Edinburgh International Festival music review: Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons: The Mutter Virtuosi, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Susan Nickalls.
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter drew on baroque and contemporary repertoire to show off the talented young string players in The Mutter Virtuosi.
Three violinists had the chance to play a movement each with her in Bach’s Concerto in D minor for two violins. While there was plenty of energy and commitment from the ensemble, the sound was often uneven and too loud, in part due to the bottom-heavy continuo of two cellos and a double bass.
Their interpretation of Vivaldi’s Le quattro stagioni though, was light and fresh off the page. Mutter’s dazzling solos set against the ensemble’s vivid seasonal backdrop meant you could feel the chill of winter icicles and hear the barking dogs in spring.
Of Mutter’s two new commissions, both premieres, Penderecki’s Duo concertante for violin and double bass, with its ethereal harmonics and intricate exploration of register extremes, rather lost its impact in this hall.
Previn’s Nonet for two string quartets and double bass was a different story, with the ensemble spinning a wider palette of tonal colours, built on the conceit of how string players tune their instruments, into the acoustic.
They moved effortlessly through the melodic and rhythmic twists and shifts in this captivating performance.
Published in The Scotsman on 28 August 2015
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