Beautiful red dress, a full house and exquisite music were the hallmarks of Annne Sophie Mutter's second visit to the Sydney Opera House and her fabulous performance of three Mozart Violin Concerti. Her elegance and the silkiness of her playing as well as her conducting of the smallish ensemble of 28 musicians made it for an exceptional performance and a most memorable and enjoyable evening. She graced us with two encores, one with the orchestra, and a final solo which commanded a complete silence of the House, a rare treat! Not a cough in sight nor in sound. We were sitting a bit too far away though to enjoy all the intricacies of her playing but had the unexpected advantage to force our attention.
After such an amazing performance, Anne Sophie Mutter was gracious enough to sign a god 400 to 500 CDS and DVDs that Universal Music Australia was selling on the spot. And guess what? I did get a copy of her first ever recording in a stunning rendition on CD by Deutsche Grammophon, a treat!
Well, it just happens that I never had a chance to listen to Stravinsky's music live, until last Wednesday, that is...
Part of their series " Meet the Music", that has been running in various forms since 1947 (!), this concert was a tribute to Stravinsky's visit to the SOH in 1961.
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra played his Violin Concerto, another first for me, and the Firebird Suite.
I was 7 rows from the stage and more or less bang pang in the middle of the row - perfect!
Only comment is that being so close and levelled with the stage, you can't see the players at the back - winds and percussions are out of sight, but certainly there, specially in a piece like the Firebird!
The German conductor, Matthias Pintscher, did a great job at articulating the various instrument types and still retaining the poetry of the music. He was joined by Isabelle Faust, also German, but living in Paris -smart lady - for the Violin Concerto, a very difficult piece for the solo violinist who plays for almost the entire length of the piece. Great tandem and a real interesting musical discovery.
It made me revisit my Stravinsky record collection, which includes my recently acquired Anton Dorati as part of the Decca Sound boxset, but also another recording of the Rite of Spring on Decca, with Erich Leinsdorf with the London Phil. I really enjoyed that recording - I recently bought it in LA, and it was only the second time I had listened to it. Great recording, great interpretation too, much better than the Dorati I believe.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.