Classical review: April 13

>''Le Violon Roi'' Renaud Capucon (violin) Virgin Classics (3 CDs)

As compilations go, this is a monster: three discs, the first being nine selected movements from violin concertos, the second a dozen excerpts from chamber music, and a third comprising 17 encore item.

This French violinist is an international star but is not necessarily crowned as king; the booklet qualifies the set's title saying; ''A violinist in a class of his own, Renaud Capucon shows us here that the violin is king''.

That is more in tune. Compilations, however, disappoint because they are dissections from larger and very satisfying recorded works.

Disc 3 pleased me most, with its encores as complete brief brilliancies for violin with orchestral, piano or cello accompaniment.

Ravel's Tzigane enchants: others include Kreisler's Liebesleid, a wonderful Miniature Viennese March and Gluck's Dance of the Blessed Spirits.

Dvorak's Humoresque and Dinicu's Hora Staccato are two warhorses transcribed by Heifetz, Korngold wrote Much Ado about Nothing plus Marietta's Lied zur Laute, a previously unreleased recording.

Saint-Saens provides Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and his symphonic poem Danse Macabre as well as the dissected merry finale of Carnival of the Animals.

Concerto excerpts come from Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Korngold.

In chamber music the Ghost Piano Trio third movement and Spring Sonata's Allegro impress in Beethoven's three selections, two selections come from Brahms, Schumann and Schubert, and Faure. Mendelssohn and Ravel also feature.

Ravel's Perpetuum mobile from Sonata for violin and piano is wildly fast - could have been included in the encores.

Verdict: One of many gifted virtuosi.

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