Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars total brilliance, July 11, 2004
This review is from: Krzysztof Penderecki: Concerto for Violin & Orchestra No. 2 "Metamorphosen" (1992-95) / Béla Bartók: Sonata for Violin & Piano No. 2, Sz 76 (1922) - Anne-Sophie Mutter / London Symphony Orchestra / Krzysztof Penderecki / Lambert Orkis (Audio CD)
Though I somehow always think of Penderecki as a composer of vocal works, here his voice is the violin, in one of the most astounding pieces for the instrument I have ever heard. It has mystery, drama, and intense beauty, and rather than six separate movements, it stretches from mood to mood, segueing into them. My favorite is the transition from the fifth to the sixth, with the orchestra sounding more like the rumblings of nature than instruments.
The concerto was dedicated to Anne-Sophie Mutter, who was the soloist in the enthusiastically received first performance in 1995. The extreme difficulty of the concerto must be daunting for a violinist, but Mutter's technical mastery equals her sensitivity and artistry. Of special note is the 5th movement cadenza, which is enthralling.
Like most Penderecki works, this is a composition that gets better with every hearing; one has to get to know this piece, for it to reveal the full magnificence of its soul.
The Bartok Sonata # 2 takes us into far different territory: Angular, harsh and energized, it's a whirl of virtuoso technique and dynamic sound. Lambert Orkis on piano counterbalances Mutter's violin, producing varied tones and rhythms.
Anne-Sophie Mutter has been an award-winning soloist with major world orchestras since her teens, making her Berlin debut with Karajan and the Philharmonic when she was only 15, and her wide range of repertoire is impressive. Penderecki writes of her in the liner notes, that he was inspired by her "...sublime art of interpretation". The Penderecki was recorded in 1997, the Bartok in '95. The sound is excellent and total playing time is 58'01
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