I would buy and force myself to love this "inauthentic" account of the world's favourite piece of baroque music even if it were not superlative, just to cock a snook at the HIPsters and anti-Karajan brigade.
As it is, I don't have to perform any mental equivocations, as this is so enjoyable and beautifully played that I recommend it as first modern-instrument choice to anyone not wedded to the period mindset. The playing is miraculously warm, in tune and homogeneous, well sprung and energised without being over-Romanticised. The recording quality is so clear that the occasional car accelerating obtrudes through the blooming instrumental sound. The supporting band is not so large, being only 23 strings underpinned by a harpsichord and an organ - and what a rich, luscious sound they make; sample the Presto thunderstorm music from "L'estate" to appreciate their intensity.
The twenty-year-old Mutter is of course a minor miracle of virtuosity, here playing with more élan than when she was first Karajan's protégée. This was the first classical music CD to win a platinum award for sales; it offers fewer than 45 minutes of music and neither the exact recording date nor the location is provided in the skimpy notes - but what does that matter?