Anne-Sophie Mutter

The Club Album: Live from Yellow Lounge

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The vogue for performing classical music in nightclubs has seemed to recede in its original homeland, the U.S., but not so in Europe, with the icily perfect Anne-Sophie Mutter as the somewhat unlikely representative of the trend. Mutter, who was apparently inspired to try this by her 20-something children, shows why she's one of the world's greats, adapting to the demands of the medium, and by all appearances having a lot of fun. Mutter and a handpicked group called Mutter's Virtuosi, featuring the superb Mahan Esfahani on harpsichord, essentially offer a program of familiar late Romantic tunes that might have been heard in the nightclub's nearest analogue of a century ago, the Viennese café, spicing it up with syncopated material (Gershwin and the Jamaican Rumba) on one hand, and Vivaldi and Bach on the other. Mutter pushes herself into tempo extremes she might not ordinarily try, and she gets a big cheer from the crowd with a couple of movements of the Vivaldi Four Seasons and, more unexpectedly, two Bach concerto movements. The whole thing has a loose, enthusiastic feel with the flavor of Mutter showing the youngsters what she can do, and it may be that she's hit on a more promising direction for such releases than her much younger American counterparts. Recommended and fun.

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