Gautier Capuçon performs Brahms and Grieg — With Kim Bernard

Verbier Festival 2022

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Gautier Capuçon — Cellist

Kim Bernard — Pianist

Program notes

Exceptional cellist Gautier Capuçon and prodigy Kim Bernard join forces at the Verbier Church to perform Romantic sonatas by Brahms and Grieg!

Brahms’s Cello Sonata No. 1 in E Minor (1862–1865) is distinctly Baroque in character, demonstrating the composer’s life-long interest in the music of J.S. Bach. The first movement echoes the Third Contrapunctus of Bach’s The Art of Fugue, while the second evokes a Baroque-style minuet, and the last is fugal in structure. However, Brahms likewise remains rooted in an innovative Romantic tradition by blending vast dynamic contrast and chromatic harmony throughout this sonata.

Composed approximately 20 years later, Grieg’s Cello Sonata in A Minor marked the composer’s return after his conducting duties at the Bergen Symphony Orchestra. The piece is dedicated to Grieg’s brother, a keen cellist, and borrows themes from a funeral march and wedding march he had previously composed. From the stormy agitation of the first movement through to the lyrical theme of the second and the dance-like nature of the last, this stunning work employs an expansive range of the cello register and brims with romantic emotion.


Gautier Capuçon appears courtesy of Warner Classics.

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