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Sibelius: Violin Concerto,Op.47 / Serenades Nos. 1 & 2 / Humoresque
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So why only 4 stars? Well, first and foremost, Previn & the Dresden Staatskapelle really seems to be phoning in their performance at times, and with a concerto like this, such a defect can cause quite a bit of damage. This could be due to mike placement as much as anything, but whether it is the sound engineer or the performers themselves, the result is an ensemble that sounds at times disengaged and at others overwhelmed by the soloist.
Also, as another reviewer has observed, a 47-minute CD at full price (where a third of the music consists of nice but relatively inconsequential compositions), simply put, is a ripoff. Why not fill it out a little?Read more ›
If you are a dedicated Mutter fan, or if you like this violin concerto to sound gloriously romantic, this review will not be of interest: there are plenty of affirmative positive reviews here for you.
I would hope that anyone who looks beyond Mutter's image and seeks the icy intensity and fiery bleakness of Sibelius would find my comments at least reasonable from that point of view.
I would stick to the positives first: This is a personal reading, and demonstrates Mutter's exceptional virtuosity. She intends to show from the start how bleak this wonderful masterpiece can sound,the violin entry sounding quieter, paler and more desolate than any other version on disc. She certainly brings out intensity at times, with dynamic changes almost overdoing the effect in places. The orchestral sound is good.
It is a worthwhile coupling with Sibelius' other well known violin pieces of lesser depth, played very nicely, if a little blandly - the humoresque sadly not quite pointed and witty enough to really make any statement. It is a great pity she didn't record all the humoresques for this disc, which is therefore a bit light on content.
I haven't really found this a musically satisfying performance though. I have no wish to string a load of invective and exaggeration which one of the reviewers has found necessary. But I really cannot find a feeling that the soloist has put this together as a complete whole - it has a feeling of being sections joined together.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this CD for my grandmother as she does not use the internet and her recording of Sibelius' Violin Concerto had too much buzz since it was an original cassette tape... Read morePublished on December 25, 2012 by Luis Felipe Rasmuss
DG presents here a hauntingly strong rendition of the Sibelius Violin Concerto, a work completed in 1904. Read morePublished on June 2, 2011 by J. G. Lewis
While I am not a professional music critic, I found this recording to be very enriching and engrossing to where the listener can get wrapped up in the music. Read morePublished on November 27, 2010 by Jason Goodwin
I'm sorry to disagree with the enthusiastic 5 star reviews, but this performance of Sibelius' violin concerto by Mutter was completely exhausting listening experience for me after... Read morePublished on November 15, 2010 by Scriabinmahler
This is a quite remarkable performance; Mutter plays with more intensity and urgency than any other performer I've heard, replacing for instance the usual meditative approach to... Read morePublished on July 7, 2009 by G.D.
I am sorry to disagree with those who seem to like this performance as much as they do. I think that they should listen to what Isaac Stern does with this music -- to me the way... Read morePublished on June 21, 2007 by Andrew M. Klein
Violin mavens aren't middle-of-the-road, any more than opera buffs. Mutter typically divides opinion strongly about whether her highly technical, extremely detailed and personal... Read morePublished on November 2, 2005 by Santa Fe Listener
There seem to be two Anne-Sophie Mutters. The first was the violinist from her debut till about 1994, who made some of the best recordings I've heard in modern times, even if some... Read morePublished on August 27, 2005 by The Man in the Hathaway Shirt