When I was a little younger and a lot less wise, I read a few reviews and, prompted by cheese-paring parsimony and a slavish respect for received critical opinion, foolishly opted to buy the bargain Arte Nova set with conductor David Zinman and American violinist Pamela Frank. I played it once or twice, then wondered why I never felt the urge to play it again nor found much pleasure in the music per se. Then I heard an earlier recording of Mutter with Muti playing concerto no.4, loved it and decided to go the whole hog and buy the newest double CD set with Mutter directing the London Philharmonic. Suddenly I found what was missing in the dry, anodyne Frank performances, which (despite being played on modern instruments) artfully combine the worst of sterile, pusillanimous "fidelity to the score" with HIPster inflexibility. Listening to Mutter was like watching a heavy, barred and bolted door swing open to reveal a sunlit garden (if I may be permitted a moment of whimsy). Mutter's technique is astounding and her range of colours, from a slightly breathy rasp on the gut to a shining, metallic singing, to a rich, vibrant drone, infuses this glorious music with life. Bashmet's lush tone makes the perfect match for her unashamedly Romantic interpretation in the famous Sinfonia Concertante; two great virtuosi in harmony. The sound is unimpeachable, the packaging a triumphantly rococo indulgence of pale blue and gold kitsch, enshrining the wasp-waisted diva in musical apotheosis. Don't buy this if you like your Mozart refined and wispy and find her style too calorific - but Mozart can take it. Never was the artificial distinction between Classical and Romantic in Mozart more clearly laid bare.