Anne-Sophie Mutter’s virtuosity and dazzling technique liberate her to give full vent to poignancy and passion in her debut recording of Dvorak’s violin music with the Berlin Philharmonie, her first collaboration with this orchestra in 30 years.
Making his first appearance as conductor with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Deutsche Grammophon is Manfred Honeck, like Dvorak, a viola player, formerly with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and presently Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
The foundation of this album released by Deutsche Grammophon, is Mutter’s exciting rendition of Dvorak’s Violin Concerto in A minor opus 53 with its fiery czardas like themes played with an intensity and an abandon that could only be borne of complete technical mastery and an intimate understanding of the composer and his style. Composed for Joseph Joachim but never played by him, the concerto’s lilting lines and dance rhythms refer to Dvorak’s nationalist inspirations and his work as viola player in a theatre orchestra and dance band playing in restaurants and for balls.
Following the concerto are three smaller works, the Romance for Violin and Orchestra in F minor opus 11, derived from the slow movement of the composer’s String Quartet No 5 written in 1873; the Mazurek for Violin and Orchestra in E Minor opus 49, written for Pablo de Sarasate in 1879; and the Humoresque in G flat major opus 101 no. 7, arranged for violin and piano by Fritz Kreisler, in which Mutter is accompanied by Ayami Ikeba. Mutter’s playing is focussed and dramatic throughout these cameos. The shorter, more whimsical nature of these pieces allows for well deserved relaxation in momentum after the intensity and thrill of the concerto.
This recording offers consistency and the luxury of sinking into the music of one composer, performed superbly by one soloist and orchestra. A treasure of a CD.
Shamistha de Soysa for SoundsLikeSydney©
Anne-Sophie Mutter: Dvorak with the Berlin Philharmoniker conducted by Manfred Honeck on Deutsches Grammophon,
Released in Australia on November 2013.