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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 27 January 2014
Tempted by the many, previous enthusiastic reviews, I bought this disc as an admirer of Mutter in almost any repertoire, from Baroque Bach to Classical Mozart to the late Romanticism of Dvorak and I cannot say I am in any sense disappointed - except, perhaps by the short measure of 55 minutes. However, my chief point of comparison, Maxim Vengerov's double bill of the Dvorak and Elgar concertos on Telarc, offers little more, even if two concertos seems rather more substantial than the three short weeks offered here by Mutter, lovely though they are.

For all that I can hear the extra bounce and force applied by Mutter compared with Vengerov's more restrained and patrician live performance, I cannot say that the two versions are so very different: both are surpassingly sweet of tone and technically brilliant; these are two great discs. Mutter allows herself a little more schmaltz and encompasses a slightly broader range of colouring and dynamics but she never approaches the excessive expressivity that her critics find in her playing. You would never guess that its original dedicatee never played it in public because he thought the orchestral scoring "too thick"; Mutter commands proceedings and convinces the listener that this is a masterpiece rather than a loose, undeveloped string of jolly folk tunes.

The sound is marginally warmer and more immediate on this later DG disc and the Berlin Philharmonic has the edge over the New York Philharmonic for virtuosity and sheen - but again, there's not much in it. Honeck I have found to be skilled but faceless in previous recordings; here he is galvanised rather than cowed by the outsize personality of his soloist and the results are magical. It is good to hear Mutter pick up the orchestral partnership in which she began her career under Karajan's patronage. It pains me to read unwarranted criticism of this wonderful artist and this beautiful recording acts as a riposte to her detractors and to those who denigrate the work itself.
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on 25 May 2015
Exquisite version of Dvorak's great Concerto for Violin & Orchestra in A Minor, together with 3 lovely lesser works (Romance, Masurek & Humoresque). The musicians couldnt be better: the Berlin Philharmonic with Anne-Sophie Mutter at her most mature and impressive (2015).
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on 8 February 2014
A truly great record and this goes right to the top of the tree joining the Suk/Ancerl as my favourite accounts . This is a work for which I have a very soft spot and too many recordings but as in her sensational live performance in Birmingham with the CBSO and Nelsons ( who I have to wish was conducting here - there was definitely more of a partnership from the orchestra though the BPO play wonderfully) Mutter makes everything seem effortless unlike so many recordings ( consider the Steinbacher finale as a comparison) yet she plays it not simply as a showpiece but with a terrific sense of the Czech rhythms just as Suk did . Unhesitatingly recommended to fans of the concerto and soloist.
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on 3 June 2014
As a huge admirer of Ms Mutter I was intrigued to hear this - in particular the Romance which is one of my all time faves. Much as I respect her this is an absolute mess - sloppy, lazy playing which takes all manner of liberties with the source material. Timing and tempo are erratic and she overindulges in unnecessary and showy trickery which adds nothing to the interpretation. Sorry but this sounds like something which was knocked out during a break in rehearsals.

If you want to hear this done properly check out any Czech Philharmonic rendition or the Baremboim/Perlman version which is sublime.
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on 13 November 2013
Having heard Mutter and the CBSO give a magnificent performance of the Violin Concerto just a few weeks ago in Birmingham, I was fearful that the recording might be a bit disappointing. But my fears were groundless: the recording recaptures much of the live performance. The playing is superb and makes you sit up and listen, even if the piece is familiar. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 5 January 2014
Beautiful playing and great to have a DVD as well, I gave it as a present to my mother and she loves it.
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on 21 November 2015
A good classical album of Anne's
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on 13 May 2016
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