One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Wolfgang RIHM (b.1952)
Lichtes Spiel - ein Sommerstück, for violin and small orchestra (2009) [17:08]
Dyade, for violin and double bass (2010-11) [12:35]
Krzysztof PENDERECKI (b.1933)
Duo Concertante, for violin and double bass (2010) [5:03]
Sebastian CURRIER (b.1959)
*Time Machines, for violin and orchestra (2007) [29:05]
Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin)
Roman Patkoló (double bass)
New York Philharmonic/Michael Francis; *Alan Gilbert
rec. Avery Fisher Hall, New York, 18 November 2010; *2 June 2011; Bavaria Musikstudios, April 2011 (Dyade and Duo). DDD
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 477 9359 [63:51]

Experience Classicsonline

This is the kind of CD that virtually sells itself: some of the biggest names in the business - violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, the New York Philharmonic - two live recordings of substantial recent world premieres, and Deutsche Grammophon's massive marketing machinery behind the whole thing.

There is always a danger with performers - or should that be artists? - as high-profile as Mutter, supported by DG's resources, that the music ends up playing second fiddle. So it is that on the CD cover here Mutter's full name is displayed in large red letters, while Wolfgang Rihm and Sebastian Currier are relegated to surnames in smaller grey lettering, and Krzysztof Penderecki ... where is Penderecki? Where is the other soloist, Roman Patkoló, for that matter?

Turn the case over to find them, yet dwarfed again by Mutter, whose profile fills the back inlay. Excluding the 11 photos of her on the front, there are 11 inside the booklet, looking typically elegant and fragrant, plus a full-page advert of DG's super-duper 40-disc limited-edition boxset with 300-page hardback book (containing another 150 photos) dedicated to her 35 years in the spotlight - hence the title, "ASM35: The Complete Musician" - during which time her recordings, the blurb informs, have already sold more than 5 million units. Message understood, DG.

Fortunately, however, Mutter rarely disappoints, and certainly will not in these searing performances. She has an adventurous spirit besides, and has had numerous works written for her: this CD brings together four recent ones by three living composers who themselves rarely disappoint.

The two orchestral focal points are separated - some may feel incongruously - by two virtuosic pieces for violin and double bass: the short, jaunty and surprisingly accessible Duo Concertante by Penderecki and the longer, darker Dyade by Rihm, both commissioned by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation and both dedicated to the fine young(ish) Slovakian bassist Roman Patkoló and, yes, to Mutter herself. Patkoló gave the premiere of André Previn's Double Concerto in 2007, along with Previn's ex-wife - Anne-Sophie Mutter again. That recording is available, incidentally, on the final disc of the above-mentioned 40-CD bonanza (and on the second CD of DG’s 6-disc Andre Previn – A Celebration. Ed.). .

Rihm's well-crafted Lichtes Spiel ('Play of Light') has a fairly similar feel to his Dyade, but with a small orchestra, mainly strings, replacing the double bass. The violin part is rapturous, now arcadian, now stratospheric, somewhat reminiscent of Alban Berg. The CD ends powerfully with Sebastian Currier's seven-movement violin quasi-concerto, Time Machines. The titles of the individual sections give some indication as to what to expect: Fragmented Time, Compressed Time, Overlapping Time, Backwards Time, and the variation in moods, textures, rhythms and so on is ensuantly impressive. Nonetheless the work can be characterised as broadly reflective, and does remain attractively tonal - nothing to worry anyone happy with Szymanowski's great concertos, for example. Currier's music is beginning to get the recordings it deserves - this sparkling premiere follows hard on the heels of a Naxos recording of his Sonata and other works for piano - for which, see review.

It is very difficult to fault any of the performances on this disc - the musicianship is a pleasure to perceive from start to finish. Mutter has the hardest job in four thoroughly virtuosic works and might on that basis be singled out, but DG have already been there, done that and sold the T-shirts.

Sound quality is excellent. The applause has been skilfully edited out of the live recordings, as much of the expected expectoration and rustling also seems to have been. The booklet is a fine glossy affair, the notes informative though tending curiously towards the pretentious. So star-struck are DG by Mutter's admittedly prodigious talent that they omitted to provide a biography of Patkoló, Gilbert or Francis, but they do atone, kind of, by giving the names - and sponsors - of the entire orchestra.

Collected reviews and contact at


















































































Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.