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Gautier Capucon’s Intimate Appearance at The Argyros Enthralls Audience
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Wednesday, January 26, 2022
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Several thousand people got to see renowned cellist Gautier Capucon when he and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet headlined a concert of French music for the Sun Valley Music Festival in August 2019.

But this past week a much smaller audience of a couple hundred had the opportunity to see and hear this maestro perform his 1701 Matteo Goffriller cello named “L’Ambassadeur” in much more intimate fashion at The Argyros. And, while both concerts were memorable, The Argyros performance gave people a very different glimpse of the man who is clearly one of the best cellists in the world.

With concert sponsors Martine and Dan Drackett sitting on the front row, Capucon kept a witty repertoire going. He described how they’d helped him pick out the musical menu for the evening, in addition to opening their home for dinner. And he told how they had been the first to write a check when he launched a foundation this month to support young and talented musicians at the beginning of their careers.

Best of all he presented the most seamless display of cello artistry imaginable, with his longtime piano accompanist Jerome Ducros accompanying him on piano.

His varied musical menu included classical pieces like Brahms Sonata 1 and Rachmaninov Cello Sonata,  along with familiar pieces like “Habanera” from “Carmen,” Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” Joplin’s “The Entertainer,” Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow” and an amazineg rendition of Nyman’s “The Heart Asks Pleasure First.”

He capped the concert with a very unexpected “Amazing Grace” on cello.

Capucon played with exuberance—as fascinating to watch as to listen to. And his perfectly coiffed thick head of hair just added to the spectacle, never a lock falling out of place.

“Unexpectedly varied, and very exciting,” said Martine Drackett, who has seen Capucon several times including his 2019 appearance with the Sun Valley Music Festival and concerts in Paris, Burgundy and at the Tanglewood Festival in western Massachusetts.

Capucon has been called a 21st century ambassador for the cello. And, indeed, he not only took his cello on the road for his fellow countrymen throughout the pandemic, but he started Orchestre a l’Ecole Association to bring classical music to more than 40,000 schoolchildren across France

Capucon said this was his first trip abroad since the pandemic started, and he hoped he might get another invite to Sun Valley since, he said, he didn’t get to do everything he wanted.

“This is an amazing playground for skiing,” he said.

He will be back if Casey Wilder Mott, executive director of The Argyros, has anything to say about it: “We were honored to work with Gautier, and we look forward to doing so again!”

 

The concert was one of many exciting concerts featuring inspiring artists in The Argyros Presents Series. Coming up in the near future will be Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on Saturday, Feb. 12, followed by jazz pianist Fred Hersch, a 15-time Grammy nominee.

 

 

 


 

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