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Hommage à Penderecki

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Roman Patkoló, Lambert Orkis; London Symphony Orchestra/Krzysztof Penderecki (DG)

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

Penderecki Duo concertante; Violin Sonata No. 2; Metamorphosen; La Follia for Solo Violin
Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Roman Patkoló (double bass), Lambert Orkis (piano); London Symphony Orchestra/Krzysztof Penderecki
DG 483 5163   88:11 mins (2 discs)


This double album is not only Anne-Sophie Mutter’s tribute in honour of Krzysztof Penderecki’s 85th birthday, but also marks the 30th anniversary of their first concert together. The four works here, all written for her, make clear that the partnership has been richly rewarding. The earliest score (1995) is also the most substantial – the labyrinth-like Violin Concerto No. 2, titled Metamorphosen. Notwithstanding such highly virtuosic episodes as the fifth movement’s cadenza, it treats the violin as a lyrical voice and remains the most impressive example of the Polish composer’s free-handed approach to the possibilities of concerto form. This is in fact a re-release of the Grammy-winning 1997 recording Mutter made with Penderecki, characterised by her way of weaving a silken line and the London Symphony Orchestra’s sonorous contribution.

Written in Penderecki’s 80th birthday year, the newest work shows undiminished mastery: La Follia is a big, Baroque-inspired solo piece. Also featured are the large-scale Violin Sonata No. 2 (with Mutter’s regular pianist Lambert Orkis), rewarding in its emotional range, and the witty and lyrical Duo Concertante for violin and double bass. The performances are faultless and – since they feature their dedicatee and in one instance even their composer – surely count as definitive.


John Allison