The Silver Album
Celebrating 25 years of musical partnership, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Lambert Orkis present a double-disc collection that demonstrates the duo's artistic aims, looking backward to past achievements and facing forward to new prospects. Featuring fresh performances of Massenet's "Méditation" and Ravel's "Pièce en forme de Habanera," and offering world-premiere recordings of Penderecki's "La Follia" and Previn's "Violin Sonata No. 2," this album provides sufficient evidence to show that Mutter and Orkis are as vital and dynamic as ever and that they aren't content to rest on their laurels. However, laurels are here in abundance, if one regards the reissues of older performances as high points of their career as chamber musicians. The recordings of violin sonatas by Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, and Fauré are staples of Deutsche Grammophon's catalog, and as core works in the repertoire, they receive committed interpretations from Mutter and Orkis, while the shorter pieces by Kreisler, Brahms, and Debussy are attractive encores that give the program lighter moods. Considering the mix of old and new material, this package may attract longtime collectors, but it seems best suited as an introduction for newcomers.