One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Deaconoff; Stockhausen

Live at the Clifton Festival

Choir at Clifton Cathedral


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Wolfgang RIHM (b.1952)
Gedicht des Malers (Poem of the Painter), Concerto for violin and orchestra (2015) [15.46]
Pascal DUSAPIN (b. 1955)
Aufgang (Ascent), Concerto for violin and orchestra (2008/12) [32.30]
Bruno MANTOVANI (b. 1974)
Jeux d'eau, Concerto for violin and orchestra (2012) [19.30]
Renaud Capušon (violin)
Wiener Symphoniker/Philippe Jordan (Rihm)
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Myung-Whun Chung (Dusapin)
Orchestre de l'OpÚra National de Paris/Philippe Jordan (Mantovani)
rec. live, 9 & 10 January 2015 Gro▀e Saal, Wiener Konzerthaus (Rihm); 26 January 2015 Philharmonie de Paris (Dusapin); 18 February 2012 Salle Pleyel, Paris (Mantovani)
ERATO 2564 602687 [65.44]

French violinist Renaud Capušon is clearly relishing playing in live performance these twenty-first century concertos which were written specifically for him. Inspired by the number of commissions given by fellow violinists, notably Gidon Kremer and Anne-Sophie Mutter, when commissioning works Capušon enjoys the privilege of being able to contribute towards expanding the repertoire of the violin. When working with living composers, Capušon has stated that he enjoys the collaborative aspect of the project.

The earliest work here is Jeux d'eau from French composer Bruno Mantovani a work he completed in 2012. Like many composers before him, conspicuously Liszt, Debussy and Ravel, Mantovani has used a theme of water. With Jeux d'eau, Mantovani was specifically motivated by “the sound of clear water that flows from a mountain torrent.” It was Capušon who premiŔred the score in 2012 at Paris. As the title suggests, the score to Jeux d'eau has an ineluctable aqueous quality marked by writing that feels clean, fresh and fluid. There is a variety of textures in both the violin and orchestra parts and noticeably broad dynamics.

Wolfgang Rihm is one of the pre-eminent composers working today. The winner of several prestigious awards, Rihm has been the recipient of numerous commissions. By my reckoning, Rihm has now written five violin concertos of which the best known is Gesungene Zeit (Time Chant) for Anne-Sophie Mutter who recorded the work on Deutsche Grammophon. Rihm’s violin concerto Gedicht des Malers (Poem of the Painter) was introduced by Capušon in 2015 at Vienna. Rihm talks about the inspiration for the work coming from artist Max Beckmann, who painted Max Reger a year after the composer had died. Rihm has stated that he could visualise Beckmann painting virtuoso violinist EugŔne Ysa e in the same way. It is as if the soloist has taken control of the artist’s brush on the canvas. Immediately, the aching intensity of the writing has a Bergian feel and the mainly high lying violin part strongly evokes celestial images. Two main contrasting impressions dominate the work first a mainly cool and shadowy often mysterious atmosphere and secondly episodes of coarsely-hewn agitation. The moods are disrupted by the quickly built screeching outburst at 9.23 and a sudden thunderous eruption at 12.40.

Another Frenchman, Pascal Dusapin, is represented by Aufgang, his concerto for violin and orchestra. In 2008, Dusapin was motivated by conductor Marek Janowski to write a violin concerto, but after some work on the piece, the project didn’t come to fruition. Subsequently a meeting with Capušon led to the composer reviving the concerto that he completed in 2011. The first performance was given by Capušon in 2013 at Cologne. Titled Aufgang, the word in English means Ascent, possibly meaning a staircase to the sky, relating to the high register where much of the violin part lies.

Dusapin talks about “emerging light” yet it is the contrasts that are striking. Evident in the opening movement is the very high lying register of the violin part against the orchestra, which becomes increasingly weighty and anxiety laden. Shadowy, infused with nervous tension in the movement two, the violin part gradually gains in prominence and assertiveness. Conspicuous in the third movement is the wild and fiery character at turns coolly expressive.

The liner notes include an essay by Marguerite Haldjian and a note from Capušon which are helpful and interesting. Recorded live the sound quality across three separate concert halls is uniformly clear and well balanced. There is some minor audience noise but nothing too distracting, and applause has been kept in on two the works.

Playing with robust and impassioned lyricism, Renaud Capušon is on exceptional form. This is the finest release of contemporary violin concertos I have heard in some years.

Michael Cookson


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan