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  Deutsche Grammophon -
  477 572-1
  Carmen Fantasie - Anne-Sophie Mutter
  Ravel, Sarasate, Massenet, Fauré, Tartini, Wieniawski

Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin)
Wiener Philharmoniker
James Levine (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Orchestral
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Related titles: 5

Reviews: 4 show all

Review by Allan1us October 15, 2005 (6 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
A very pleasing recital by a starry violinist and equally starry orchestra. Despite the obvious extremely commercial approach to this music as a "product" it is still a very enjoyable disc with very good playing. Rather like enjoying a box of excellent rich chocolates whose presentation cannot be faulted. Excellent surround sound.

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Review by Whitehall April 6, 2007 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
The performances are great - wonderful content and an enlightened choice of program material. Ms. Mutter's playing is spirited and entertaining although she might embellish more than other violinists but that extra wiggle is a valid musical choice here. A musically most enjoyable album.

However, I paid about 30% extra for the hybrid SACD version. Opening the packaging and reading the lining notes I see where DGG recorded this in PCM at 44.1 kHz and 24 bits. That is not much better technically than regular CD and it sounds it! I compared the stereo SACD version here against the CD track and against Ms. Mutter's recent CD box set of Mozart's Violin Sonatas. Frankly there was some improvement with the SACD track but in all cases the violin still has those irritating PCM artifacts of choppy decimation. It can sound "wobbly" and "hacked" even when it shouldn't. The violin is difficult to reproduce on CD as is, to a lesser extent, the piano.

Sony's "Appalachian Journey" recorded in DSD and on a single layer SACD stands in opposition to the above as a much smoother method of reproducing violins and strings.

While this is a very enjoyable recording, DGG managed to extract significantly more money from me yet did not deliver significantly better sound. Maybe the multichannel track is worth it to you but not to me. This overpromising on quality until it is too late for the buyer is the reason I quickly ditched DVD-A. If the PCM recording data had been transparent to me I would have not bought the SACD version.

My recommendation is to pay the premium only for the MCH track.

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Review by Julien October 24, 2006 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is a very commercial music choice, maybe, and I am sure one of the best selling SACDs here in China.
But this performance is fantastic! I don't usually like everything she does, but this is definitely Mutter at her best playing some of the musics I feel suit her best. I love all the titles, still maybe I have favorites: Tzigane (magnificent music of course), and Thais (divinely played). The recording does plainly justice to her incredibly rich tone (and do I need to say how much better this is compared to the CD version? ), and if you want to feel how great the acoustics of the Musikverein's big hall in Vienna are, just listen to this recording.

This is the recording that made me realise how important a role the hall acoustics can play in the quality of a recording. But anyway, buy this for Mutter, this recording places her among the greats.

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Works: 6  

Gabriel Fauré - Berceuse for Violin and Piano, Op. 16
Jules Massenet - Meditation from Thais
Maurice Ravel - Tzigane "Rhapsodie de concert", M. 76
Pablo de Sarasate - Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20
Giuseppe Tartini - Violin Sonata in G minor, B:g5 "The Devil's trill"
Henryk Wieniawski - Legende, Op. 17