“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
These live performances were recorded in St Petersburg on 24th December 2008 when Gautier Capuçon was the guest of Russia’s leading maestro – and one of the world’s most prominent conductors – the protean Valery Gergiev and his Mariinsky Orchestra. This is Gergiev’s debut on Virgin Classics; Capuçon, of course, is one of the mainstays of the label and this is his third album of solo works with orchestra.
Tchaikovsky’s Mozart-inspired Rococo Variations are a mainstay of the cello repertoire, but Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante features less frequently in concerts and recordings. The work was premiered in 1952 by Mstislav Rostropovich, with the equally legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter deserting the keyboard for the conductor’s baton. Its material is drawn from the composer’s earlier cello concerto, written in the 1930s.