Anne-Sophie Mutter - Carmen Fantasie - Levine - Wiener Philharmoniker on 180g Import 2LP
Cut at Emil Berliner Studio & Pressed at Pallas in Germany
German virtuoso violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is joined by the Vienna Philharmonic in a performance of Pablo De Sarasate's Carmen Fantasie among others as conducted by James Levine and recorded at Musikverein, Grosser Saal in Vienna in November of 1992.
"Gathered together here is music that Mutter might play as encores after an intense recital or concerto programme. Several were written by composers who were themselves virtuoso violinists, and whose very intention was to test the technical mettle of all who dared to attempt a performance. For some violinists, simply playing the notes would be enough. But being Mutter, these pieces are interpreted with as much care and intelligence as the most profound concerto.
"This may be a feast of lollipops, then, but the flavours are well varied. Two of the works – perhaps the two that are most obviously show-stoppers – are by Pablo de Sarasate, the 19th-century Spanish violin virtuoso. He was considered one of the great violinists of his day, and Bruch, Saint-Saëns and Dvorák were among those who wrote major pieces for him. But he also wrote more than 50 pieces for himself, of which the two recorded here are possibly the best known: the Zigeunerweisen op. 20, which was written in 1878; and the ingenious and technically fiendish “Carmen” Fantasy op. 25. The latter was composed around 1883, when Bizet’s great opera, after its disastrous première-run eight years earlier, had been triumphantly revived in Paris.
"In much the same flamboyant manner, though written 40 years later, is Maurice Ravel’s brilliant showpiece Tzigane. Written for the Hungarian virtuoso Jelly d’Arányi, it was styled very much in the “Hungarian gypsy rhapsody” manner and took as its specific model Paganini’s 24 Caprices." - Richard Morrison
"It is unashamedly a fun record, and even Mutter has rarely played with such freedom and warmth, obviously enjoying these display pieces every bit as much as the repertory concertos and new works that are her staple diet. The gipsy flavours of the two Sarasate pieces, as well as of Ravel's "Tzigane," sound even more exotic than usual, and rarely has the brilliant sound section, with its Hungarian fire, sounded quite so exciting with a stunning accelerando at the end. The tender repose which she then brings to the Massenet "Meditation" is thus all the more affecting...Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy, which provides the whole disc with its title, is as high-powered as the Ravel...with James Levine and the Vienna Philharmonic providing Mutter with comparably weighty and committed accompaniment, I have to say her performance thrusts home powerfully." - Edward Greenfield, Gramophone (1993)
- James Levine (conductor)
- Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin)
- Vienna Philharmonic
Anne-Sophie Mutter - Carmen Fantasie - Levine - Wiener Philharmoniker Track Listing:
1. Zigeunerweisen, Op.20 (Pablo De Sarasate)
2. Legende, Op.17 (Henryk Wieniawski)
3. Sonata for Violin and Continuo in G Minor "Devil's Trill" (Giuseppe Tartini)
4. Tzigane (Maurice Ravel)
5. Thais Meditation (Jules Massenet)
6. Carmen Fantasie, Op.25 - Introduction, Allegro moderato (Pablo De Sarasate)
7. Carmen Fantasie, Op.25 - Moderato (Pablo De Sarasate)
8. Carmen Fantasie, Op.25 - Lento assai (Pablo De Sarasate)
9. Carmen Fantasie, Op.25 - Allegro moderato (Pablo De Sarasate)
10. Carmen Fantasie, Op.25 - Moderato (Pablo De Sarasate)
11. Berceuse, Op.17 (Gabriel Faure)