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Mendelssohn, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Mutter, Karajan


Release Date: 05/08/2001 
Label:  Dg The Originals Catalog #: 463641   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Felix MendelssohnMax Bruch
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This digital recording was made in 1980, when Mutter was around 17 years old; she was then recording a fair portion of the violin repertoire with her mentor, Herbert von Karajan. A couple of years after the 1981 LP release it became one of the earlier CD releases, and landed with a thud on the desk of Fanfare's Roger Dettmer. His review in 7:4 referred to "unreal" and "disagreeable" sound. While the balances have the usual tilt toward the soloist, DG has cured the strangely false fadeouts that afflicted many early CDs. But Dettmer, who never but never left readers wondering where he stood, went on to blast "this bloating of music by both composers" in "opulent. .. weighty and deliberate" performances. Read more Actually, he praised Mutter's violin-playing but found much fault with "her erstwhile magus in Berlin."

Whew! Yes, one can hear that Karajan smoothes out the orchestral tutti parts, in the Mendelssohn in particular, to the point where they are just about featureless, but if I read Roger Dettmer correctly in referring to unusually slow tempos I guess I just do not hear them. What I do hear is violin-playing that is always radiant but with some latent excesses in the vibrato that I think have become more patent and detract from some of Mutter's adult performances. And I also think her recent Beethoven sonata recordings reflect a certain artistic point of view that may well reflect lessons learned from the imperious Karajan, magus or not. Subsequent events have demonstrated that Karajan's faith in Mutter was wisely prescient, and as a document of the early playing of one of today's most important soloists this release has value to collectors.

-- David K. Nelson, FANFARE [9/2001]
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64 by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1844; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1980 
Venue:  Philharmonie, Berlin 
Length: 30 Minutes 32 Secs. 
2. Concerto for Violin no 1 in G minor, Op. 26 by Max Bruch
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin)
Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Germany 
Date of Recording: 09/1980 
Venue:  Philharmonie, Berlin 
Length: 26 Minutes 10 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op.64: 1. Allegro molto appassionato
Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op.64: 2. Andante
Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op.64: 3. Allegro non troppo - Allegro molto vivace
Violin Concerto No.1 In G Minor, Op.26: 1. Vorspiel (Allegro moderato)
Violin Concerto No.1 In G Minor, Op.26: 2. Adagio
Violin Concerto No.1 In G Minor, Op.26: 3. Finale (Allegro energico)

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