I am not crazy about Mutter, but I am about Bach. I gave Mutter’s recent HK concert with the Trondheim Soloists a miss, but bought tickets for this event together with other tickets. Core of the program comprises the 3 Bach concerti, just as Mutter had recorded with the
Mutter appeared in her maroon dress, just like in the CD cover art. The opening A minor was just too studied and drastic for my taste. Very fast in the outer movements and slow in the central one. The dynamics felt artificial and phrases don’t flow into the next quite smoothly enough.
The double violin concerto fared better. Mutter just seemd more human with the stimulus of a second violin, here Vilde Frang, a Mutter scholarship recipient, whose tone was much darker and smaller than hers, though musical.
After intermission, the E major fared better than the A minor, more romantic, though I thoroughly missed the timeless quality a better reading can bring to this (and I think of Paul Taylor’s timeless dance piece).
The ensuing Tartini “Devil’s Trill” I think I prefer in the chamber version. Mutter was quite good in this piece, but the orchestration seems neither here nor there.
Throughout, the orchestra played with great finesse and musicianship. I still remember this group with the great Sandor Vegh (heard in
Encore was Bach’s Air on G string, played by Mutter and one string from each section. Very nice.
Overall, this concert was quite a bit below the level of the unforgettable Pan Asia concert I heard many years ago in