For his second solo recording, after his critically acclaimed recording of Haydn’s Cello Concertos (which inaugurated his exclusive recording contract with VC in 2003), Gautier Capuçon tackles Dvorak’s masterpiece for cello (his only cello concerto), and couples it with that of an unfortunately under-reputed composer of the era.
Gautier Capuçon is accompanied by Paavo Järvi who directs the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, to which Paavo Järvi has is music director since September 06.
Dvorák wrote the concerto while in New York for his third term as the Director of the National Conservatory after having listened to Victor Herbert’s (a fellow teacher at the Conservatory) second cello concerto in 1894. Up till then Dvorák had always refused, stating that the cello was a fine orchestral instrument but totally insufficient for a solo concerto.
Victor August Herbert (February 1, 1859 – May 26, 1924) was a cellist, conductor and composer of light opera. His Cello Concerto is a new asset to Virgin Classics’ catalogue. Quite rarely recorded, it isn’t today available on either VC’s or EMI Classics’ catalogue - Julian Lloyd Webber’s recording with Charles Mackerras and the London Symphony Orchestra on EMI isn’t available at this date.
‘Gautier Capuçon plays the cello with the control and wisdom of a much older musician. The lightness of his touch and the consistent clarity of his bow strokes are quite admirable in themselves, but when combined with an uncanny sweetness of tone in the higher registers they are breathtaking.’ Gramophone
“Gautier Capuçon's account of the Herbert that makes the bigger impression. He captures the work's rhapsodic ambitions and the lyrical charm of its slow movement perfectly, whereas his reading of the Dvorák seems a bit withdrawn and underpowered. Anyone wanting a definitive recording of the Dvorák has plenty to choose from elsewhere, but for the Herbert this version just about has it all.” The Guardian, 6th February 2009 ***
“Gautier Capuçon gives a richly lyrical and sympathetic account of Herbert's Concerto, reaching heights of eloquence in its beguiling slow movement and revelling in the virtuosity of the latter parts of the finale.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2009 ****
“…Gautier Capuçon gives distinctive, characterful and intense performances of both works, well supported by Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt orchestra, especially strong in its brass section. In the Dvorák the fruity-toned Frankfurt horn gives a beautiful account of the great second-subject melody... In the exposition with soloist, Capuçon takes that section a fraction faster and the result is magical. As in the Herbert the slow movement is deeply elegiac, while the incisive finale leads to a dedicated account of the beautiful epilogue.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2009
“Though the name of Victor Herbert is nowadays associated above all with Broadway musicals like Naughty Marietta, Herbert was in fact a multi-talented musician, one of the world's leading cello virtuosos of the time and the composer of two cello concertos which greatly influenced Dvorák in the United States to write his supreme masterpiece.
That makes this coupling of Dvorák's Cello Concerto with the second and finer of Herbert's an apt one, and Gautier Capuçon gives distinc- tive, characterful and intense performances of both works, well supported by Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt orchestra, especially strong in its brass section.
In the Dvorák the fruity-toned Frankfurt horn gives a beautiful account of the great second-subject melody even though it is dangerously slow. In the exposition with soloist, Capuçon takes that section a fraction faster and the result is magical.
As in the Herbert the slow movement is deeply elegiac, while the incisive finale leads to a dedicated account of the beautiful epilogue. Altogether a version of this much-recorded work which stands comparison with any in the catalogue, made the more attractive by the coupling.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010