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Volume 20 Issue 3 - November 2014

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  • November
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great shape.”As to

great shape.”As to what makes a great violinist great, Ms. Mutter responded that“we’re all trying to be a well-rounded musican.” She finds the ideaof being a specialist rather boring, caught up with technical detailsand perfecting them without really having the scope to see the biggerpicture. She thinks it’s wonderful that the violin is “an instrumentwhich is best in company with someone else, with another musicalpartner.” At the same as she extols the virtues of “just being a usefulpart of the whole” she says, “Of course you have to find – as violinist,pianist or conductor – you have to find an angle where music is newlyor freshly or whatever ... it has to bring a spark to something.”She spoke of shattering the illusion of the listener who might thinkhe knows what you’re playing already and may feel slightly tired ofit. “Of course that illusion has to be taken away the moment that theparticular artist goes on stage,” she explained. ”Then it really has tobe totally fascinating.” When I enthusiastically agree, she responds,“Hopefully.”Her extensive discography which began when she was just 15 –Deutsche Grammophon celebrated her 35-year recording careerwith a 40-CD box set last year and her 25-year collaborative partnershipwith pianist Lambert Orkis was marked with The Silver Album,a 2-CD compilation this year – prompted a question about what, ifanything in the violin repertoire she looks forward to recording.“Sadly, sadly, of course life is too short,” she responded. She isfascinated, she went on to say, with the great encores that JaschaHeifetz used to play, “a repertoire that is sadly, frowned upon inGerman-speaking countries.” Listening to two CDs over the course ofan evening recently, she remarked how struck she was by the “nobilityof this great violinist,” and that for the next few months she wouldbe exploring this repertoire. Beyond that? “The repertoire is endless –you can go in this direction or that, ...Walton, ... Barber, more contemporarymusic ... the Beethoven string quartets.”“Yes, Paul, it’s kind of [a mock scream over the phone, as if sayingit’s all too much to contemplate]” I counter that it’s something to lookforward to; “One after the other,” she replies.There is so much to do. Even as she takes the Mutter Virtuosi ontheir first North American tour, their New York appearance is justone part of Carnegie Hall’s Anne-Sophie Mutter Perspectives inwhich all facets of her musicianship will be on display, from herrecent appearance in the Bruch Violin Concerto No.1 with the BerlinPhilharmonic under Simon Rattle at the beginning of October, tothe Annual Isaac Stern Memorial Concert November 11 (with Orkison piano for Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata, and a performance ofCurrier’s Ringtones with Patkoló), to a concert next spring with YefimBronfman and Lynn Harrell (including Beethoven’s “Archduke” trio).Playing Sibelius, Berg and Moret with the Danish National SymphonyOrchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas’ New World Symphonycompletes the six-concert series.WholeNote readers will be interested in the fact that the MutterVirtuosi Carnegie Hall concert on November 18 will be live-streamedand available on medici.tv for view for 90 days thereafter. Like theconcert in Toronto three days later, the program includes Vivaldi’sFour Seasons but instead of Mendelssohn and Currier the Carnegieprogram features Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins BWV 1043 andAndré Previn’s.What does she think about the live streaming, I ask. “It’s not downloadablebut you can look at it and get horrified from another angle,”she jests, before adding more seriously: “I feel very honoured [becausevery few concerts are being streamed].”So anyone going to the November 21 Roy Thomson Hall concert(or contemplating it) will be able to get a sneak preview in the fewdays before, or more likely cement a memory of parts of the Torontoconcert any time through mid-February.Jan Lisiecki: LikeMutter, Calgarybornpianist JanJan LisieckiLisiecki began musiclessons at five andstarted recordingfor DeutscheGrammophon asa teenager (he was17). He will bringhis musical sensibilitiesto Beethoven’sthird, fourth andfifth piano concertos in a series of concerts with the TSO November 12to 22. I was fortunate several summers ago to hear Alfred Brendel playall five of the concertos with the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood andI can’t overstress what a pleasure such concentrated exposure can be.Guest conducting the TSO will be Thomas Dausgaard who has pairedeach concerto with a symphony by his Danish countryman, CarlNielsen. Nielsen, a contemporary of Sibelius, is known for his energeticpost-romanticism, and he was quite explicit about the life forcemusic represented to him. Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable”16 | November 1 - December 7, 2014 thewholenote.com

© DG/MATHIAS BOTHORis particularly expressive in this vein, having been composed duringthe first half of the First World War. It’s paired with Beethoven’s mostlyrical piano concerto, the Fourth, November 12 and 13.Itzhak Perlman:Like Mutter, IzhakPerlman is atowering figure onItzhak Perlmanthe world violinstage and occupiedas well withmusic education.His upcomingRTH recital withpianist Rohan DeSilva crosses threecenturies withmusic by Vivaldi, Schumann, Beethoven and Ravel. At his concerthere two years ago with collaborator De Silva, he introduced the entirepost-intermission part of the program from the stage, with the joyfulaplomb of a Borscht Belt kibitzer. Any opportunity to hear what hecals his “fiddle playing” should not be missed.Leon Fleisher: For many years this city has been fortunate tohave Leon Fleisher in its midst. As the occupant of the inauguralIhnatowycz Chair in Piano at the Royal Conservatory, his presencehas been felt in teaching, conducting, performing, examining andgiving masterclasses. On November 25 at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema,thewholenote.com November 1 - December 7, 2014 | 17

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