Deutsche Grammophon's Simply Anne-Sophie is touted as "a unique collection of Anne-Sophie Mutter's incomparable Deutsche Grammophon recordings," it is simply one of several – Mutter Modern, Romance, and The Great Violin Concertos are among others Deutsche Grammophon has compiled from its extensive Mutter holdings from over the years. Simply Anne-Sophie has a greater chronological range than its predecessors as its earliest entries date from 1992 recordings made for the hit disc Carmen-Fantaisie and stretches through to some selections from Mutter Mozart: Violin Concertos, recorded at Abbey Road in 2005.
This is a live recording, made at a pair of concerts in May, and ‘live’ is undoubtedly the word for it. All the performances have an improvisatory quality, interpretative decisions seemingly made before your very ears. At the beginning of the Prokofiev it is as though Mutter and Orkis, realising that the audience in the Beethovensaal are already uncommonly silent and attentive, had decided after a quick glance at each other to begin the Sonata almost confidingly, with quiet tenderness and muted colour.
Celebrated German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is joined by pianist Lambert Orkis for this performance of three violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms
This must surely be among the boldest, sweetest, most sensual and most provocatively phrased accounts of Brahms’s Violin Concerto ever recorded. And I can tell you with some confidence, after having recently surveyed a whole host of ‘historic’ violinists playing the same work, that not one of them waives the rules with as much nerve as Anne-Sophie Mutter does here.
Even though Anne-Sophie Mutter recorded most of the great violin concertos early in her career, working closely with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, she hadn't recorded the Violin Concerto in A minor of Antonín Dvorák. This 2013 recording with Manfred Honeck and the Berlin Philharmonic fills that gap in her legacy, and this is an exceptionally bright and passionate performance, well worth the wait.
Staples of the violin repertoire, the three violin sonatas of Johannes Brahms, project three entirely different characters: the G major Sonata's solemn, lonely beauty; the exuberance and freedom of the A major Sonata; and the aggressive, agitated D minor Sonata. As much as the sonatas contrast with one another, so to does Anne-Sophie Mutter's playing of them. Her vision throughout this Deutsche Grammophon collaboration with pianist Lambert Orkis seems to be built on creating broad distinctions in dynamic range, tempo, and tone color.
This recording of works for violin and piano/orchestra by Krzysztof Penderecki marks and celebrates the long and fruitful cooperation and friendship between Anne-Sophie Mutter and Krzysztof Penderecki on the occasion of his 85th birthday on 23 November 2018.