“Stradivari on eight cylinders” was the headline for the rich cornucopia of sound that Anne-Sophie Mutter poured out in this rendition of the virtuosic Sibelius Violin Concerto. “Her Stradivari lets her sing the arches of melody with warm vibrato and lends real fire to her double-stopping; she stages great leaps as soaring stairways to heaven or headlong descents to hell and fills the slow movement with yielding warmth,”; the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported with admiration. In a word: “It can be played differently, but not better” (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung). Mutter’s violin concerto is wonderfully complemented by Shostakovich’s intense Tenth Symphony, in which Nelsons truly triumphs, leading the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra expertly through its forceful rhythms and elegiac pathos.
In the course of four decades, Anne-Sophie Mutter (b. 1963) has grown from a young prodigy to an accomplished artist, and finally to an inimitable soloist of enormous interpretive maturity who fills concert halls all over the world. Discovered by Herbert von Karajan in 1976, the German violinist has collaborated with all the great conductors of recent decades, recording beloved violin concertos by Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius. Later in her career Mutter has re-recorded most of them, seeking tirelessly to refine and restate her own conception of each work—this passionate recording of Sibelius's Violin Concerto, one of the technical peaks of the repertoire, is exemplary of her astounding craft.