Opening Night: Berlin Philharmonic and Anne-Sophie Mutter
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter – a longtime collaborator with the Philharmonic – is the soloist in the lush Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. The program opens with Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances and concludes with the final moments of Stravinsky's The Firebird.
The concert marks the first of a series of programs that the Philharmonic is presenting in New York this month. It also kicks off a series of "Perspectives" concerts that Mutter is organizing this season at Carnegie Hall.
Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director and Conductor
Anne-Sophie Mutter, Violin
RACHMANINOFF Symphonic Dances, Op. 45
BRUCH Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26
STRAVINSKY Closing Scenes from The Firebird
Audio: Mutter on playing at Carnegie Hall:
We asked you to share your thoughts during the concert on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #CHLive. Below is a collection of your tweets and photos.
Berlin & Mutter: A Partnership with Roots in the 1970s
By Brian Wise
Finding the right mix of artistic heft and party-night pizzazz is a balancing act orchestras face when planning an opening night gala concert for Carnegie Hall. The Berlin Philharmonic and its chief conductor Simon Rattle will especially want to start things right when they open the legendary venue's season Oct. 1. They're sticking around for five more concerts in New York, including three at Carnegie and two at the Park Avenue Armory. The former will include all of Schumann's four symphonies; the latter, Peter Sellars' staged presentation of Bach's St. Matthew Passion.
This gala program is an altogether different affair. It will feature two servings of late Russian Romanticism — Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances and scenes from Stravinsky's The Firebird — along with Bruch's First Violin Concerto with German soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter. WQXR will broadcast the performance live; a Twitter conversation will be hosted on this page.
Long identified by her sumptuous tone and glamorous presence, Mutter has a long and somewhat complex history with the Philharmonic. She made her debut with the ensemble in 1978, when she was just 13, playing Mozart's Third Violin Concerto in Salzburg. The orchestra's music director, Herbert von Karajan, had heard her play two years earlier.
There was some skepticism around Mutter in those early years. Critics and some members of the orchestra didn't feel the teenage violinist was ready for the big time. But with Karajan's support, she managed to overcome the doubters and made her first recording with the ensemble in 1978 (Mozart's Concertos Nos. 3 and 5). Several more recordings followed, including the major concertos — Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Bruch — usually with Karajan on the podium.
Karajan arranged for an exclusive Berlin contract for Mutter, by which in that city she appeared only with the Philharmonic. Her international fame quickly ascended. In this clip, Mutter talks about the "Karajan Sound":
Then from 1987 there was a 26-year hiatus between Mutter and Berlin that has been shrouded in mystery (Mutter guards her personal affairs carefully). But in recent years, she has been on the Philharmonic's speed dial again, appearing several times. Last year saw the release of Dvořák's Violin Concerto, their first recording together since 1983.
As things often coincide at Carnegie Hall, the opening night concert also kicks off Mutter's "Perspectives" series at the venue — and, perhaps surprisingly, marks her first performance with the Berlin Philharmonic in the U.S.