Promising artists emerge from cellist Gautier Capuçon’s foundation


The Strad Issue: September 2023

Description: Promising artists emerge from Gautier Capuçon’s foundation

Musicians: Sarah Jégou-Sageman (violin) Jeein You (cello) Martina Consonni (piano) 

Works: Chaminade: Piano Trio no.1. Poulenc: Cello Sonata. Schumann: Papillons; Violin Sonata no.1

Catalogue number: ERATO 5419764269

Last year French cellist Gautier Capuçon established his foundation to support and champion young artists at the outset of their careers. This release is the organisation’s second, featuring three of the 2022 laureates.

If Poulenc was in fact ‘half monk, half rascal’, as a critic once claimed, then cellist Jeein You (the youngest of the disc’s three players, still in her early twenties) doesn’t quite capture the latter quality. There could be more mischief, bite and whimsy, and a greater sense of knockabout interplay between the instruments in the first and third movements, but Poulenc the monk is released in the second-movement Cavatine: serene and with a touch of nocturnal magic.

Martina Consonni gives a suitably imaginative performance of Schumann’s solo-piano character pieces Papillons and partners Sarah Jégou-Sageman in the composer’s Violin Sonata no.1. For me, the first movement could take more of the ‘passionate expression’ that the score requests: it’s as if a more stirring performance is just around the corner. Jégou-Sageman’s playing is boldly confident, though, and in the second movement she deftly contrasts playfulness with profundity.

Chaminade’s unjustly neglected First Piano Trio (written when she was 23) receives a committed performance, convincing in both momentum and its strong lyrical thread. The sparkling scherzo is balanced by a finale that is truly full-blooded.