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Reviews of Anne-Sophie Mutter’s DG-CD “In tempus praesens” by Gubaidulina

The second violin concerto “In tempus praesens,” given its world premiere by Anne-Sophie Mutter at the Lucerne Festival in the summer of 2007, has now also been issued as a CD first recording on the Deutsche Gramophon label (DG 477 7948). The issue has brought forth an international echo in the media. Here are the commentaries of several critics:

Groff Brown wrote the following in the British TIMES:

“When Anne-Sophie Mutter plays, you listen. With a violinist so sturdy in tone, intense in emotion, and steely in technique, there’s actually no choice. The main meal is Sofia Gubaidulina’s recent violin concerto In tempus praesens (‘In the Present Time’), written especially for Mutter and heard at the Barbican last year. As interesting and febrile as her classical playing is, it’s great to have the violinist back championing the new, especially a work as impressive as this.

Mutter is a wizard at being mercurial, and her quick changes during the music’s half-hour arc are breathtakingly dextrous. So is her dialogue with the orchestra. Bumblebee buzzings, rushing arpeggios, twinkling stars, the growlings of hell: the range of textures and emotions seems infinite, and they’re charted and layered with a communicative power found in few of Gubaidulina’s other recent works. “

Peter Quinn wrote in the “International Record Review:

„The work displays many of the traits typical of Gubaiudlinas Mature style. At the heart of the composer’s aesthetic lies the creative tension generated by the clash of opposing forces and the attempt to reconcile those forces, a tension which is made clear at the very outset of the concerto. (…) The central importance of religious expression and its wealth of potential symolism also play their part in the work – the soloist’s upper register representing heaven (happily for Mutter, whose playing in the upper register is a thing of wonder), trombones, tuba and contrabassoon represnenting the bowels of hell.”