By Greg Cahill | From the March-April 2023 issue of Strings magazine
It is said that good things come in twos or threes—and good things abound on this new recording by Anne-Sophie Mutter. From the dramatic opening phrase of Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor, Op. 102, Mutter is very much in charge.
Brahms’s Double Concerto, Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin; Pablo Ferrández, cello; Lambert Orkis, piano; Czech Philharmonic, Manfred Honeck, cond.
The Brahms features the exquisite cellist Pablo Ferrández, an alumnus of the violin virtuoso’s handpicked ensemble Mutter’s Virtuosi. It is obvious that Mutter has come a long way since her childhood collaborations with Hebert von Karajan, with whom she recorded her first Brahms Double Concerto in 1983. She has matured as a player and risen to the top of the ranks to become a fixture on world stages. Here she exudes a virtually unparalleled sense of confidence throughout this demanding work.
On Clara Schumann’s woefully ignored Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17, Mutter and Ferrández are joined by Lambert Orkis, Mutter’s longtime accompanist and a player with whom she has developed a near-telepathic sense of communication. Historically, Brahms and Schumann enjoyed a close relationship. This is Clara’s only piano trio, written between 1845–46 as her husband Robert was gravely ill. The trio deftly navigates the nuance and passion of this complex work. Quite frankly, chamber music played by musicians of this caliber just doesn’t get any better than this. Bernhard Güttler, who has worked with Mutter several times, produced the album.