I spent a pleasant enough hour at the Wigmore yesterday listening to Renaud Capuçon and pianist Frank Braley work their way through two Beethoven violin sonatas, C minor Op. 30 and F major Op. 24 aka 'Spring,' aka 'one-of-the-most-frequently-played-pieces-in-the-repertoire-but-with-good-reason-since-it's-so-damn-likeable.' The concert was broadcast live on Radio 3, and as is always the way with these things, can be listened to after the fact if you click here.
I know I mentioned Capuçon's cinematic career a a while back, but I've never really touched on his musical personality, which seems to be fairly robust. I've enjoyed many performances he's given, both on his own and with his brother, Gauthier, but he's never completely bowled me over. His sound is warm and rich, and he's got a terrifically smooth and controlled bow arm, but his phrasing decisions have never really meshed with my own aesthetic with regard to line. I suppose he's just one of those people I admire but don't revere; like but don't love. It's funny how that works, in general certainly, but definitely with regard to classical music. One can consider a performer or composer to be exceptionally gifted, and capable of a singular brand of invention, only it's not one's preferred brand. Not a hell of a lot a person can do about that. We like what we like, and dismiss what we don't. And why not? After all, the classical canon is so vast and diverse that a person shouldn't waste his time on music he doesn't like. One must absolutely try new things, and as often as possible, only one shouldn't force oneself to listen to music that doesn't inspire, however exalted it might be, even if it's supposedly 'good for you.'
Good grief! I sound as though I belong at Speaker's Corner.