) made it an ideal representation of Korngold's entire oeuvre.

Interestingly enough, the piece will not be featured when Renaud Capuçon hits the road in support of the CD – apparently, most concert halls are not yet as adventurous as the Violinist. On the other hand, Capuçon is more than making up for it by introducing his audiences to another exciting work of the 21st century: Ligeti's Violin Concerto, which has been scheduled for three subsequent nights at the Philharmonie Berlin.

Picture by XF Schmidt.

Homepage: Renaud Capuçon
Homepage: EMI Classics

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