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Bach, Gubaidulina / Anne-Sophie Mutter

Release Date: 10/07/2008 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 001205402   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachSofia Gubaidulina
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
Conductor:  Anne-Sophie MutterValery Gergiev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony OrchestraTrondheim Soloists
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 4 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Also available in a Deluxe Edition!

Brooding, turbulence and visions of hell and heaven in Gubaidulina’s concerto

Anne-Sophie Mutter has lost no time in recording the violin concerto written for her by Sofia Gubaidulina in 2006-07. In a single movement running for about 32 minutes, it shows the composer’s concern to make a direct and immediate impact, avoiding complicated materials but using very expansive forms. Its possible to sense the kind of allusions to Mahlerian archetypes that are no less
Read more prominent in Shostakovich or Schnittke. Yet Gubaidulina has her own very personal musical identity, and the concerto’s strategies for playing off heights against depths, lament against affirmation, are very powerfully realised. The risks of rambling, improvisatory musing are triumphantly avoided, and the work’s final stages appear to bring starkly opposed images of extinction and rebirth into a strongly ambivalent conclusion that both affirms and questions resolution.

This darkly inviting music is splendidly performed. You’d expect the Mutter/Gergiev combination to be combustible, and there is certainly no reticence or half-measures in the way the music’s expressive core, its play with visions of hell and heaven, is exposed. Gestures towards traditional consonant harmony stand out strangely, and dancelike patterns are clearly not going to survive for very long in a context where brooding and turbulence are the principal qualities. The resplendent recording celebrates the score’s rich colouring while never allowing the solo line, played with all this performer’s natural theatricality and poise, to lose its prominence. Maybe, at one particularly stark climax, the hammered rhythmic repetitions in the orchestra seem over-emphatic. But urgency rather than reticence drives Gubaidulina’s thought, and this performance never lets you forget it.

It would have been good to hear these performers in Gubaidulina’s other major work for violin and orchestra, Offertorium. Instead, the pair of Bach concertos speak of a distant musical world in which stability and spontaneity achieved an extraordinary conjunction. The performances are neat tidy, dispatched with elegance and vigour. Yet they reinforce the gulf that musically separates then from now, and all-Gubaidulina discs are not as common as they should be.

-- Arnold Whittall, Gramophone [10/2008]
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Violin no 1 in A minor, BWV 1041 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin)
Conductor:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Valery Gergiev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Trondheim Soloists
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 13 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Dagmar Birwe.
Audio Producer: Ute Fesquet. 
Concerto for Violin no 2 in E major, BWV 1042 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin)
Conductor:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trondheim Soloists
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1717-1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Length: 17 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Concerto for Violin "In tempus praesens" by Sofia Gubaidulina
Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin)
Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 21st Century 
Written: 2007 
Length: 32 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Notes: Audio Engineer: Dagmar Birwe.
Audio Producer: Ute Fesquet. 

Featured Sound Samples

Violin Concerto no 2 (Bach): III. Allegro assai
Violin Concerto "In tempus praesens" (Gubaidulina)

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