|Anne-Sophie Mutter. Photo by Harald Hoffmann © 2007 Deutsche Grammophon|
Leading three Mozart concertos 'from the fiddle', Ms. Mutter opened the concert with the first Violin Concerto. This is an early work, and while it has the brilliance of a young virtuoso player testing the limits of the instrument, it does not have the substance of fully developed Mozart. The highlight is the slow movement, which Ms. Mutter played with a warm, singing tone.
Lichtes Spiel is written for violin and a small, Mozart-sized orchestra. Wolfgang Rihm paints with a fine brush, establishing a wash of hushed strings and a texture of flutes and oboe for Ms. Mutter to solo over. Her violin is the sad, keening voice, a golden thread in this tapestry of sound. Eventually, the work rises to a powerful climax, before gradually dying away into silence.
The Third Violin Concerto shows Mozart writing light, graceful melodies. Ms. M utter played with uncommonly sweet tone through a thrilling series of solo instrumental passages, verging at times on operatic recitative. The second movement features one of Mozart's warmest, most operatic slow movements, played here with real tenderness.
The "Turkish" concerto was taken at a very fast speed, with Ms. Mutter leading the Philharmonic players in a brisk, efficient performance. Ms. Mutter contributed stylish playing, uncommonly sweet tone, and fleet bowing to this tricky concerto, written at the very peak of the composer's powers.