Previn • Brahms • Gershwin • Kreisler • Fauré

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Brahms,Gershwin,Kreisler & Fauré,Previn
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Tango Song and Dance
WORKS: Works by Previn, Brahms, Gershwin, Kreisler & Fauré
PERFORMER: Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), André Previn, Lambert Orkis (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: 471 500-2


There is a nagging irritant factor to this disc. It’s not just DG’s now-familiar trick of spotlighting the soloist at the expense of the piano, but the way in which Mutter’s execution constantly calls attention to itself, like a child tugging at your sleeve while you’re engaged in something else. The two ‘serious’ works fare best. Tango Song and Dance, written for her by her new husband, André Previn, is an engaging piece with a melting central movement reminiscent of Korngold. Here Mutter finds a warmth and lyricism that is not much in evidence elsewhere and tosses off the jazz-inspired finale with aplomb. Fauré’s First Sonata, too, is handled with flair and delicacy, though the piano detail of Lambert Orkis’s fine playing is obscured in the scherzo. I’m not sure that Mutter is temperamentally suited to short, ‘fun’ pieces, though. Three Brahms Hungarian Dances are delivered in an almost parodic manner, with disjointed, uneven phrasing that makes them lose their joyful exuberance and become essays; she misses the essential vocal element in the Gershwin Porgy selections and the insouciance of ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’; charm is in short supply in the three Kreisler works, with Liebesleid degraded into a self-conscious exercise in featherweight bowing.


Jeremy Nicholas