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Carmen Fantasie - Anne-Sophie Mutter

Carmen Fantasie - Anne-Sophie Mutter

Deutsche Grammophon  477 572-1

Stereo/Multichannel Hybrid

Classical - Orchestral


Ravel, Sarasate, Massenet, Fauré, Tartini, Wieniawski

Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin)
Wiener Philharmoniker
James Levine (conductor)

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12 of 14 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

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Comment by Waveform - June 25, 2017 (1 of 2)

I have owned this SACD few months and up to this point I have listened to it several times. As someone mentioned on the old site it was quite odd why DGG decided to release this SACD reissue. If we take a look to the catalogue there would have been possibilities for far more logical SACD releases: Weber's "Der Freischutz" (Kleiber 1973 - the untapped 8-channel tapes are still in their boxes), Tchaikovsky's "Pique Dame" (Rostropovich 1977 - originally a quadraphonic recording) etc. Personally I think PENTATONE will never manage to release these in their adorable REMASTERED CLASSICS Series which is a pity. It seems that DGG wants to keep all rights themselves.

Anyway, firstly the recording. The booklet states the resolution of the source - 44.1 kHz / 24 bit - which is the same that BIS has used with some of their SACDs. But don't get me wrong because the results are here very compelling, even more than with BIS! Perhaps this was not originally a multi-channel recording - albeit DGG recorded them at the time - but skillfully remixed surround sound mix that utilizes all six channels in full force and effect. The surround sound opens the narrow soundfield that can be heard in stereo. In MCH the rear speakers creates a pleasant ambience around the listener. For the best results it is recommended to increase their volume few decibels. All in all very impressive. Not a demonstration disc but almost.

The performances were less compelling. Sometimes - especially with Carmen and Zigeunerweisen - Mutter's intonation suffered for too wide vibrato. I assume this has become her personal taste to play violin and the same problem can be heard with Tchaikovsky, Korngold: Violin Concerto - Mutter, Previn. As a violinist I can say wide vibrato is not always very persuasive way to show professionality - rather it might be confusing and irritating. I don't like Mutter's style, to be honest. Of course she is a great artist but I just don't get her point when she plays her violin like this. More worthy would be Fantasies, Rhapsodies and Daydreams - Steinbacher, Foster (just about the same program).

Recommended with few reservations.

Comment by William Hecht - June 26, 2017 (2 of 2)

I don't know this particular disc but I share your frustration with what I've heard of the little of Mutter's work to make it onto sacd. The Beethoven "spring" and "kreutzer" sonatas disc is still in my collection but hasn't seen the inside of the player for years, and the Tchaikovsky/Korngold concertos disc was quickly donated to the local library. I'm not a violinist, but the playing seems highly "mannered" to me, and I don't mean that in a good way.