Mutter as mermaid? DG covers just got weirder

Mutter as mermaid? DG covers just got weirder


norman lebrecht

September 29, 2017

She’s certainly no trout…. so they made her a mermaid for Schubert’s quintet?

No wonder the guys look uncomfortable.



  • erich says:

    It’s a chamber quintet so it seems insulting in any case only to highlight two of the five players. Bad manners.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Indeed. They make look like a piano duo. They take an old problem to the next level. That bothers me far more than the mermaid pose.

    • Anon says:

      What bothers me is, that they do it on both elements, text and picture.
      It would have been better style to emphasize the stars only in one of the two elements, if the sales department says it has to be. But both ways, visual and text, hammering out who is the star here, that’s just too much of bad taste and ‘used car salesman’ attitude.

  • Ungeheuer says:

    Dreadful cover art. I will skip this release despite the participation of Trifonov. If the artists involved demand a cover redesign I will surely reconsider. FWIW.

  • harold braun says:


  • herrera says:

    It’s just her usual dress she wears for concerts

    That being said, she’s 54, the oldest in the quintet,everyone else is in black and white, so discretion would’ve been the better part of vanity, one never wants to appear as the mother who tries too hard.

    • Anon says:

      I wonder if anyone would feel the need to comment on an artist’s age, if he – a man – was 54. Still a long way to go I guess…

      • Sue says:

        Yes, she looks like she’s really suffering.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        If a 54-old man showed that much skin, there would be quite a few comments.

        • Anon says:

          Seriously, because the shoulders are not covered, you find it too much skin and it calls for comments?
          What year are we living in? Is it 1817?
          Dresses like this are in fashion for over 100 years for elegant evening attire, according to my style compass. At least in the western world.
          But agreed, if DG is targeting Saudi Arabia as a market, they should make her cover her shoulders. I have to admit that.

          • Petros Linardos says:

            The arguments you wrote have nothing to do with mine.

            Personally I think that strapless dresses are by no means inappropriate. But they aren’t necessarily a smart choice for people who want to look their best in their 50s and beyond.

            Men usually dress more or less the same way, regardless of age. On the other hand, Nigel Kennedy’s sometimes unusual dressing choices have repeatedly provoked criticism.

          • Anon says:

            Not necessarily, but in her case they are perfectly fine, she looks great in them, in my humble opinion.
            Still, I smell sexism and agism. Even if a mid-50 woman showed some cellulites (oh my God, the end is nigh), why should she not still wear what she likes and looks actually good in?
            Is our instinctive search for eternal youth so deeply ingrained in us, that we have to put even beautifully aging women behind curtains?

          • Petros Linardos says:

            If a lawyer of any age wore a very colorful tie in court, it would attract attention.

            Maybe I don’t express myself clearly. What you are reading between my lines is not what I have in mind. My main point: onstage dressing choices don’t have to be distracting.

            ASM dresses appropriately and looks good and classy, OK? But, like it or not, her onstage dressing choices attract attention and invite commentary, just as Nigel Kennedy’s do, for different reasons, and they did when he was much younger. And let’s not get started about Yuja Wang, who is young but sometimes dresses like a slut.

      • David Osborne says:

        Exactly. You beat me to it Anon.

      • Christopher Culver says:

        “I wonder if anyone would feel the need to comment on an artist’s age, if he – a man – was 54.”

        When people mention Mutter’s age in the context of DG’s marketing, they may well be drawing attention to DG’s insistence on continuing to pitch Mutter as a sex symbol even though she is well past the age that kind of marketing would make any sense sense. Mutter is an artist, not just looks, and DG has treated her badly for basically her whole career; now that she is in her 50s, can she finally get the respect she deserves? And yes, people do make the same observations about men who are handled the same way by record labels (Bryn Terfel, for instance).

    • Anon says:

      So at what age should women cover themselves from chin to ankle? Just wanting to know when my expiration date is, thanks.

  • Anon says:

    This is perfect for all the armchair experts.
    Shouldn’t we wait and hear the music first?
    I mean, “a cover is just a cover.” Just saying…

  • L.N.H. says:

    What’s the saying about judging a book by its cover?….

  • John says:

    This is not the cover, but a promotional announcement as stated by DG Facebook moderators.

    That said, the photo is GOD AWFUL!

  • RLC says:

    It’s an outrage. I cannot believe ASM and DT actually agreed to this. I hope understand their celebrity, but isn’t the music most important? Chamber music is about equality,

  • Bruce says:

    “Famous people in the front, please. Feel free to strike a pose. Non-famous people please form a line across the back. Thank you.”

    It would have been nice IMHO to have everybody dressed more or less the same, positioned more or less as equals. Of course nobody would have been deceived about who’s a big star and who’s not, but it wouldn’t look quite so much like “we hired these 3 people to accompany us on our Trout Quintet.”

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    She’s hot. They’re not.

    Hot sells. Not doesn’t.

    Guilty as charged. Next case.

  • Erwin says:

    Looks like we’re in for a real truite!

  • John says:

    DG is turning into EMI–Every Mistake Imaginable.

    And neither Mutter nor Trifonov is a particularly intimate and sensitive player, so I can’t imagine the point of this release was anything other than star power.

  • Carla says:

    She is a Queen!
    She can be highlight with a dress, with what ever she wants.
    Plus she is an adult and AAll the rest in the picture is.
    So… a gossip for a dress?
    It is because she is a women?

  • Howard says:

    DG continues its demise. They are lost! They want to be something for everyone and in the end, they are completely irrelevant. This cover is just poor design, bad taste and an indicator of what the label has become. Sad, but not surprising. I stopped even noticing or caring what they release long ago. As I said earlier, they are irrelevant!

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Anne-Sophie Mutter is the only one who is decently dressed in that photo, but she is awfully placed in the group. And Mr Trifonov needs a shave.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    CD covers can be bad like this latest ASM & DT release, but that one in the link is definitely the most horrible I can remember (other just average tasteless covers don’t become fast I one’s mind).

    • Sue says:

      Totally agree; that cover is appalling!! But is art music going to be exempt from a general debasing of society right across the board? We are living in times of dumbed down outcomes and expectations to an industrial-strength degree.

  • John says:

    Maybe somebody ought to actually LISTEN to the album instead of bickering about it?

    Or does this crowd buy albums for their covers and throw away the CDs?

    Real deep discussion here,

  • Ben says:

    Hey at least it isn’t another provocative YW CD cover.

  • Dr Nookey says:

    I did like the EMI cover of 4 seasons with her in the woods wearing Ks red pullover, what were they up to?

  • Lunchtime O'Boulez says:

    ASM has only ever had one Building a Library record – the Bruch/Mendelsohn concertos, just fancy that.

  • Don Niperi Septo says:

    Spotted one of Norman’s old blogs back in 2005 before SD, ASMs fees! Ha ha, to pay for all those fishtail frocks.