A flat suitcase, a little bigger than a briefcase. Renaud Capuçon rarely separates from it, but no one notices this big black briefcase. Those who meet this elegant blond without recognizing him, in planes or trains, are much more surprised to see him reading sheet music, his hands discreetly marking the rhythm that beats in his mind. The suitcase is there, laid carelessly on a table, insignificant enough to cause concern: “You didn’t bring your instrument?” » Small smile. Slamming of lock. And suddenly the wonders appear.
Two violins, infinitely light, in patinated, matte wood, which Renaud Capuçon grasps with relaxation. “The first is a Stradivarius. The second, a guarneri del gesù on which Isaac Stern played [grand violoniste du XXe siècle mort en 2001] », explains the musician, handing them to you, when you hardly dare to touch them.
Renaud Capuçon, 47, has several others, but these two instruments are the most precious. Not only because they each cost more than ten million euros, but also because it is with them that he gives his playing a personality, a soul to the music.
During a dinner attended by the great conductor Daniel Barenboim, one of the guests had asked Renaud Capuçon: “Would the public really notice the difference if you played a 20,000 euro violin? » Daniel Barenboim had then answered in place of the violinist: “Yes, because it is this violin that inspires him. »
Both instruments impress with their ancient beauty. “If I wanted to give you an element of comparison, I would say that one is a huge Burgundy and the other a huge Bordeaux”, underlines Renaud Capuçon, before showing in detail each of the violins that accompany it. The first was made in Cremona, in Lombardy, by Guarneri del Gesù, this 18th century luthiere century contemporary and rival of Antonio Stradivari, who made the second. Two exceptional violins for a musician…
Minister’s agenda, athlete’s discipline
This is what we measure the talent, the recognition of the public but also the interpersonal skills and the relationships of a soloist. Of all this, Renaud Capuçon is not lacking. Frequent concerts, in France and abroad – no less than twenty in the coming months – he has a minister’s agenda, a top-level athlete’s discipline – zero alcohol, micronaps in planes, rehearsals dailies – and an address book filled with the names of big bosses.
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