With one exception, the recordings on the double-album Hommage à Penderecki
are all reissues (the new one is the quite haunting "Violin Sonata No. 2" of 1999 at the end of disc one). Yet the collection will be well worth the time and money even of Mutter
fans, for it offers an ideal deep dive into a key aspect of the violinist's career. The beginning of her interaction with Penderecki
was close chronologically to the point where she became well established as one of the world's preeminent violinists, perhaps even the very top one. Her technically precise but emotionally edgy style not only fit Penderecki unusually well, but also became part of her efforts to shape her legacy in an ongoing way. The collaboration has resulted in four works to date. All are representative of Penderecki's late style, which is less neo-Romantic than aimed at showing that there is still a lot of room to incorporate dissonant structures into Romantic idioms. Sample the "Metamorphosen," the "Violin Concerto No. 2," on CD two, perhaps the finale, where Mutter's violin is truly transcendent as it ascends to pure high notes. "La Follia," written in 2013, is a rethinking of the Baroque ground-bass piece, and it and really all the other pieces are calibrated to Mutter's undiminished skills. There's a work for solo violin, a duo, a violin sonata, and a violin concerto (with Penderecki himself conducting the London Symphony Orchestra
), and the whole is a satisfying compilation of Mutter's effort to redefine the violin repertory, nicely illustrated with photos of Penderecki looking adoring.