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  • Violin Concerto In E Minor Op. 64 [CD/DVD Combo] [Limited Edition]
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Violin Concerto In E Minor Op. 64 [CD/DVD Combo] [Limited Edition] Box set, Limited Edition

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Violin Concerto In E Minor Op. 64 [CD/DVD Combo] [Limited Edition] + The Silver Album [2 CD] + Carmen Fantasie (+ Tartini: Sonata "Devil's Trill")
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Editorial Reviews


"The exemplary Anne-Sophie Mutter has inaugurated an era of superb, masterly and expressive violin playing!" -- Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), April 2008

From the Artist

To mark the bicentenary of Mendelssohn's birth, Anne-Sophie Mutter is honouring the composer with a very personal tribute combining symphonic music and chamber works on CD and DVD: the Violin Sonata in F major of 1838, the Piano Trio in D minor op. 49 that was completed in 1839 and the Violin Concerto in E minor of 1845, a work which even today has lost none of its fascination. Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg on 3 February 1809, the son of a well-to-do Jewish banker, but grew up in Berlin. A brilliant pianist, he was also a conductor and an impassioned chamber musician. Not infrequently he himself gave the first performances of his own works, and this was also the case with his Piano Trio op. 49. Anne-Sophie Mutter admires Mendelssohn for a number of reasons: "He was a man of many parts, but also one with many obligations and duties who showed great commitment to all that he did. His importance to the history of music is clear not least from the fact that he played a significant part in the Bach Revival. He was the baptized Jew who 80 years after Bach's death reintroduced the St. Matthew Passion to the whole of Europe and ensured its lasting popularity. Another of his great merits was his pronounced sense of social responsibility. It was in his keenness to ensure that a musical education was not just the luxurious preserve of members of the upper classes that he helped to set up the Leipzig Conservatory. He was also an eminent man of letters, with a fluent command of Italian, English and Latin, and, finally, he was a magnificent painter, who produced some wonderful watercolours." The E minor Violin Concerto received its first performance in Leipzig in 1845, when the soloist was the Gewandhaus Orchestra's concertmaster, Ferdinand David. The work was written with David in mind, and the solo part was in fact substantially influenced by him. Anne-Sophie Mutter first recorded this work in 1980, at the start of her career, with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Herbert von Karajan. For her second recording she travelled to Leipzig, the scene of the work's first performance, where Ferdinand David led the Gewandhaus Orchestra for more than 30 years. Even though the original Gewandhaus building no longer exists, there is still a Gewandhaus Orchestra that can look back on a long and distinguished tradition and that worked regularly with Mendelssohn between 1835 and his death in 1847. More recently, its music director was Kurt Masur, whose 26-year tenure is fondly remembered by Anne-Sophie Mutter. In particular she recalls "the transparency and elegance of the sound and the understanding of the need for an inner balance", for the musicians "not only play together, they also feel together and breathe together". Her work with Kurt Masur is "a bit like flying", a comment prompted by an experience that the virtuoso violinist recently had with Masur and the New York Philharmonic: "We were recording the Beethoven Violin Concerto and had reached a passage in which the orchestra needs to listen and accompany. Masur said: `Just let her fly!', which is exactly what I feel when I play Mendelssohn, for example, with Kurt Masur. Especially in a concerto that involves so much tempestuous and propulsive passion." For Anne-Sophie Mutter, this "Sturm und Drang" element in Mendelssohn's music is extremely important, not least in the Violin Concerto: "It is striking that the performance marking appassionato occurs very often in Mendelssohn's output, not only in the opening movement of the Violin Concerto but also in the final movement of the Piano Trio." This sense of urgency and vitality also inspired her interpretation of the slow movement of the Violin Concerto, an interpretative decision for which she received decisive encouragement from Kurt Masur, who drew her attention to the Venetianisches Gondellied op. 57 no. 5 of 1842: the same accompanying figure is found in the piano part here as in the orchestral writing in the concerto. "Central to the gondolier's song is his wish to flee with his lover, it is all about burning desire and this youthful sense of impulsiveness", placing considerable demands on the interpreter, who is required "to combine purity of expression with the impatience of Mendelssohnian passion". The violinist regards the concerto's final movement as "entirely typical of Mendelssohn", a kind of elfin dance similar to the one that he devised for his Octet op. 20 of 1825 and that he repeatedly used in his later quick movements and scherzos. "This scurrying, gossamery, ghostly element is enormously virtuosic, its lightness of tone representing a real challenge for the interpreter." Anne-Sophie Mutter believes that the success of the Violin Concerto is grounded in the music itself, "which combines everything that constitutes great music: passion, virtuosity, purity of expression, depth of emotion and an unconditional surrender to the musical expression. It is a stroke of genius, and this music is immortal." Like the E minor Violin Concerto, the F major Violin Sonata of 1838 was written for Ferdinand David. This demanding three-movement work by the mature composer is notable for the impassioned and raptly triumphal tone of its outer movements, while its central Adagio is a captivating dialogue between violin and piano. The work's genesis suggests in fact that Mendelssohn struggled long and hard to resolve various compositional and, above all, technical details in the violin part. Although he played through the piece with Ferdinand David, he made little progress on revising it, his alterations being limited to the opening movement. Possibly his manifold artistic obligations as a soloist and conductor and his often extended and exhausting concert tours simply left Mendelssohn with no time to undertake a final, thorough revision of the piece. As a result, there is no authorized version of the sonata, which remained unpublished during its composer's lifetime. Not until 1953 did Yehudi Menuhin publish a version based on the initial draft and on the revisions to the opening movement, and this remains the only edition of the work. It is also the one used by Anne-Sophie Mutter: "There's no doubt that it's an authentic piece, but one that was not fully revised by Mendelssohn. Many other great works, including the `Italian' Symphony, for example, suffered the same fate. It would be an immeasurable loss if these works were not performed." Completed in 1839, the Piano Trio in D minor op. 49, conversely, was not only published during Mendelssohn's lifetime but was also held in high regard. It was first performed in Leipzig on 1 February 1840, when the performers were the composer himself on the piano, Ferdinand David on the violin and Carl Wittmann on the cello. A profound and substantial piece, it was described by Robert Schumann as "the master trio of the present day", a work that "will delight our grandchildren and great-grandchildren". Anne-Sophie Mutter shares Schumann's enthusiasm: "For some time I have been absolutely wild about Mendelssohn, and this is palpable in the Trio." The opening movement is an animated and elaborate Molto allegro that is followed by a songlike Andante and by what Anne-Sophie Mutter describes as a "breathtakingly virtuosic Scherzo that strikes a note both elegant and playful", its scurrying elfin strains recalling the incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream. The work ends with a thrilling rondo-finale. The first of Mendelssohn's two completed piano trios, the present piece is notable for its successful balance between melody, harmony and translucency. The piano part is clearly more weighty and more independent than the parts for the two string instruments, with which it acts as a foil: the writing in general aims not to create a sense of integration between the three instruments, as is the case with Beethoven's piano trios, for example, but to establish a sense of contrast between the piano on the one hand and the strings on the other. In André Previn's hands, the independent piano part, bearing the weight of the musical argument, is contrasted with the interplay of equals between Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lynn Harrell, a partnership typified by "spontaneity and a multiplicity of tone colours". All three players achieve a sense of balance by dint of a premise that is by no means self-evident: "We trust each other, listening to one another and performing as of one mind." Susanne Schmerda

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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op.64, MWV O14 - 1. Allegro molto appassionatoAnne-Sophie Mutter and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Kurt Masur12:20Album Only
  2. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op.64, MWV O14 - 2. AndanteAnne-Sophie Mutter and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Kurt Masur 7:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto In E Minor, Op.64, MWV O14 - 3. Allegretto non troppo - Allegro molto vivaceAnne-Sophie Mutter and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Kurt Masur 6:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No.1 In D Minor, Op.49, MWV Q 29 - 1. Molto allegro agitatoAndré Previn and Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lynn Harrell 9:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No.1 In D Minor, Op.49, MWV Q 29 - 2. Andante con moto tranquilloAndré Previn and Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lynn Harrell 6:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No.1 In D Minor, Op.49, MWV Q 29 - 3. Scherzo (Leggiero e vivace)André Previn and Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lynn Harrell 3:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No.1 In D Minor, Op.49, MWV Q 29 - 4. Finale (Allegro assai appassionato)André Previn and Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lynn Harrell 8:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Mendelssohn: Sonata For Violin And Piano In F Major WoO, MWV Q 7 - 1. Allegro vivaceAndré Previn and Anne-Sophie Mutter11:26Album Only
  9. Mendelssohn: Sonata For Violin And Piano In F Major WoO, MWV Q 7 - 2. AdagioAndré Previn and Anne-Sophie Mutter 7:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Mendelssohn: Sonata For Violin And Piano In F Major WoO, MWV Q 7 - 3. Assai vivaceAndré Previn and Anne-Sophie Mutter 5:23$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Performer: André Previn
  • Orchestra: Gewandhausorchester Leipzig
  • Conductor: Kurt Masur
  • Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
  • Audio CD (February 3, 2009)
  • limited_edition edition
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set, Limited Edition
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B001KVAMM4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,804 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Kort TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Today marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Felix Mendelssohn (-Bartholdy) (1809-1847), one of the treasures of the classical music world. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute that this album featuring Anne-Sophie Mutter. She brings a level of energy and vitality to Mendelssohn's work I've rarely heard before. Her virtuosity with the violin is truly without peer and sound quality is exceptional. This stunning CD/DVD set should make any fan or Mutter's or lover of Mendelssohn very happy.

You are buying this for the music, but the mini-documentary about the composer and Mutter's performance is a real treat as well. Don't wait -- once the lovely limited edition run sells out, it will revert a standard jewel packaging. I find something different to enjoy with every new listen.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ronald B. Ein on March 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These Mendelssohn pieces are major works that Mutter clearly masters and presents in interesting ways. The Violin Concerto, for instance, she takes at quite a fast pace, but still holds its shape. In partnership with Lynn Harrell and Andre Previn, she does a lovely job with the Trio No. 1.

A point of concern is Mutter's overwhelming vibrato and excessive "expression." To my ear, she now makes a similar over-done tone that Perlman came to rely on in his fifties. Anyone else out there hearing this?
This edition contains both a cd and a dvd. The dvd seems to have a very slight synchonization problem that I found disconcerting. As a violinist, I am interested in seeing how Mutter bows, but couldn't quite do it with this technical glitch.
My last quibble is the package, which is all pink and mauve and flower petals. Blame it on the marketing department, not Mutter, but it doesn't square with the artistic strength either of Mendelssohn or of these players.
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33 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Hakan Olsson on February 19, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I heard the Piano Trio from this disc on the 103.7 the Mountain radio station and got totally excited and ordered it the same day. I was positively surprised to learn that both a CD and a 5.0 DTS DVD surround disc was included for just under $14. The Mendelsohn Violin concert is "OK" from a musical perspective, but not on par with several of Mutters past recording - especially compared to Beethovens Violin concert with Berliner Philarmonics under Karajan. However, it was truly entertainming to watch the DVD and listen to the DTS 5.0 surround recording while she was playing. The REAL DISAPPOINTMENT however was the sound quality of the Piano Trio. It is recorded in a smaller concert hall, and the sound is flat and indistinct to the point that I couldn't bear to listen to more than half of the first movement. Granted that I am a sound engineer by trade, but in my mind, it is unbelievable that Deutsche Grammofon would even consider putting their label on a disc with level of quality. I would return the disc if I could...
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Format: Audio CD
With an air of Hollywood glamour, Mutter brings Mendelssohn to the catwalk. She's the only violinist who can pull the image off, and more power to her. Even as her interpretations have grown more eccentric an self-serving, Mutter remains charismatic, like Nigel Kennedy as he veers into unknown territory with a horde of fans in tow. So as not to give aid and comfort to the fuddy-duddies, I try to be positive about Mutter's desire to make standard works sound new again. No concerto for the violin plays itself as automatically as the Mendelssohn, and yet it never loses its freshness. Mutter doesn't put the score through its paces the way she tested the limits of, say, the Beethoven concerto, and she keeps the self-serving side tamped down. Therefore, this is a magnetic reading with lots of interest from bar to bar.

DG provides smooth sound and a microphone placement that guarantees Mutter her close-up at all times. Her favorite conductor is Masur, although his steady workmanlike accompaniments are a far cry from her wanderings off the ranch. He seems content to follow passively in her wake when she suddenly slows down or lingers over an ear-ravishing phrase. Aside from a handful of Russians on the scene today, I don't think any rivals can match Mutter's glowing, powerful tone. she can make the violin speak in a dozen enticing voices. No one should approach this recording expect anything less than a star turn, but on its own terms this is an exciting reading. The light-as-air finale is especially winning. Souffle for dessert.

Lynn Harrell, a powerhouse cellist, and Mutter's former husband Andre Previn enter for Mendelssohn's Piano Trio no. 1. I had trepidations that Previn would drag down the piano part, but no worries - this is a beautifully shaped and gorgeously recorded account.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Keating on January 15, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I really like the package of a Cd and DVD for the purchaser. I know most of us are primarily interested in "the music". The inclusion of the DVD has a "cool" factor that simply cannot be ignored. Watching Ms. Mutter play the music gave me a sense of the entire project (a depth) that I think I would have missed if I'd only heard the cd.

Ok - She is very easy on the eyes. Still, watching her in concert gave me an insight into the music that the cd simply could not...her intensity and concentration while playing is absolutely clear! I totally disagree with some reviewers that she looks "wooden". Personally, when I attend a concert, I want the performer to give me his/her all. I think that is what is at work in the video. She is playing with her audience in the music her entire being. Seriously, this is what I am seeing here...and I am captivated.

Finally, I can find no flaw in the sound quality. Some of the reviewers have claimed that the sound quality is low??? I own a serious home entertainment system in my living room and a "good" system for listening in my office. I have played both the CD and DVD on both and the sound is excellent.

If you're wondering whether this CD/DVD is worth your entertainment dollar, I believe it most certainly is...the documentary is fantastic. This is worthy of a 5 star rating.
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Violin Concerto In E Minor Op. 64 [CD/DVD Combo] [Limited Edition]
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