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13. Cellists

Wendy Warner was already known to me for her splendid new recording of Samuel Barber's Concerto on Naxos, and I'm sorry I didn't get to know her better. Her warm tone and slightly introspective, merging qualties as a player made her the ideal chamber artist in Dvorák's Trio in F minor, Mozart's Oboe Quartet in F and the J S Bach Sonata BWV528.

Gautier Capuçon at the 2001 Spoleto Festival. Photo: Bill Newman

Gauthier Capucon (a surprise replacement for Jean-Guihen Queyras who hurt his shoulder) became my personal choice as outstanding player at last year's Berlin Festival, confirmed later by a Wallace Collection recital in London. At nineteen, his performance of the Rachmaninov Sonata with Thibaudet could hardly be bettered, and at such short notice he perfectly measured his golden tones with colleagues in Mendelssohn's D minor Trio, Dvorák's Quintet Op 81, Barber's Dover Beach and the Chausson Quartet Op 30.

The other cellist, Yeesun Kim, I visualized as the ideal partner for violist Hsin-Yun Huang, a Japanese-Korean combination that continued to discover every shade of charismatic colourings so much part of each work in which they took part.

An admirer, Jeremy Denk, Randall Scarlata, Katherine Needleman, Jonathan Biss, Scott Nickrenz and Hsiw-Yun Huang (left to right) at a Spoleto 2001 reception. Photo: Bill Newman

Scott Nickrenz, of course, was so immensely busy supervising rehearsals, judging the precise positioning of players on the platform from the back of the hall, planning and adjusting events and keeping all artists content and comfortable that I wondered if I would hear him play at all. He certainly featured in the Fauré song cycle!

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Copyright © 18 December 2001 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK






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