One always comes to a young musicians' concert with a slight hope that this will be that special day when you hear a performer who you are absolutely sure will be a star of the future. That hope only comes to fruition on a small number of occasions: this concert was one of them. I'm willing to take bets that nineteen year old Parisian cellist Edgar Moreau is going to have a glittering career.

Edgar Moreau © Miguel Bueno
Edgar Moreau
© Miguel Bueno

Moreau plays an antique cello from which he extracts a big, rich sound: you could hear this as he tuned up, even before launching into Gabriel Pierné's 1922 Sonate en une partie. His playing is muscular and he throws himself into the music: accents are heavy, timbre is full, phrases are sculpted for intensity. It's high risk playing - there's the occasional squawk or fluffed note - but richly rewarded by the sheer excitement of the sound produced. And Moreau has bags of stage presence, with a flexible face which can turn from smile to grimace and back in an instant but always shows deep involvement with the music.

The Pierné is a mercurial work, broadly French impressionist in style and with many sections of differing pace, tessitura and texture - sometimes lyrical, sometimes angular marked with pizzicato cello, sometimes rippling with dissonant chords on the high octaves of the piano. Moreau impressed with his ability to extract different tones from the instrument: he can construct a phrase out of a single long note by varying vibrato and bowing. I particularly marvelled at one effect where he takes a long note in and out of harmonic quite smoothly, creating pattern and interest out of thin air.

Moreau's turn at a Bacri world première, the fourth of the Quatre élégies was a more wistful piece and played elegantly, but still with considerable power. With such continually full-on playing, a danger arises that it may become impossible to maintain a wide range in the programme. This was notable in the Schumann Five pieces in folk style: Moreau was splendid in the first piece, marked Mit Humor and continued to excite, but by the time we got to the fifth, marked Stark und markiert ("strong and accented"), it was hard to imagine how the playing could get any more strong and accented than it had been throughout, and my interest did wane slightly.

The programme closed with Prokofiev's Cello sonata, Op. 119, and in this, pianist Pierre-Yves Hodique became a full partner, having previously been somewhat in the background as an accompanist. The sonata starts with grave, low cello phrases, but it's not long before the cello moves into sweeping patterns and outbursts of pizzicato around heavily marked themes on the piano. Prokofiev's natural good humour returns in the scherzo-like second movement, in which the piano takes much of the action, and the piano is prominent in the third movement Allegro ma non troppo. Hodique looks solidly formal on stage compared to his more flamboyant partner, but his playing was anything but, and the two performers were very much on an even par as the cello's arpeggios were accompanied by piano figures that sweep up and down every octave of the keyboard.

Even at such a young age, Moreau can completely win over an audience with his big sound and no-holds-barred style. I think he's going to be a winner.