Yuja Wang & Gautier Capuçon take us on a romantic trip
The Chinese pianist and French cellist attack the sonatas by Franck and Chopin.
Young and handsome, striding almost menacingly towards the camera like Bonnie & Clyde on the album cover (but decidedly less dangerous), Gautier Capuçon and Yuja Wang appear just as striking and audacious nonetheless. Used to playing together, they bring a spirited approach to César Franck’s Sonata in A major, with a famous transcription by the cellist Jules Delsart which was endorsed by the composer. This world-renowned masterpiece has since become a staple of the repertoires of every cellist in the world.
The melancholy nature of the music allows the instrument to display its full range of vocal possibilities. The two musicians give a daring performance, infusing it with an expressive and passionate romanticism. Gautier Capuçon, not averse to using soaring vibrato in large quantities, throws himself into Franck’s universe with the complicity of the extraordinary Chinese virtuoso Yuja Wang, whose dextrous agility on the keys translates through the speaker.
The romanticism which Franck favoured at the end of the century is complemented by Chopin’s highbrow virtuosity in the Introduction et Polonaise brillante, Op. 3 composed in 1829 before he arrived in Paris. The version interpreted by these two artists elicits an almost irresistible desire to dance. This contrasts with the Sonata in G minor written much later, near the end of the Franco-Polish composer’s life.
His final opus published while still alive, it’s an introspective work marked by Chopin’s collaboration and friendship with cellist Auguste-Joseph Franchomme who created it in 1848, surprising many of its first listeners with its innovative style of writing. A prominent representative of the French world of cello playing having done important work in the amplification of the left hand’s expression and having perfected bowing technique, Franchomme has in Gautier Capuçon a most suitable successor.