On a night of Big Yellow, Anne-Sophie Mutter is all white

On a night of Big Yellow, Anne-Sophie Mutter is all white


norman lebrecht

November 07, 2018

It was DG 120 last night at a packed Philharmonie in Berlin, a major-label anniversary with two massive stars  on stage and a third watching on Youtube.

Into this arena strode Anne-Sophie Mutter who, having played here for half a century, has the ability to shrink the golden octagon into the size of a star-fruit, held in the palm of her hand. Every phrase of hers sounded like chamber music and the orchestra (conductor Manfred Honeck) responded in kind.

Mutter was wearing what looked like a wedding dress, with platform heels beneath.

Never the bridesmaid.

(c) Slippedisc.com

After a first half driven by a rebranded Lang Lang, Mutter made light work of a Beethoven Romance after presenting the German premiere of John Williams’s Markings, a kind of Alban Berg-goes-to-Hollywood confection. This was followed by the world premiere of a Star Wars theme for violin and orchestra. I am sure we have not heard the last of that.

The composer, fresh out of hospital, was watching on Youtube, we hear.





  • Caravaggio says:

    A sad and tepid way for a once mighty label to celebrate their 120th.

    • aj says:

      It is not so much sad and tepid as it is about
      “show biz”and making a buck. ….
      Is Williams really considered a composer ????

    • Alan says:

      If only you were in charge of everything…….

    • Tamino says:

      sometimes a label is just a label…
      any label is always only as good as its market, its customers.
      People are less culturally ambitious and educated than before. So horses for courses.
      The market share of classical has fallen in the US to about 3% of the whole market. From about 20% some decades ago… And those 3% include David Garret and Andrea Bocelli…
      Unless someone gives them lots of tax money to turn into a museum for the few culturally inclined, they will have to turn the ship to where the people are buying their stuff in sufficient quantities.
      That’s Asia. That’s crossover.
      If they are successful with that, they might afford to keep the high browed elitist corner alive too.

  • James says:

    She’s played there for “half a century”? She’s 55 – did she really start playing there when she was 5?

    • Petros Linardos says:

      “Half a century” is probably hyperbolic, but not that far off. She has been on stage that long, though I don’t know whether this includes the Berlin Philharmonie stage.

      Mutter won the German “Jugend Musiziert” competition in 1970, at age 7, and played with Karajan for the first time in 1977.