Anne-Sophie Mutter is a special figure in the world of classical music. A child prodigy on the violin, she was taken up by Herbert von Karajan who conducted her in a performance with his Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra when she was only 13. She subsequently went on to enjoy an international career, recording numerous works and performing worldwide. Her current series of Taiwan concerts, plus a master class, is part of a short Asian tour — she will go from here to Shanghai, and then on to Japan.
In Taiwan, Mutter will play Brahms’ three violin sonatas (with Lambert Orkis, piano) in Taipei tonight, and in Kaohsiung tomorrow night. She will then play Dvorak’s Violin Concerto in A Minor with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra under Michael Francis in Taichung on Sunday and in Taipei on Wednesday. In addition she will give a violin master class on Tuesday.
For some reason, although the term “piano sonata” always means a work for solo piano, “violin sonata” generally means a work for violin and piano. Brahms wrote three such sonatas (there was another, written in his youth, that he destroyed). The first two of them are in three movements, the third in four. This final sonata is the most taxing and complex of the three.
Orkis is a frequent collaborator of Mutter’s, and earlier often accompanied the late cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Mutter and Orkis’ new CD of the three Brahms sonatas was released last month by Deutsche Grammophon. They can be seen discussing this music on Mutter’s official Web site (www.anne-sophie-mutter.com).
Mutter has never recorded Dvorak’s Violin Concerto in A Minor. Who knows, perhaps her playing it in Taiwan will be a prelude to an eventual recording release. The work, though less popular than Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, is well-known, and was given a stellar rendition by Chinese violinist Siqing Lu (呂思清) in Taipei in October 2006 with the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra.
WHAT: Mercedes-Benz Classical Music Festival — Anne-Sophie Mutter Festival (世紀古典音樂年2010系列 — 安．蘇菲．慕特音樂節)
WHEN: Evening of Brahms: today at 7:30pm (Taipei) and tomorrow at 7:30pm (Kaohsiung). Evening of Dvorak: Sunday at 7:30pm (Taichung) and Wednesday at 7:30pm (Taipei)
WHERE: National Concert Hall, Taipei City; Kaohsiung’s Chih-teh Hall (高雄市文化中心至德堂), 67 Wufu 1st Rd, Kaohsiung City (高雄市五福一路67號); Taichung’s Chungshan Hall (台中市中山堂), 98 Syueshih Rd, Taichung City (台中市學士路98號)
ADMISSION: NT$1,200 to NT$4,800, available through ERA ticketing or online at www.ticket.com.tw
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