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Bruce Surtees
The WholeNote, March 2009

A new DVD entitled Herbert von Karajan Memorial Concert features The Berlin Philharmonic, Seiji Ozawa conducting with soloist Professor Anne-Sophie Mutter recorded in Vienna’s Grosser Musikvereinssaal on the 28 January 2008. The program opens with the Beethoven Violin Concerto followed by an encore of the Sarabande from Bach’s Partita No.2 for solo violin and finally the Tchaikovsky Sixth Symphony (Medici Arts 2072514 for Blu-ray; 2072518 for DVD). All three works are in the stratosphere of superlative interpretations and performances, quite faultless, I thought. The deeply felt performance of the symphony, played without any histrionics, immediately joins the very short list of the greatest on record. Frankly, I didn’t believe that Ozawa had it in him. Mutter has never played better or more brilliantly than she does here, employing the Fritz Kreisler cadenza in the first movement. Her fans, as well as lovers of the concerto will be beside themselves. All are abetted by the best sound ever accorded these pieces. The camera work demonstrates how far the art has progressed over the years, in this case seen from the Blu-ray disc. If you are yet undecided about Blu-ray then this may well be the tipping point for you.

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9:31:28 PM, 9 October 2015
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