Tchaikovsky, Korngold: Violin Concerto - Mutter, Previn
Deutsche Grammophon 474 874-2
Classical - Orchestral
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Korngold: Violin Concerto
Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin)
London Symphony Orchestra
André Previn (conductor)
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Review by John Broggio - February 2, 2007
Immediately after listening to Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto - Fischer / Kreizberg, I thought it was time to have another listen to one of my longer established favourite violinists. The comparison is not to Mutter's advantage; the playing is wilful and, perhaps due to this being recorded in concert, there are (unusually) minor lapses of intonation on more than one occasion.
The most obvious instance of the wilful manner of interpretation is the treatment of the second subject in the finale - I have never heard so violently held back and it completely disrupts the onward momentum. The rest of the performance, as all of Mutter's are, is thought provoking but here it is not admiration that lasts in the mind - more a sense of continued frustration.
However, I will not banish this disc from my shelves because the Korngold that completes the disc is absolutely sensational! In contrast to the Tchaikovsky is freely expressive and captures the volatile and febrile lines to perfection; her nervous energy is well placed here. As the LSO are frequently visited by the major film studios, they play the precedents for today's scores without peers.
The recording is also made of two differing conceptions. The Tchaikovsky, from the Musikverein (Vienna), is harsh on both Mutter and the Vienna Philharmonic - a clear case of audible PCM masters. The studio recording given to the Korngold is much finer; a better balance between soloist and orchestra as well more detailed and smoother sonics on the high violin lines. I'd be tempted to say that this is one of the best recordings that DGG have given anyone in recent years.
As a performance, the Tchaikovsky would get 2.5 stars, the Korngold 5 stars; time-weighted average of 3.5 stars. Similarly the recording merits 3 and 4.5 stars respectively; average this time of 4 stars.
Buy this for the Korngold only.
Copyright © 2007 John Broggio and HRAudio.net