Mutter as Conductor!
Many famous instrumentalists are turning to directing orchestras these days: Perlman, Uchida, Murray Perahia, and others. Well… Anne-Sophie Mutter has now joined this distinctive group:
In her recent Mozart Project (done in 2006, in honor of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth), Mutter is featured as the conductor of the Camerata Salzburg, while playing the Mozart Violin Concertos, Number 4 and 5.
I studied this DVD again yesterday; it is disk 2 of a larger collection. What wonderful results are achieved here! While I am not fond of Mozart’s concertos #1 and 2, the ones that followed (3-5) are great favorites of mine. It is evident how much detailed work and preparation went into this recording. As Mutter says in an interview on this CD, this is music where the sun seems to emerge from cloudy skies. And also music that features a rustic Rondo one moment only to revert to a minor key and present us with the most heart-breaking emotions of an Adagio, moments later.
Yes… Mutter’s playing is the sensitive, musical, interesting, and in perfect Mozart style I am used to. The Camerata orchestra is of the appropriate size, so that never does the group overshadow the soloist. On occasion, only the first chair players perform the orchestra part, particularly because the recording venue is a small hall.
As for Ms. Mutter’s direction: Yes… she gets the musicians started, but she then trusts them to present what they have learned so well. We get a sensitive accompaniment, with appropriate emphasis at the right moments.
In her interview, Anne Sophie Mutter emphasizes that she has begun a new phase, where she is involved “in the details”. She wants to be able to be a capable, competent leader; to potentially now answer a question by the orchestra’s Horn player, even though in the old days under Karajan’s direction, she solely focused on the solo violin part.
I highly recommend this performance. And… here’s a video of the first movement of the Mozart Concerto #5: