Anne-Sophie Mutter obviously had fun making this disc. In the quiet pieces (Massenet, Ysaÿe, Fauré) which serve as interludes, she plays with her usual exquisite taste. In the showpieces, though, she goes to town, sliding, scooping, exaggerating, & letting all the stops out. The gypsy inflection she uses in Ravel’s Tzigane & Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen is delicious. Even a ridiculous orchestral arrangement of Tartini’s Devil’s Trill Sonata is more amusing than offensive. With James Levine & the Berlin Philharmonic providing uncommonly alert & powerful support, & Deutsche Grammophon’s realistic sound, this disc is a real treat for violin lovers.
Phil Carmen (born Herbert Hofmann, February 14, 1953 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Swiss musician and producer of Canadian heritage. Carmen grew up in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and in Lucerne, Switzerland. In Lucerne, he went to the Conservatory, but later studied bookkeeping. In 1975, he decided to turn to music. With bassist Mike Thompson (born Marcel Galuzzi), he founded the duo Carmen & Thompson, playing especially country music.