Anne-Sophie Mutter – Hommage à Penderecki

Lambert Orkis, Roman Patkoló

London Symphony Orchestra, Krzysztof Penderecki

Deutsche Grammophon, 2018

Tracklist and more details

As the title Hommage à Penderecki suggests, this is not a really new recording, but it is rather the tribute of Anne-Sophie Mutter to the Polish composer. The album features four works Krzysztof Penderecki wrote for the German violinist between 1992-5 (Metamorphosen, his second violin concerto) to 2013 (La Follia for Solo Violin), compositions that Mutter subsequently recorded in the course of the years in her albums Penderecki, Rihm, Currier and The Silver Album.

This is also the occasion to remember the long partnership between the two artists, began in the early 1980s and realized for the first in 1988 at the Lucerne Festival, when they performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 together.

Hommage à Penderecki: An Overview

As one should expect when four works written for a talented violinist as Mutter are brought together, Hommage à Penderecki is an album where virtuosity has the same importance of communicative engagement. Listening to the four works one after the other gives you a precise ifea of Mutter’s technical finish and energy. The concision of Penderecki’s works are exactly what stimulates Mutter’s inventiveness and freshness. Listen for example to La Follia, which, despite its challenging score, is remarkable for Mutter’s technical assurance as well as for her emotional commitment. It seems that her energy flourishes little by little, reaching its climax in the Adagio tranquillo, which she plays with intensity.

The other works remind of these qualities and add some more, as the Duo Concertante, that Mutter plays with double bass player Roman Parkoló (also dedicatee of the work), carefully articulating the layers. In the Sonata No. 2 per violino e pianoforte, Mutter and pianist Lambert Orkis act in perfect accordance (listen to the second movement) and with infallible clarity.

It is Metamorphosen, anyway, the most impressive work. Performed by Mutter with the London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Penderecki himself, this an incredibly baffling work, where the performers are able to bewilder the listener with the tense, overwhelming atmosphere. Mutter is extremely good in the representation of the idea of transition between one dimension to the other, while Penderecki’s rhapsodic expressiveness highlights a confusing world.

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