Monday, October 17, 2005

Quatre Les Noces et Requiem (c) (tm)

[note the title above is just something funny I thought of this morning. "Four Weddings and a Funeral Mass" is the translation...get it? Stravinsky? anyone? Buehler? Buehler?]

Anyway, just finishing up listening to the Mozart violin concerti set out with Anne-Sophie Mutter. (I couldn't wait for it to come out in the States and ordered it on In upcoming posts I'll tell about my other purchases, after I've had a chance to spin them. And I may make an update on this post.
Anne-Sophie Mutter is a powerhouse, and shows not only amazing technique and phrasing, a glow to her playing. That's not always the case with the London Philharmonic. Case in point, 4 minutes into the Turkish Concerto, the oboes crash into the work with the grace of a lumbering elephant. Their next entrance isn't any better. Ugh!
Do you know that old recording of Erica Morini playing the Mozart 5th concerto with Szell in Vienna (its not an Austrian Orchestra, rather a French one.) In the slow introduction, when the violin enters, the french horns get lost. They aren't even of the funniest live performances ever recorded. [Salzburg festival 1959]
Also, there's a great session tape of the Prades Orchestra and Casals playing Schubert's Fifth Symphony, where the back of the first violins come in two measures early at the recap...mind you, it was a session tape and not a final polished product, but a great flub nonetheless.

Back to the new Mutter, I'm pleased as punch, especially with her playing. The balance of the orchestra and recording itself, is lessthan stellar.
With all the negativity surrounding Mutter, see Norman Lebrecht's latest poison penn: "Anne-Sophie Mutter - The fiddler who should be banned" - Lebrecht is furious at Anne-Sophie - and while he could have a point at her salary, she does give back with her foundation...and her music making is downright glorious. She's an artist who champions new works and harkens the masterpieces with finese...those Beethoven Sonatas a few years back were delightful, and I for one am looking forward to hearing Mozart this year.

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