Rihm: Lichtes Spiel; Currier: Time Machines

Rihm: Lichtes Spiel; Currier: Time Machines

by Anne-Sophie Mutter
     
 
Veteran violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is not performing the usual Beethoven or Mozart repertoire here, but branching out to embrace new music commissioned for her. Along for the ride are the excellent New York Philharmonic under the baton of Michael

Overview

Veteran violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is not performing the usual Beethoven or Mozart repertoire here, but branching out to embrace new music commissioned for her. Along for the ride are the excellent New York Philharmonic under the baton of Michael Francis for the first Rihm work, and then under Alan Gilbert for the Currier piece, along with contrabassist Roman Patkoló. "Lichtes Spiel" (for violin and small orchestra) is indeed a "light game," with layered voices in the strings. There are moments of singing romanticism and beautiful vibrato, even a section that sounds vaguely classical, while the piece constantly stays in motion. Rihm clearly gets interesting colors and characters from Mutter's violin, in surprising, exciting ways. "Duo concertante" shows off a really lively, rapid, eager violinist full of emotion that pours forth, and it is precisely this explosive quality that makes the piece so engaging to hear. But equally in the spotlight is contrabassist Patkoló, who plays with such agility that it is hard to believe he is not playing a smaller string instrument like a viola or cello. Composer Penderecki, tricks the listener into believing the intensity has died out, but no, it resumes again, a vigorous duet between the violin and contrabass. The piece is, in a word, fun. Rihm's "Dyade" is quite a contrast in programming, moody and layered, the voices of the two instruments intertwining. Sometimes the lines are long, sometimes shard-like and shrieking. Mutter clearly relishes the textures and notes, and the excellent recording quality allows the listener to truly feel each bow stroke, heavy and into the string, or bouncing, or attacked tremolos. The dark contrabass is a nice contrast in register and mood. Sebastian Currier's "Time Machines" (for violin and orchestra) contain seven movements representing different aspects of time. Particularly interesting are the urgent, frenzied "Fragmented Time"; the perpetual motion of "Compressed Time"; the melodic patterns that climb in the violin and xylophone in "Entropic Time"; and the "Harmonic Time" with her solo violin soaring above the sound "scenes" that fade in and out like movie images. Mutter has chosen to explore a new direction, and both she and her listeners are rewarded. This is an album that will delight not only fans of Anne-Sophie Mutter, but also fans of new music who like to take their time to reflect on and savor thoughtful compositions. A most unique album indeed. ~ V. Vasan

Product Details

Release Date:
09/13/2011
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028947793595
catalogNumber:
001587702
Rank:
169590

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