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Korngold - Violin Concerto Op 35; Tchaikovsky - Violin Concerto Op 35

Anne-Sophie Mutter Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 13.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Watching Mutter play is a pleasure, and not merely because she is beautiful. Her technique is effortless and natural; she seems to have four equally strong fingers that can stretch in every direction. Her bow arm is wonderfully relaxed, her motions are fluid and economical; her bow changes are smooth and inaudible; her tone is famous for its ... Read more in Amazon's Anne-Sophie Mutter Store

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Product details

  • Conductor: Andr Previn
  • Composer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold^Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (9 Nov 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0002U9G7G
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,430 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D, Op.35 - 1. Allegro moderato18:26Album Only
Listen  2. Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D, Op.35 - 2. Canzonetta: Andante - attacca: 6:570.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D, Op.35 - 3. Finale (Allegro vivacissimo) 9:300.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Korngold: Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 - 1. Moderato nobile 8:390.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Korngold: Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 - 2. Romance: Andante 7:570.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Korngold: Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 - 3. Finale: Allegro assai vivace 7:040.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

CD /Andre Previn/Anne-Sophie Mutter

Customer Reviews

3 star
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1 star
4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mutter, as usual, outdo everyone 21 Nov 2004
By Brenno
Format:Audio CD
GOD, please help me:I HAVEN'T SLEPT SINCE I LISTENED IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. It's simply the best TCHAIKOVSKY and KORNGOLD available.
TCHAIKOVSKY's 3th tempo and the finale of the 1st are played so fast and with so much character that will pierce you through like a TGV at his maximum speed.
The 2nd tempo is great too, with her non-vibrato and pianissimo at the begin, and a crescendo that brings new power and interest for the piece at every bar, even if the theme is repeated plenty of times.
KORNGOLD is TERRIFIC: it really scared me, expecially the last tempo. I'm sorry but in comparison with other recording of other grat artists such as Perlman, Shaham and even HEIFETZ, they all disappear, both for the tempi and for the energy this piece is played with.
I think this recording will be a great stone in the history of violin.
Before this cd I could not even imagine that so much ENERGY, POWER, STRENGTH and FIERY CHARACTER would be held by only one person.
I can bet my.....violin that such an incredible perfection won't let you sleep for many many night! ;)
Please DO COMPARE,if you can....and tell me...
My last consideration is that I absolutely agree with the previous review: AMAZON, PLEASE LET PEOPLE VOTE 6 STAR FOR THIS, AMAZING, STUNNING, PERFECT CD! Thanx
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Violin Playing to Die For! 18 Nov 2004
Format:Audio CD
Sophie Mutter, Andre Previn and Wiener Philharmoniker rescue Tchaikovsky's less than top drawer Violin Concerto with a splendid, if rather drily recorded, performance.
But the real star of this recording is the sensationally successful performance of the Korngold.
It used to be said that the Austrian composer's music was "more Corn than Gold".
Not on the evidence of this performance.
Six stars for this one, please Amazon!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well well well 7 Nov 2009
Format:Audio CD
Yes, well the Tchaik. is not the best... waaay too romantic... and tempo liberties... you know we do like our Tchaikovsky to sound a bit more classical and tidy... however all is made up by a super super super Korngold recording... the sound is oh so warm and powerful...yes please ...! 10/10
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where is the line between abandoned and sloppy? 29 Aug 2007
By Donald G. Hite III - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Mutter's Tchaikovsky on this disc leaves me very torn. There are moments of pure brilliance (in particular, I think she plays the section before the cadenza in the first movement beautifully). There are almost moments that are very sloppy, largely because of her speed. They don't so much sound bad, but to me, they are played so fast that I can't really tell if all the notes are there... It just goes by in a blur...

I think generally Mutter has a very engaging style, sound, and sense of phrase, and despite some flaws in this CD, her unique skills still shine through.

The Tchaikovsky is a beautiful piece and works well at slower tempos (for example, Midori's recording is quite slow compared to most, but the piece can handle it). There are so many wonderful turns of phrase and little moments that can be savored, it almost seems a shame to rush through them. On the contrary, Heifetz plays the piece incredibly fast, but with such technical clarity that it is astounding to listen to him. Mutter falls in the middle... She doesn't milk it as much as Midori, and while she plays at speeds which rival Heifetz, she doesn't have his laser beam precision (there are many other recordings which could be used for comparison, but here I choose Midori and Heifetz because they fall on opposite ends of the tempo spectrum).

Using Midori and Heifetz as benchmark (for the sake of argument), the real question is does Mutter add anything uniquely her own in this recording, or is it just a less beautiful version of Midori's playing and a less clean version of Heifetz's playing? You could certainly argue that her sense of "controlled chaos" adds something to the piece. All musicians know that toying with rhythms is an important expressive tool (as a music teacher, I often have a hard time explaining to my students how you can play "out of time/rhythm", but still be correct...). The way rhythms can be manipulated for expressive purposes is difficult to explain and understand, but it certainly has an effect on the piece. Just like Heifetz's strict adherence to the written rhythms adds to the effect of his performance, Mutter's rhythmic "inconsistencies" on some of the faster passages certainly adds something to the feel of her performance (like it or not). However, you also have to be careful not to rationalize bad playing (which is particularly tempting with such an accomplished artist... I almost feel like if I don't like their rendition of a piece it's because "I don't get it"...). Sometimes things are just bad. Period. Which side of this line Mutter's playing falls is the question.

Ultimately, I don't know the answer to that question... However, enjoying art isn't about finding the answers to things, but rather contemplating the questions. Despite my complaints, I find Mutter's recording intriguing, if for no other reason than because I'm not 100% sure of what to make of it...
24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just plain awful 29 Nov 2005
By minacciosa - Published on
Format:Audio CD
What happened to Mutter? This is just egregiously overdone violin playing featuring a horribly throbbing vibrato that makes her play sharp through the entire disc, tempos fast enough to smother the music and a pliant conductor who lets her get away with it all. She routinely holds the final note of a run far longer than notated, ostensibly for drama, but the effect smears the surrounding harmony. She tries to play the final movement of the Korngold so fast that she either has to slow down some places or completely fakes a passage. There is so much wrong with this that there's no room for me to recount each example of her descent into complete self-indulgence. These are two great violin concertos, and you can find better traversals of them just about anywhere.

What was Previn thinking during all this? Well I suppose he has to live with her, so one star for marital harmony. Still, her playing is completely tasteless and clearly so willful that one can tell she's sounding exactly the way she wants. However, it begs the question, who wants to hear it?

UPDATE 2006:
If you wonder why she didn't win a Grammy for this, please re-read the above. It ain't just me, folks.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Rendition of the Korngold 27 Feb 2006
By R. R. Monti - Published on
Format:Audio CD
I have never understood the widespread revulsion among violinists to the Korngold concerto. Those who snort dismissively at his music and call it "more corn than gold" -- a phrase that has unjustly dogged a gifted and oft overlooked composer -- are merely demonstrating how prodigiously they can judge a book by its cover.

I like Korngold's music, and I like Previn, who conducts on this CD, for unabashedly championing it. Most of Korngold's detractors savor the criticism that his music merely consists of glorified film soundtracks. Previn rightly counters, "It is not that Korngold sounds like film music; film music sounds like Korngold." In this sense, Korngold is a genuine innovator; more often than not, modern film composers are standing upon his shoulders. But his work and his genius as a composer go beyond the film score, as attested by his masterful string quartets and the Violin Concerto in D.

It's the strength of the concerto -- both as a composition and as it is rendered by Anne-Sophie Mutter -- that carries this CD. The aching nostalgia, heroism, and melodic opulence of Korngold's themes are undeniable, but Mutter's lyricism makes them sing and soar in ways that no other recording I'm aware of can approach. Heifetz may have the definitive recording, but as far as I'm concerned it's only definitive in matters of technique. Heifetz can't be beat for tone and execution, but his interpretive sensitivity lags well behind his technical prowess. This rendition by Mutter may be the new lyrical gold standard for the Korngold concerto.

I know there are hordes of violinists out there ready to shout me down, but I find the Tchaikovsky to be an inferior composition to the Korngold -- it is just as (if not more) repetitive as any part of the Korngold, and the themes in the 1st and 3rd movements are sterile by comparison. Compared to her performance of the Korngold, Mutter's Tchaikovsky is rendered with far less verve and craft. For much of the piece (especially in the cadenzas), she vacillates between uncouth, temporally incoherent sawing and high lyricism that squeezes melodies for all their nectar. To my ear, her rendition of the Tchaikovsky struggles to remain cogent. The exception is the 2nd movement. Mutter's tone and vibrato are sublime, and the slower tempo allows her to be more expansive with her phrasing, bringing her apparent strengths to the fore.

I bought this CD because of the Korngold, and I wasn't disappointed. I've heard all the great violin concertos rendered by many of the great performers of our time. I won't dare to go so far as to say that the Korngold is the greatest of the violin concertos, but I think it's one of the most enjoyable and immediately accessible. Mutter's rendition makes it doubly so, which is why I think this is also one of the best violin virtuoso recordings I've heard.
22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What the heck is happening to Mutter??? 29 July 2006
By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Sure she commands the biggest fee of any soloist in classical music. This must make violinists like the criminally-underrated Viktoria Mullova shake her head in wonderment. This is another very bad, very egotistical, very vulgar interpretation from a fiddler who's become too full of herself. She has commented that her interpretations today have little in common with what she was doing early in her career. Indeed! And that's a shame. She made some great recordings back then.

The Tchaikovsky, which has one of the stiffest, most uninspired accompaniments I've ever heard from hubby Andre, is crass--perhaps she's trying to achieve Eduard Hanslick's assessment that the music stinks to the ear. She certainly tries to accomplish that, with an overbearing, thick sound, a moany (not throaty, moany) tone, supersized phrasing even in intimate passages, all sorts of unscripted glissandi, notes held beyond their notation, and theatrical vibrato. This is just bad taste. Her technical prowess is never in doubt (though she seems to doubt it; she seems to be shouting "LISTEN TO WHAT I CAN DO!" every few seconds), but part of what makes a musician great is the ability to divine the composition, so to speak. While to a degree this can be subjective, there are stylistic guidelines that can be gleaned from the score, performance practice, etc., and there comes a point beyond which I am willing to forgive. Just listen to her opening phrasing...the streeeeetching of every third note, the excessively fussy micro-diminuendos and micro-crescendos at every third bar, the distortion of phrases into nonsense, the outright schmaltzy approach that honestly seems to disrespect the composer. The Amazon review states that she incorporates the first movement's cadenza as though it were an integral part of the work. I seriously have to question if the reviewer listened to the disc (sober, at least). This cadenza has about six thousand separate gearshifts when it comes to tempo, dynamics, color, and vibrato, all of which call attention to her technique and nothing more. I cannot escape the feeling lately that she is just using music--*any* music--as a springboard to show off her admittedly amazing but perhaps too self-conscious technical prowess. And I used to be one of her biggest fans.

The Korngold, a wonderful and neglected work, is here schmaltzed to such an extent that it sounds like not just film music (as Korngold was a great film composer) but a parody of film music. Over the opening bars I can practically hear the narration, "I remember the last time I kissed her, on that bridge in Paris, before we said goodbye forever. I can still smell her perfume on my collar, feel her hair against my face. Now she's just a memory, a dame in a distant land..." Again Previn turns in a routine performance, though at least it's not quite as rhythmically stiff. (As Mutter has become more showboaty, he's become blander and blander, until he must be The Dullest Conductor on Earth, even duller than Wolfgang Sawallisch or Kurt Masur [there should be a special award for that; it's not easy].) At least the cadenza here isn't an embarrassment. The sound is muffled for the orchestra, upfront and larger-than-life for our egomaniacal fiddler. For the Tchaikovsky, you want a great recording in modern sound, get Mullova/Ozawa (don't worry, Seiji is in good form here) on Philips. It's coupled with a stunning Sibelius concerto. Another fine modern performance I used to enjoy was Stern/Rostropovich (mostly for Stern), but this has never made it to CD except briefly in Japan. For Korngold, give Heifetz a try. As for this CD, DG should sever her expensive contract and use the dough to hire some fresh talent less burdened with ego. Try Christian Tetzlaff for starters.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So over the top, it comes back around again 20 Nov 2007
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Clealry this CD is a divider, not a uniter. Mutter steps out front with swoony romanticism and self-indulgence so over the top it comes back around and sounds like a reincarnation of Kreisler, Elman, Zimbalist, and their bygone ilk. She is possessed of gorgeous tone and unstinting technical resources, but Mutter doesn't put them at the service of anything but her own whims. That can be maddening or it can fill you with stardust, depending on your mood.

No doubt her earlier live Tchaikovsky concerto with Karajan was a stunner. Now that her mannerisms have grown unchecked, she's become a love-her-or-hate-her musician like Salerno-Sonnenberg, albeit with much more refinement and quality in the playing per se. When it comes to the Korngold, Mutter becomes so sugary that it makes the Tchaikovsky seem like Bach's Art of the Fugue for sobriety. Previn amiably goes along with loose, wayward accompaniments.
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