Our November Recording of the Month is a four-CD set of Mozart’s mature violin sonatas played by Renaud Capuçon and Kit Armstrong.
Amazingly, the French violinist had barely played these works when the opportunity to work with the young American pianist came along in 2016, but now he’s an evangelist for works that are not played as often as one might think.
Clive Paget caught up with Capuçon to learn about his Mozartian Road to Damascus, the challenges of playing these exceptionally delicate works, and what it’s like to work with Armstrong, a performer the violinist happily describes as a genius.
Were you intimately familiar with Mozart’s sonatas before exploring them with Kit Armstrong?
No, I must have played six or seven of them, and the rest were completely new. If you ask any violinist – famous, not famous – how many sonatas do they play from Mozart, you will be incredibly surprised. If you ask Beethoven, almost everybody plays one to ten, but for Mozart we play E minor, G major … Considering the amount of beauty in these sonatas, it’s very strange.