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4.8 out of 5 stars15
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 27 January 2010
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.
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Every so often you find an almost perfect performance and recording that leaves you smiling and shaking your head in awe: Mutter Mozart -- The Violin Concertos and Sinfonia Concertante is definitely one of those.

Ms. Mutter's power, range, and stylistic sophistication are at their acme. She soars ethereally where it's required, sings sweetly in slow rhythms, and pushes forward like a commander where that's what's called for. The London Philharmonic is beautifully in concert with her every move and timing. Yuri Bashmet's viola in Sinfonia Concertante is equally sublime.

For those who first knew Ms. Mutter's Mozart playing when she was but a budding teen, it's fun to see how much her skill and interpretive abilities have expanded in 30 years. It's astonishing to see someone with that much experience can still appear quite young. And of course, there's the irony to appreciate of Ms. Mutter now being older than Mozart was at his death.

Above all this is a confident performance by players who know Mozart well, understand what they want to accomplish, and are in complete accord with what needs to be done. The bright optimism and energy of Mozart are beautifully displayed . . . reminding us with wonder of how his own life was often filled with problems even as he produced such astonishingly bright works one right after the other.

If you like Ms. Mutter and Mozart, I encourage you to purchase this two CD-set and the four CD-set, Mozart: The Violin Sonatas.
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on 27 May 2016
Anne-Sophie Mutter's first commercial recordings were Mozart's 3rd and 5th concertos, recorded when she was in her early teens with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, and she went on to record the other concertos and Sinfonia Concertante a few years later in London. Two decades later she recorded all these works with the London Philharmonic under her own direction.

These recordings were made in 2005 in preparation for Mozart's 250th anniversary, and how I wish I'd heard them a long time ago! I'd been put off by her youthful recording with Karajan by a somewhat saccharine approach (especially in the 5th), and had felt duty bound to redress that by listening to historically informed performances. In these recordings Mutter's approach is anything but historically informed: there's a largish orchestra of 27 strings played with a glossy sheen, vibrato aplenty, and the focus is on the star soloist who offers up some virtuoso cadenzas and plays with considerable tonal variety. The concertos were written in Mozart's late teens and are not his most profound music, but Mutter brings out all their charm and freshness. The Sinfonia Concertante is a much later work and in Mutter and Bashmet's hands is utterly spell-binding.

There a variety of rival 2 disc sets with these same six works, most notably Grumiaux (the 1960s sound is showing its age) and Carmignola. Mutter is unsurprisingly their equal and this set is highly recommended.
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on 9 May 2009
I was listening to this and thinking that it deserves a BIG pat on the back. The Prof in the previous review has said all that I wanted to say and much better than I ever could have. Frau Mutter's playing is absolutely exquisite and the accompanying players are first-rate. And of course it's Mozart, who was simply incapable of writing an inelegant note. Put it together and what have you got? An absolute feast of stunning virtuosity and glorious music. In an interview, Frau Mutter was asked what she wanted to be doing in ten years' time. "The same, as I'm doing now," she said, "only better." That she has certainly achieved.

If this recording doesn't move you, you are dead.
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on 9 March 2013
Mutter's Mozart Project is such a wonderful compilation of fine works, you have to give her credit for the selection only. Doesn't hurt her performance is, as always, absolutely mind-blowing. The sound quality is top notch too (DG knows a thing or two about recording and mastering).
If you like classical music, this is a must-have.
It will bring tears to your eyes.
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on 6 January 2016
Too high powered for my taste in Mozart. Wonderful control and technique but just the wrong composer in my view for all the jet engine treatment.Difficult to do all the sighs, dying falls, regrets and merriment if your foot is to the metal most of the time.
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on 7 June 2013
A great introduction for me to the violin concertos, I have just upgraded my hi-fi and CDs like this make the investment worthwhile.
Clarity, tone , detail - it's all there. She's coming to a concert hall near me soon, and I'll certainly be there !
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on 26 February 2013
The combination of Mozart and Mutter is magical. If ever you needed evidence of the musicality of Mutter then here it is, captured in all six concertos. Just load up the CD [layer and enjoy.
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on 9 May 2014
Ms Mutter is on fine form here ! The LPO don't do a bad job either ! I would like to think that Wolfgang would have approved of these renditions ?
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on 5 December 2014
This is exquisite playing and well recorded. An excellent buy even if you already have other recordings of the same concertos.
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