February 8, 2004 at 02:20 AM · Has anyone ever heard her play in her early-mid teens?

I heard her at 12 recently and its just beautiful. It was really amazing. But im not currently a Mutter fan. I noticed that she didnt play the way she does now...with the "unique" interpretations and her own rubato. I think she got bored with her own playing or something...because she used to be more spectacular in my opinion. Any comments?

Replies (49)

February 8, 2004 at 02:36 AM · I completely agree, I like her years with Von Karajan alot more, almost no rubato and I liked her vibrato alot more then. She changed her sound in the early 90s, just after she got her new violin. I find her new vibrato to be appauling.

Have you heard her Lalo? I think it is a good recording. Her Bruch is very different and interesting, I like it alot. I like the dvds of Vivaldi and Beethoven alot also. I think maybe the Beethoven Concerto DVD is the best thing she ever did.

February 9, 2004 at 12:19 AM · lol yes we all know how much I love her, but in terms of her karajan vs. post karajan days I say that her late karajan days , around 1988 were her best karajan days because seemed more herself than in the earlier years when Karajan really fitted her into a mold, in temrs of tempo, which were always very relaxed, like her beethoven and mendelssohn concerti. Now, I enjoy her more because I think I respect her more as an artist in doing what she believes is right and that moment, without some boundaries. Sometimes I can understand why some people would say her recordings and playing is "out there" but really I think it's all in good taste so just stay open minded.

February 10, 2004 at 07:11 PM · Hey, chris, i don't think youre aware that it was Mutter who 'persuaded' Karajan to adopt the slow tempo in the Beethoven. He wasn't keen on it at all. In fact, it is recorded as one of the few times a musician he performed with was able to persuade him to play at a tempo he didn't want to.

February 11, 2004 at 03:41 AM · I don't like her current manner of playing, although I very much like the way she played in the late 1970s to mid 1980's.

Perhaps DG might release a special boxed collectors edition:

"Anne Sophie Mutter - The Sweater Years Platinum Edition".

February 11, 2004 at 05:40 PM · I prefer her early years to now as well. There was something about her playing back in the 70's and 80's that had a real youthful, and full of life feeling, now I've lost that sense of joy when she plays, and her playing quailty has changed quite a lot, and for this persons opinion, it's for the worst.

I have a Mutter question. I have a video of Mutter playing the Beethoven violin concerto with Karajan, and I'm curious as to what cadenza's she's playing?

(I'm really not up on my Beethoven cadenzas at all)

February 11, 2004 at 08:51 PM · Kelsey - It's the Kreisler cadenza.


February 11, 2004 at 08:58 PM · She definitely has a sound that's easy to peg...whether that's a good thing or not. I'm very hit or miss in my admiration of her. I thought her rendition of the Beethoven sonatas left a lot to be desired, but I extremely enjoyed her Prokofiev sonata along with tons of other stuff. As long as she doesn't record solo Bach, I may keep buying her recordings.

February 11, 2004 at 10:51 PM · she used to be really cute...then she went on diets and then she got fat...maybe with all that "appearance" mumbojumbo her playing might have suffered?

February 12, 2004 at 12:14 AM · Right. Some/most women stress over appearance anyways, and she's under public/artistic scrutiny on top of I don't doubt it's been at least a minor stumbling block for her, or any female performing artists.

The upshot is, if you have natural looks like *some* people all you have to do is strike a seductive pose and even non-connoisseurs will buy your records. Sigh.

Looks are a distraction. I mean, a male artist wouldn't have to endure a shenanigan revolving around his strapless dress/sweat wearing away at the varnish of a Stradivarius. (I forget what she plays...) But when we post threads about Zukerman or Gil Shaham or whomever, we don't end up talking about their sex appeal! I'm not saying we can't help's just too bad. Women have got to be tough to cut it.

(Generalizations, who, me??)


February 12, 2004 at 04:46 AM · Thanks Carl! That's what I guessed..just wanted to make sure!!


February 13, 2004 at 12:06 AM · i don't know what you guys are talking about I think Mutter is awesome I have her Sibelius. I would assume that some of you are Millstein fans and well...he's bad. Especially his Bach. You want to talk about appalling?

February 13, 2004 at 12:06 AM · i don't know what you guys are talking about I think Mutter is awesome I have her Sibelius. I would assume that some of you are Millstein fans and well...he's bad. Especially his Bach. You want to talk about appalling?

February 13, 2004 at 02:38 AM · Nathan Milstein is bad, you have got to be out of your mind. I cant believe you would post such a statement.

February 13, 2004 at 03:02 AM · One to each man, and to each his own... (man meaning us all)

February 13, 2004 at 03:12 AM · Greetings,

Vernon`s verbalizing venerates vast variety?

Or prunes,



February 13, 2004 at 04:40 AM · "Milstein is bad." Then why would other violinists who are much better than you and who know about good violin playing say he is amazing? (David Oistrakh, Jascha Heifetz, Erica Morini, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman...)

February 13, 2004 at 08:52 AM · I really don't understand why people would say that she does not play as good as she did before- she plays even better now! I find her sound and interpretations nowadays to be even more interesting and inspiring to listen to.

February 13, 2004 at 07:26 PM · Vernon,

I agree with your statement but to say that Milstein is a bad violinist is ludicrous.

I dont have a problem at all with someone liking one violinist over another, but Nathan Milstein is not a bad violinist and that is the point of my post.

Norwegian Violin Star: If these are your true feelings about Milstein's playing I suggest that you listen again because you are missing out on a truly great artist.

As for Mutter, I think she is an excellent player. From her early years she showed signs of being an artist and still shows these same qualities in her playing.

February 13, 2004 at 08:07 PM · There are many Sibelius recordings I prefer to Mutter, notably Mintz (you gotta hear mintz, amazing), Shaham (wonderful), Kang(wonderful), Repin, Heifetz, and Gitlis. I say this without hesitation but this is just my preference.

Regarding Milstein, he recorded my favorite of all Bach. There is not much vibrato or expression with respect to vibrato but this is how Bach should be. His Bach is unbeleieveable intense and sence of musicality is undeniable and shockingly good.

I have heard many others: Szeryng, Perlman, Heifetz, Szigetti, Podger, Ehnes, Gringolts, Hahn, Ricci, Chung, Mintz, Kerisler(some), Oistrakh(some). Many of these I actually own.

For me the recording that put Milstein on the map was the Goldmark paired with the Lalo. After that I got hooked on the Bach stuff.

February 13, 2004 at 09:33 PM · i really like milsteins brahms as well.

February 13, 2004 at 11:10 PM · Mutter is a goddess. Bottem line. Her Brahms, sibelius, Lalo - and everything else she's recorded - is amazing. Definate MO's! She's the best around, because she doesn't hold back anything when she plays. Unlike many other musicians, she doesn't play "safe".. she goes for it : )

February 13, 2004 at 11:25 PM · so if someone has different interpretations than everyone else, that means theyre not hodling something back while others are? Mutter is different now, but she didnt suddenly decide to stop "holding back' or anything...she just got bored withher playing and changed it. Aimee is a bunny

February 14, 2004 at 12:40 AM · I think that it isn't as much a matter of getting bored, as it is of simply maturing.

Personally, I have great respect both for her early and current style of playing. In her teens, she and Karajan made recordings of Mozart concertos, Beethoven Triple Concerto, etc, that have since become classics--I doubt that there is a better all-around recording of Mozart 5. As far as now, her recent recording of Sibelius, Brahms, and Beethoven concertos are, in my opinion, some of the best versions ever recorded of these works, and for that matter, so are her recordings of Tzigane and Hungarian Dances.

February 14, 2004 at 03:49 AM · i guess it still all boils down to personal opinion, you can try and argue somebody's points, but its not going to change whether or not they like what they hear. I personally dont like her sibelius brahms or beethoven concertos but thats just me.

February 14, 2004 at 04:08 AM · Hey! Yeah, it is personal opinion. I would say, though, that overall, meaning all three movements cumulatively, her recent Sibelius and Brahms are hands down one of the best out there (I still haven't gotten a hold of Chung's famous Sibelius rendition). Mutter's first movement, especially, of the Sibelius is without equal. Besides her great interpretation throughout, her speed and accuracy in the "coda" is beoynd belief. And although Kurt Masur and the NYPO were not the best of choices for a Brahms violin concerto recording, Mutter's emotion and intensity transforms the piece. These two are recordings that I constantly recommend to anyone as benchmarks of recorded classics. Her other stuff, like Beethoven sonatas, and the Four Seasons--I can see where people have issues, but I have yet to hear people wholly top her in the Sibelius and Brahms.

February 14, 2004 at 05:44 AM · eh, personally i'd prefer to listen to mutter's contemporary hilary hahn play the brahms over her anyday...i did like her lalo recording though.

February 14, 2004 at 10:31 PM · Ahem, do not call Hilary Hahn Anne-Sophie Mutter's Contemporary, they are completely different!

February 16, 2004 at 02:40 AM · Hey all! Really Matthew? Hilary Hahn is a technical wunderkind, but hardly an interpreter. In my opinion, her Brahms is good, but infused with so many allusions to people she has undoubtedly listened to, including good ol' Anne-Sophie, that the only thing I find interesting on that CD is two movements of her Stravinsky! This is one problem I have been having with Hahn. Another issue is the fact that everything is spliced to sound so unbelievably perfect that it is like the pain, heartache, joy, and emotional grit of the violin is lost. I love Hahn's vibrato and sound production, but in the end, especially with the Brahms, Hahn needs to come back to the piece in a few years while Mutter's version is a refreshing, serious contemplation on the standard. Listen to the first note (the d) on each's recordings for example. Mutter clings on to the quarter and 1/5-16th note for dear life, clawing the solo violin line into the veritable drama of the orchestral introduction. Meanwhile, Hahn just throws the note away, with hardly a vibrato, as if it was just a part of the opening scale. What a tragedy! (I must apologize, though, for the NYPO, lol)

February 17, 2004 at 12:51 AM · In a way, it is really unfair to compare Hahn to Mutter. Mutter is a fully mature master of the violin--I would say she is a genius, but that is debatable, while Hahn, as incredible as she is, is really not even in her prime yet. One thing that I love about Hahn is that, in my opinion, she gets better with every recording. In any case, as far as splicing is concerned, I don't see what is so horrible about it. In a hundred years, no one will care that Mutter, for example, was an incredibly beautiful woman, nor will they care about what kind of a person she was, but what will be left will be her recordings, and in reality, they will be the real thing by which she will be judged. Taking that into account, I don't think one can feel a certian contempt for Hahn's want for note-perfect perfection--by the way, if Hahn is horrible in this respect, then what would you think of Gould?

February 17, 2004 at 01:36 AM · dont diss gould. he was a genius. yeah, he wanted note per note perfection but he had a lto of problems but he was amazing. i really have never been so amazed by any musician but him. his playing is the most amazing thing in the world. and frankly hes the musician who best resembles me i think, personality wise.

February 17, 2004 at 01:50 AM · I am sorry if I seemed like I was insulting Gould, and actually, it was not my intent, at all. I also have great admiration for him, and he was undoubtly a genius, but there is a great similarity between Hahn's Gould's attitudes towards note-perfect recordings--at least in my opinion.

February 17, 2004 at 02:07 AM · dwayne,

i do agree that hahn's seems to be a bit in the bland side and not as emotional as mutter, but personally i just don't like mutters vibrato at all, and her phrasing while probably more "emotional", just doesn't suit my taste in this concerto. i disagreed with her interpretations of the beethoven concerto too, for some of the same reasons. just my opinion though.

matt feldman

February 18, 2004 at 10:47 PM · For sale on ebay now, Ive neve seen it for sale before

I get to hear the library copy, not my favorite recordings but should be of interest to mutter collectors out there. Rostropovich is conducting.

February 18, 2004 at 09:30 PM · Hey Scott, it is funny you bring that recording up. I was actually looking up Mutter stuff last night and happened upon a ton of stuff at Tower Records, the UK version.

That CD was listed, and I thought it, amongst a few other things, was a must have, since it seems so "rare," at least by US standards. The one on Tower UK has a better picture, though, lol. But, Mutter and Glazunov? I must hear it! I am little scared, though, of what the NSO did to the pieces. I would never have guessed Mutter to record anything with them. Interesting disc indeed!

February 18, 2004 at 10:35 PM · True, stuff on the Erato label is pretty rare over here I noticed.

Actually I like the orginal cover photo of her with Rostropovich more.

February 18, 2004 at 11:10 PM · its okay, im just tocuhy on the subject of gould. he was so amazing.

February 19, 2004 at 04:58 AM · The Mutter recording is old, from 1989 and includes, besides Glazunov and Prokofiev 1, Chedrin's "Stihara".

The cover on E-bay is the original cover from 1989 and the one on Tower is a re-release from 1997.

February 19, 2004 at 05:30 AM · Greetings,

Glad you are still around, Mattias,



February 19, 2004 at 06:16 PM · Hello all! For the first time ever, I am going to laud a Sarah Chang recording over Anne-Sophie Mutter's!

I recently picked up Mutter's recording of the Symphonie Espagnole, Lalo, and I am so not impressed! The more I listen to it, the more it glazes into the back of mind, and I normally intently listen to every new CD I get! She plays the piece well, of course, but doesn't bring anything fresh to it, in my opinion. 1) I understand that Mutter likes to play notes that most people do harmonics on, but sometimes, the sound of a harmonic adds to the drama! Something tells me (hint back to harmonics in the 3rd mvt. of her Sibelius and the finale of the Zigeunerweisen on "Carmen-Fantasie," and her Carmern finale on the same album) that good-ol' Mutter is not completely comfortable with that technique. 2) Also, her left-hand pizz. towards the end of the last movement in the Symphonie is downright pathetic! I know it is a small part, but it is jarring in my mind. This is the second time I have had to question her technique on that aspect. (Listen to the finale of her "Carmen-Fantasie" Zigeunerweisen for her inaudible plucking!) Overall, she sounds like Anne-Sophie Mutter always does, not like someone who took the time to really study the piece and apply the practice to it. I am glad that she recorded it, but to me it remains a very blah performance--on part of the sloppy orchestra and Mutter(3rd mvt. was okay).

On the flip side, Sarah Chang's version is excellent--very spirited, ferocious, and fresh. I love, in this type of piece, how she digs into the string and gives you that almost desperate, rosin-less sound throughout. Her Vieuxtemps 5 is great too!

That being said, as a Mutter fan (sometimes -atic) I feel a bit guilty spending money on a very so-so recording of Mutter. lol! I guess every one has their ups and downs!

February 19, 2004 at 07:48 PM · I dont really care much for chang nor mutter, just wanted to make a note for the mutter collectors, you will notice the reissue is on a different label. Ill say it again, I think the stuff on the erato label is hard to find, maybe not outside of the usa.

I actually find mutters bruch to be interesting and unique and the mendelssohn and lalo are pretty good but none my favorite, especially compared to rabin and kaler for the glazunov and oistrakh and chung (thats chung not chang) for prok 1, szeryng heifetz and milstein for lalo rabin for ziguner and kogan for vieux 5 and carmen fantasy.

February 21, 2004 at 08:57 AM · I will only listen to such non-sensible attacks when you could play anywhere as good or even better than she does!

February 21, 2004 at 09:12 PM · it doesnt take a great violinist to distinguish a good violinist from a great violinist

February 21, 2004 at 09:41 PM · It is also important to note that an opinion is not a non-sensible attack...

February 22, 2004 at 12:04 AM · mutter rocks my world

February 22, 2004 at 09:28 PM · aimee rocks my world

February 23, 2004 at 03:51 AM · Greetings,

prunes rock my toilet,



February 23, 2004 at 04:22 AM · Haha.... Prunes rock my toilet!!! haha that's genius... Haha that really is funny!

February 24, 2004 at 04:23 AM · ditto! haha

February 24, 2004 at 08:41 PM · Hey Aimee! This is your fellow 4th floor of Cutter Amy.

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