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Mutter Modern (An Interview with Anne-Sophie)

Anne-Sophie Mutter latest cdViolinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is continually creating something new – from concerti by Krzysztof Penderecki and Andre Previn to works by Sebastian Currier and Henri Dutilleux.

Mutter’s latest project is a recording of Sofia Gubaidulina’s In Tempus Praesens, written in 2006-07 and premiered with the Berlin Philharmonic in August 2007. Selke Harten-Strehk has more background here on Mutter’s website.

I spoke with Mutter about the new concerto recording and about working with composers, and even if she composed herself. Listen to our conversation here.

That morning it was very difficult to get an international connection, and then about 10 minutes into our talk, the line went dead, and to my horror, it was another 3 minutes until I could connect again. (She now has my number as well, hahaha) Despite that, we had a great talk – this version (without our disconnect) also leaves out our talk about period bows (which she uses for the Bach concerti on the disc) as well as some talk about technology. You can hear the longer version over at ClassicallyHip.

I did leave out our talk about politics, which she was very interested in, and said Europe is watching the election closely.

Mutter performs very soon in New York City on October 13th, and you can find the rest of her schedule here. She’ll be back at Carnegie Hall in April 2009 to premiere a Piano Trio by Previn with Lynn Harrell, and a celebration of Previn’s 80th birthday with the orchestra of St, Luke’s including his Violin Concerto and a Concerto for Violin and Viola.


Comment from Jerry Bowles
Time: October 4, 2008, 11:48 am

Let me guess who Anne-Sophie (and most of the rest of Europe) is rooting for in the election.

Comment from John Clare
Time: October 4, 2008, 2:46 pm

3 Guesses! er, make that 2, lol!
Reminds me of the ol, “There are three kinds of musicians…those who can count, and those who can’t!”
Really, it was the first thing she started talking about in the “sound check” and then at the end we probably spent 10 minutes talking politics, etc.

Comment from zeno
Time: October 6, 2008, 10:00 am

Interesting comments. Thank you.

While, personally, I would hope that Ms Mutter and most world class performing artists, as well as most artists in general, would support Obama over McCain (as I do), I sometimes wonder weather financial considerations lead famous and wealthy performing artists to support conservative political parties. (I would hope that not many Austrian artists are supporting the resurgent right-wing party [29%], but who knows.)

I could never determine with certainty whether, for example, Rostropovich, who minimized U.S. taxation to the hilt, felt more comfortable with the Kennedys (and the Democratic party patrons of the National Symphony — such as Obama-backer Zbigniew Brzezinski) or with Reagan and the Bushes. (There is also today the separate issue of Valery Gergiev, and his, perhaps required Russian/Ossetian ‘nationalism’.)

I also recall years ago being somewhat shocked to learn that prominent British painter Francis Bacon was a strongly right-wing Thatcherite.


(I just ordered the Ms Mutter’s new Gubaidulina concerto packaged with Michael Kaiser’s new arts management book. There appeared to be some momentary liquidity in my bank account….)