Brahms: Double Concerto
Clara Schumann: Piano Trio
Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), Pablo Ferrández (cello), Lambert Orkis (piano)
Manfred Honeck / Czech Philharmonic (Sony)
(scroll down for English review)
Mutter’s new album found her appearing on Sony, and on equal billing with cellist Pablo Ferrández, whose record label is Sony. Perhaps Ferrández would appear on a Mutter album on DG soon, or perhaps not.
Mutter finally re-recorded the Brahms Double Concerto almost forty years after the one with Karajan. Pablo Ferrández matched very well with her in their over-the-top interpretation of this concerto, now usually delegated to principal players in orchestras. The orchestra now seemed to be their cheerleader but Mutter and her young partner did have what it takes to support such extroverted performance. But I must admit, without Mutter’s presence I’d simply give up on Ferrández.
They were joined by Mutter’s regular accompanist Lambert Orkis in Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio of 1846. The booklet writer invites the listener to associate this work with Clara’s marital woes but I suggest otherwise, as the work’s trajectory from restlessness to optimism is just normal fare. The sturm-und-drang of the outer movements reminded me more of early Brahms than of Robert Schumann, and the middle movement are very enjoyable in their melodies and their lack of pretense. Not quite a masterpiece but way above mediocrity it is a work especially suited to Mutter in its flamboyant violin part.