10 Anne Sophie MutterVivace – A Film by Sigrid Faltin
Anne-Sophie Mutter
SWR Classic SWR19132DVD (naxos.com/CatalogueDetail/?id=SWR19132DVD)

World-famous violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is 60 years old, a widow of two illustrious beloved husbands, an avid tennis player (her icon is Roger Federer) and in terrific physical and psychical shape. So, when award-winning German filmmaker Sigrid Faltin decided to create a documentary about her she chose to portray Mutter in an outdoor Alpine setting, in a long mountain hike near Kitzbuhel, Austria walking side by side with the filmmaker and her little dachshund, talking spontaneously about anything that comes to mind.

The most important feature of the film is her place in society represented by a few of her favorite people, her friends. They area an eminent group including Federer, German composer Jörg Widmann, Daniel Barenboim, who conducted for her in Salzburg, celebrity composer/conductor John Williams who wrote a concerto for her, her accompanist Lambert Orkis and a magician from New York, Steve Cohen. Cohen performs a little magic trick of tearing up a dollar bill into little pieces, puts it into his mouth, takes it out, blows at it and it becomes whole again, perfectly intact. Wow!

In the film there are excerpts of her playing at various ages. She was a child prodigy and could play Paganini caprices at age five or a Hungarian Dance at breakneck speed. She was discovered by the legendary Herbert von Karajan and became his protégé. This gave an immense boost and catapulted her into world fame. Today she owns two priceless Stradivari violins and has given concerts all over the world, gathering many awards and decorations. Even played at the White House for Barack Obama. Her discography is simply astounding, mostly with DGG, but also with Sony and EMI. 

But fame didn’t spoil her. She is a passionate supporter of new music, introducing many new works and sharing her considerable fortune to help young musicians and many charities. Now she is touring the world with her own chamber group, Mutter Virtuosi, comprising amazing young string players. What a delight to listen to them. Her motto is FORWARD! It just about sums her up.

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