Penderecki, Bart—k

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COMPOSERS: Bartok,Penderecki
LABELS: DG
WORKS: Metamorphosen (Violin Concerto No. 2). Violin Sonata No. 2
PERFORMER: Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Lambert Orkis (piano)LSO/Krzysztof Penderecki
CATALOGUE NO: 453 507-2
Melodramatic prophecies that the sky is in the process of falling in on the music industry still abound in certain quarters. There have been books, articles and debates but it seems that none of the prophets of doom (who predict the doom of profit) has thought to inform Anne-Sophie Mutter that the days of the indispensable recording artist are numbered. We should be thankful for their oversight, for whether she records the most standard of repertoire, or reaffirms her confidence in the present and future by presenting the latest major new work dedicated to her remarkable talents, Mutter is never less than provoking and usually a whole lot more besides.

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Written between 1992 and 1995, Penderecki’s rhapsodic Second Violin Concerto, Metamorphosen, shows occasional hints of its slightly protracted gestation. Much of the work is built on a short, chromatic motif which creates the foundations of unity, but the composer only just stops short of rambling in the earlier stages. Nevertheless, the remarkable conclusion depends on the preceding music in order to achieve its full, profound impact. The LSO under the composer is excellent almost throughout, and the enervating account of the Bartók Sonata is a particularly welcome bonus. Christopher Dingle