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5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREAT ANNE-SOPHIE MUTTER: SUPERB BACH & SOARING GUBAIDULINA, 9 April 2012
This review is from: In tempus praesens - Bach, J.S.: Violin Concertos BWV1041 & BWV1042; Gubaidulina: Violin Concerto In tempus praesens (Audio CD)
Five INSPIRING Stars!! BRILLIANT!! With the possibility of retirement taken off the table, Anne-Sophie Mutter, the brilliant Grammy-winning virtuoso violinist, seems to be back with an artistic vengeance presenting a program that bridges both her love of traditional and contemporary classical music. She revisits works by Bach which she recorded in her youth and performs the world premier recording of a five movement work which famed Russian contemporary composer Sofia Gubaidulina dedicated to Ms Mutter. Her performances are absolutely superb and inspiring. Her artistic choices are ably supported by Norway's famed Trondheim Soloists (TrondheimSolistene) with whom she has toured and the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of maestro Valery Gergiev. Ms Mutter uses a baroque-style bow (but no gut strings) and tightly controlled left-hand dynamics on the Bach concertos to achieve "transparency of sound and also the capacity to use Bach's original phrasing". Based on this recording, she succeeds wonderfully.

It has been over 20 years since Ms Mutter recorded the two Bach concerti and now she clearly demonstrates her changed attitude and "new ideas". Likewise, it has been almost a decade since Ms Mutter recorded the heralded Vivaldi: The Four Seasons/Tartini: The Devil's Trill with the Trondheim Soloists and the relationship, based on touring with them prior to this recording, produces a wonderfully cohesive sound and interplay on both Bach pieces. The 'pieces de resistance' of Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor are the wonderous beauty of the Andante and the Allegro assai movements. Similarly, the Adagio and Allegro assai of No 2 are of exceptional splendor. The performance of Ms Gubaidulina's dense and intense 32 minute "In tempus praesens" (In The Present Time) is soaring and emotional reflecting influences of both the Russia of her past and our modern day insecurities in her concerto without the conventional "hero" (soloist). Ms Mutter's blazing bow-work produces intense, incandescent beauty and force. The five movements are performed as one continuous passionate piece. Anne-Sophie Mutter, maestro Gergiev and the LSO, using unusual instrumentation, give this magnificent work the grandeur and angst it deserves. This is a CD of outstanding performances of great works. Kudos to all concerned. My Highest Recommendation. Five IMPRESSIVE Stars. (This review is based on an Amazon.com MP3 download. There is also both a CD and limited-edition hard bound CD package available.)
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