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As she likes it

img  Tobias

It seems as though, with only a few months to go before Mozart’s 250th birthday, celebrations have already begun. Everybody’s playing his music live, recording it, thinking about it, talking about it. Anne-Sophie Mutter has made a  name for herself by not doing what everybody else was doing – so why has she decided to go for her own Mozart-project?

There’s a very simple reason for that, probably the most fundamental reason for playing and recording music at all: She loves the man! While other children were still building castles in the sand, she discovered his music at the age of six and it has accompanied her from her early days until the heights of her current career as one of the most famous violinists around. And before starting to criticise her for jumping someone else’s train, have a look at her discography, which boasts a plethora of Mozart-recordings over an extensive period and with both EMI and the Deutsche Grammophon. Or, to put it bluntly: “Mozart has always been present on a daily basis in my life: I’ve never stopped thinking about him, and I’ve always been trying out new ways to get closer to him. He’s the composer I have grown up with, who was always there waiting for me at every juncture of my career.”

So, what’s in store? Well, first of all, a so-called tryptichon of releases: A double CD with Mozart’s complete Violin Concertos as well as as-yet unspecified box sets with the composer’s Piano Trios and Violin Sonatas. Then there’s the unusual and highly exciting feat that Mutter will be “leading” the orchestra (the London Philharmonic Orchestra in this case) herself – even though she rejects the notion of being a true conductor herself. And, finally, a modern approach to the music and interpretation that avoids the dangers of many present-day interpretations, which are being virtuoso just for the sake of it: “They lack elegance and purity and modesty – Tchaikovsky’s description of Mozart’s music as ‘angelic’ is exact. Mozart’s music is like an X-ray of your soul – it shows what is there, and what isn’t!”

In an interview for the Swiss “Sonntagszeitung”, Anne-Sophie has already admitted that the project, as dear and important as it was to her personally, was a hard and tiresome affair, as she felt that with Mozart, every single note was important and had to be thought (and fought) about – especially since the music left soloists extremely exposed: It was, so she claimed, an endless struggle against wrong phrasing and inexact accentuations. And her memories were not exclusively positive – her first husband died while she was touring KV 304.

In the same Interview, she stressed that her desire to play modern music live has even kept her from performing some venues alltogether. Maybe, now that she is slowly approaching the end of her career (she still claims she intends to lay down her bow it in her mid-fourties), she wanted to preserve her legacy with something valuable to her and do something that nobody expected: Namely, something everybody else was doing as well for once.

Homepage: Anne-Sophie Mutter
Homepage: Deutsche Grammophon
Source: Sonntagszeitung

Picture by TINA TAHIR c/o Shotview photographers / DG

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