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Carmen Fantasie (+ Tartini: Sonata "Devil's Trill")

4.4 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 12, 1993
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Anne-SophieMutter obviously had fun making this disc. In the quiet pieces (Massenet, Ysaÿe, Fauré) which serve as interludes, she plays with her usual exquisite taste. In the showpieces, though, she goes to town, sliding, scooping, exaggerating, and letting all the stops out. The gypsy inflection she uses in Ravel's Tzigane and Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen is delicious. Even a ridiculous orchestral arrangement of Tartini's Devil's Trill Sonata is more amusing than offensive. With James Levine and the Berlin Philharmonic providing uncommonly alert and powerful support, and Deutsche Grammophon's realistic sound, this disc is a real treat for violin lovers. --Leslie Gerber
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Conductor: James Levine
  • Composer: Jules Massenet, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel, Henryk Wieniawski, Giuseppe Tartini, et al.
  • Audio CD (October 12, 1993)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B000001GII
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,415 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Richard Morrison in his appreciation of Anne-Sophie Mutter, given here in the booklet, accurately describes this disc as a "feast of lollipops", but with the flavours well-varied. It is unashamedly a fun record, and even Mutter has rarely played with such freedom and warmth, obviously enjoying these display pieces every bit as much as the repertory concertos and new works that are her staple diet. The gipsy flavours of the two Sarasate pieces, as well as of Ravel's Tzigane, sound even more exotic than usual, and rarely have I heard the brilliant sound section, with its Hungarian fire, sound quite so exciting with a stunning accelerando at the end. The tender repose which she then brings to the Massenet "Meditation" is thus all the more affecting.
Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy, which provides the whole disc with its title, is as high-powered as the Ravel, and I was fascinated to compare it with Itzhak Perlman's 1972 version with Lawrence Foster and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for EMI, which has long been a favourite of mine and which reappeared on their four-disc Perlman compilation. In all five sections (each given separate tracks) Mutter is even more sharply characterful than Perlman in her expressive inflexions and underlining. And she clearly gains in the ease of her performance, seeming to try less hard and therefore to convey more of the fun of the piece. I prefer it, when over and over again it tickles one's funny-bone. With James Levine and the Vienna Philharmonic providing Mutter with weighty and committed accompaniment, I have to say her performance thrusts home even more powerfully than Perlman's. As for the previous reviewer's comment about her playing - well, let me just suggest it might be time for a hearing aid. Ms.
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Format: Audio CD
Anne-Sophie Mutter's sensuously dulcet tone is wonderfully suited to most of the works featured on this disc. It is a real fun record, sometimes overly exaggerated but why not? It is not often that musicians make fun of music; mostly music is serious, and one needs some fun from time to time.
The opening Zigeunerweisen is an interpretation that has bowled me over because of its daring assertiveness. I don't think that I've heard such a risk-taking playing of this work (most notable in the finale. The tempo is at breakneck speed and Mutter succeeds effortlessly!). The Tzigane, another of the gypsy-themed works on the disc, is wonderfully free. I never thought that Mutter had it in her to play so un-Germanically (all serious and all romantic). This is really gypsy-music at its best. Her technique is formidable and it comes to gooduse in this wrist-breaking work. Listen to her exquisite glissandi and rhythmic tautness: it's simply breathtaking!
The Devil's Trill sonata is another matter though. It is the one work that I don't enjoy as much as the others becuase it is simply too schmaltzy. Everything is exaggerated overtly and the use of a piano instead of a harpsichord doesn't help matters. Otherwise all the other works are wonderfully fun. The Carmen Fantasy is gutsy. Mm-Mm! Delicious stuff, and to end the Faure Berceuse is so sweet that it would make any kid go to sleep (a berceuse is after all, a lullaby!). The VPO and Maestro Levine do a superb job in supporing her, with the orchestra responding well to Mutter's phrasings.
All in all, a wonderful feast of lollipops! And they are not merely lollipops: thanks to Mutter they are really sweet lollipops!!! Enjoy it while you can!
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Format: Audio CD
Many musicians play with with brains, only few do with hearts - And even fewer pour their hearts out with consistency are legends. Mutter had seemingly rewritten the arrangement and absorbed it so solidly which led to a performance that blooms with such great passion and distinct personality aided by her transcendental techniques. I had felt an instant connection with her the very first time I heard it. It's also sonically pleasing even to the audiophiles. It's a recording for music fans who truely understand and appreciate music on a very sophisticated level...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this album because I am learning violin and I wanted some music to listen to that was musically fun. This is definitely a fun album and her virtuosity is incredible. If you've ever tried to play the violin, you will be amazed at how fast and accurate her bowing is. I also like that I can see on the cover how she holds her bow, but I'm sure that not something most people would be interested in.
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and I already had the Perlman recording. Ms Mutter's recording eclipses every recording of the Carmen Fantasie I have ever heard - simply stupendous. The other cuts are terrific as well. The last track, the Faure Berceuse, is an exquisite lullaby that every infant should be exposed to and gently rocked to sleep as Ms Mutter plays . . .
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I recently saw a performance of the Carmen Fantasie by Anne-Sophie Mutter on PBS. My response was to immediately go to Amazon and download the album. It has provided me with a delightful background while I go about my many chores and projects (I'm retired).
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Format: Audio CD
I ordered this after hearing one of the pieces on this album broadcasted on the radio. It sent chills up my spine. The music is absolutely spellbinding. But it did not pass the test until my mother, a pianist, had a chance to hear it. She closed her eyes and leaned back in her seat with a smile,a five star smile!
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