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His cello is a 1701 Gollriler. I watched and listened as he calmly stroked the bow from heel to tip across the strings, marvelling at the elegance and purity and wondering why it took so little effort to produce such a distinctive singing tone. Then consider he had so little time to prepare the Kodály, a thirty minute marathon of a work, teaming with technical and musical difficulties. 'I had neither studied nor played the music previously; it became a discovery and a real challenge.' It sounded marvellous, but afterwards, did he want to make changes and improvements? 'I re-live the music I play, always, but if I approached the Kodály six weeks later, it would probably end up sounding completely different.'

Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Gautier Capuçon. Photo: Bill Newman

Performing the Rachmaninov Sonata with Ducros was a natural -- they know each other's playing so well. When he came suddenly to play it with Thibaudet, they had a run through, then a general rehearsal. 'After a few seconds, bells began to ring in my mind. He is such a spontaneous artist and you have to respond immediately to what each of us wants to find in the work. We had both played it a lot.'

Concertos figure in subsequent concert work. 'The Dvorák, Saint-Saëns, Schumann and both Haydns. Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations. Then there is Brahms' Double Concerto with my brother, a violinist, and the Saint Cecilia Orchestra with Myung Wa Chung conducting. I have also performed in Beethoven's Triple Concerto.'

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Copyright © 18 April 2002 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK






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