on November 14, 2003
Ms. Mutter makes the violin sing in this fine collection of violin concertos recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic. Ms. Mutter was discovered by Herbert von Karajan at age 13, declared by him as "the greatest musical prodigy since the young Menuhin" and played with the Berlin Philharmonic as a teenager. The two Mozart concertos were recorded when she was only 15. The other concertos were recorded before she was twenty years old. My favorite is the Mendelssohn concerto. Ms. Mutter plays its haunting theme with elegance,flair and fire. Her passion and precision are evident through the difficult passages. Married to conductor Andre Previn, who wrote a violin concerto for her, Ms. Mutter never fails to intrigue her audience, making her vioin sing with colorful, soulful voices.
Deutsche Grammophon has assembled the recordings made by violinist Mutter, conductor Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic back in the 1970's and early 1980's when Mutter was a teenage prodigy on the violin. The finest performances are those of the Beethoven and Brahms concertos, but the others are fine too, especially the Mozart concertos. Sound quality purists may prefer remastered versions of the Beethoven violin concerto - available as part of Deutsche Grammophon's complete Beethoven commemorative edition and the others which are available separately on Deutsche Grammophon's legendary recordings series. Yet those who prefer having all these performances in one box set won't be disappointed with the sound quality.
on December 12, 2000
To know that Anne-Sophie was just a teen when these recordings were made...15 to 19 years of age...is truly astonishing. She plays with a virtuosity well beyong her years. As the booklet states, Karajan has referred to her as "the most outstanding musical prodigy since the young Menuhin"; as anyone can tell by listening to this set, this is an apt title for her. I am no expert when it comes to Classical music, so I won't attempt to compare or analyze or go into the set deeply; but I certainly know something beautiful when I hear it, and this set of 4 cds is certainly that. Recommended!
on January 15, 2000
Anne-Sophie Mutter is one of the finest violinists of our time. Her tone is powerful and sensitive, and her technique is superb. Like the title suggests, these are some of the greatest concertos written for violin; Mutter plays these masterpieces with her own distinct style and musicality.
on December 29, 1999
An excellent set, sure to become a standard. The combination of Herbert von Karajan, the Berlin Philharmonic and Anne-Sophie Mutter shines brilliantly. Ms Mutter performs the works with dignity and feeling, and shows why she is still one of the best in the world when it comes to playing the old masters. The Beethoven concerto is undoubtedly the signature piece of the set, a truly moving performance that ranks amongst the greatest I've heard. Technically, the recordings are consistent with the high quality one came to expect from DG. An absolute must-have collection!