Saturday, March 9, 2013

A new musical cosmos

Anne-Sophie MutterManfred SapperAnne-Sophie Mutter on Witold Lutoslawski

The world-famous violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter remembers going through agony before the premiere of Chain II. She had to struggle with the strange new hieroglyphics in Witold Lutoslawski's score, but even today the marvellous sounds and colours of his music still enchant her. Lutoslawski opened the door for Mutter onto the language of contemporary classical music and new freedom as a performer. She disdains any schematic divisions of music into tendencies, eras or national schools, and pleads the case for music that unfolds from silence. "We really need such music, since the world is very loud indeed!"
Manfred Sapper: Frau Mutter, you have just come back from your Asia tour, where you played Beethoven and Mendelssohn, but also Wolfgang Rihm'sLichtes Spiel and Sebastian Currier's Time Machines. How is modern music received in China and Taiwan?

Anne-Sophie Mutter: Very well indeed. The audience there is well informed, and they are just as interested in contemporary music as audiences in Europe or the USA. There's really no difference.

MS: You never had any contemporary music in your repertoire when you started out. You won your spurs with Mozart and Beethoven.

ASM: True, but I can still remember the very day I gave my first world premiere; it was 31 January 1986. I was playing with the Collegium Musicum, with Paul Sacher conducting, and the piece was none other than Witold Lutoslawski's Chain II
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