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CD of the Week: Mutterissimo: The Art of Anne-Sophie Mutter

Anne-Sophie Mutter: Mutterissimo
Deutsche Grammophon
Anne-Sophie Mutter: Mutterissimo

The superstar violinist releases a compilation of her greatest recordings, exploring the multiple worlds of music that she inhabits.

There are countless ways one could introduce German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. One could cite the catalog of awards she has received throughout her four-decade career, which is speckled with a handful of Grammy Awards. Or, one could praise her steadfast commitment to bringing the next generation of leading musicians to the world stage, including the creation of The Mutter Virtuosi Ensemble in 2011.

But there is also this: Mutter’s pledge to rejuvenate the experience of classical music:

“More spontaneity on the part of the audience is important not only for the artist and for the success of the evening but also for the listener. People should simply allow themselves to respond to music in a more relaxed and a more emotionally charged way.”

Frustrated with stiff and stodgy audiences, Mutter began presenting concerts not just in symphony halls but in clubs as well. One such concert, in Berlin’s Yellow Lounge, became a live album released on Deutsche Grammophon. She also longed for more audience interaction with the album release process. This album, Mutterissimo, features artwork created a by a fan as part of an online design competition. None of this - the Virtuosi Ensemble, the Lounge series, the interactive album design process - would have been possible without Mutter’s extensive (and hugely successful) recording discography, making her the superstar that she is today.

In her most recent release, entitled Mutterissimo, Mutter has made a two-disc compilation of her most cherished recordings. The first disc contains orchestral pieces, focusing predominantly on the great violin concertos of the late 19th century. The second explores Mutter’s mastery of a more intimate musical setting: works written for violin and piano. Selections from the second disc include accompaniments from long-time collaborators Lambert Orkis and André Previn.

These tracks show not only Mutter’s mastery of performing in any musical setting, but also the youthful energy she invariably brings to audiences of any size. And luckily, for us here in Boston, she will be the guest soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra this Saturday evening.

Watch a trailer:

For more information and to purchase this recording, visit ArkivMusic.

Track listing:

CD 1
1. Korngold: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35: I. Moderato nobile
2. Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35: II. Canzonetta
3. Dvorák: Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53: III. Finale
4. Beethoven: Romance No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 50
5. Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61: III. Rondo
6. Schumann: Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra in C, Op. 131
7. Brahms: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 77: III. Allegro giocoso
8. Stravinsky: Violin Concerto in D: III. Aria II

CD 2
1. Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1
2. Kreisler: Schön Rosmarin
3. Ravel: Tzigane
4. Schubert: L'Abeille
5. Wieniawski: Légende
6. Sibelius: Humoresque No. 1
7. Mendelssohn: Frühlingslied
8. Dvorák: Mazurek, Op. 49
9. Fauré: Berceuse, Op. 16
10. Debussy: Clair de lune
11. Benjamin: Jamaican Rumba
12. Gershwin: Porgy and Bess: It Ain't Necessarily So
13. Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 7
14-17. Prokofiev: Violin Sonata in D, Op. 94a
18. Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 3: Air