Capuçon’s Elegant Homage to the Silver Screen

French violinist Renaud Capuçon finds film music captivating, and his hand-picked collection of cinematic favorites arranged for violin and orchestra is WCRB's CD of the Week.

“Every piece is a flashback into time – and also, into my life.” 

It couldn’t have been easy for French violinist Renaud Capuçon to settle on just nineteen pieces from film scores for his new CD. There are dozens that have touched and haunted him through the years. But this collection feels personal – it tugs at your heartstrings with Capuçon’s signature burnished and elegant sound.

Some of the pieces were scored expressly for the violin, like John Williams’s theme from Schindler’s List. Others weave the violin into exquisite arrangements, evoking the magic from classics like Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Godfather. There are newer spellbinders like New Moon from the Twilight saga. All are lovingly and imaginatively crafted for this recording.

Renaud Capuçon is respected around the globe, with acclaimed recordings that range from Bach to Bartok to Dutilleux. He says he hesitated at first to dip into the world of movie music, even though he’s listened lovingly to Itzhak Perlman’s film albums hundreds of times. It helped, he said, to encounter the great living artists of the field, like Vladimir Cosma (The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe). Capuçon has applied his elegant approach to melodies that make most everyone cry (like Michel Legrand’s “The Summer Knows” from Summer of ‘42; and “Papa Can You Hear Me?” from Yentl.)

It’s wonderful that Capuçon has made this recording (which, by the way, is also available on vinyl) with an old friend. He and conductor Stéphane Denève were at the Paris Conservatory together. For Denève, a great melody is like the “holy grail of music.” For Capuçon, these movie melodies can so easily and emotionally bring back the place and time when they were first encountered. They have fun talking about it here:

The recorded sound is fabulous, and the Brussels Philharmonic sounds like a million bucks under Denève. Don’t miss the striking collision of worlds when the beautiful singer Nolwenn Leroy arrives for a gorgeous arrangement of “Calling You” from Bagdad Café. Watch the recording session here:

For more information and to purchase this recording, visit ArkivMusic.