Ludwig van Beethoven - Violin Sonatas (Mutter, Orkis) [4CD] [FLAC+cue+scans]
To celebrate their ten years of collaboration, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis recorded all ten of Beethoven's sonatas for violin and piano. Unlike most other integral sets, these recordings were made during live performances. DG already had the incendiary interpretations of Gidon Kremer and Martha Argerich in its catalogue, but these new versions offer a completely different brand of volatility. The most striking example of Mutter and Orkis's radical approach can be heard in the famous "Kreutzer" Sonata, Op. 47. Violinist and pianist resort to any means possible -- including exceptionally flexible tempos and an enormous palette of tone colors -- in their quest to express the intensity of Beethoven's musical vision. Although the audiences are raptly silent, their presence clearly adds a palpable charge of electricity to these performances. The interpretive freedom of these performances may not appeal to all tastes, but those who value music-making as a re-creative art should find Mutter and Orkis's interpretations singularly satisfying. In any case, the daring duo defiantly counters some critics' complaints that today's performers lack personality.