New York 2010 [no label, 2CD]
World premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s Lichtes Spiel: Ein Sommerstück

Live at the Avery Fisher Hall, New York, NY; November 18, 2010. Broadcast December 2, 2010. Very good FM.

When it comes to New Year’s Day Concert, there is probably no finer performance or tradition as the one put up by the Vienna Philharmonic, which has been entertaining music fans since 1939. Short of mustering our own concert, here is German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter to help usher in 2011 (sort of).

As this season’s artist in residence at the New York Philharmonic, Mutter also performed the premiere of Wolfgang Rihm’s “Lichtes Spiel: Ein Sommerstück” (“Light Game: A Summer Piece”), ably conducted by Michael Francis in his Philharmonic debut.

Thanks to mdshrk1 for recording and sharing the tracks.

Disc 1
Conductor: Anne-Sophie Mutter; Soloist: Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Track 01. Announcer 7:38
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 1 in B flat, K.207
The mood of this concerto is joyous. It is rather simple in form, with good melodies. But those listeners alert to the usual subtlety of Mozart will notice, for instance, that the accompaniment to the violin’s first melody in the concerto is really quite monotonous. The work is not very frequently performed in concert.

Track 02. Allegro moderato 6:52
Track 03. Adagio 8:18
Track 04. Presto 5:37

Track 05. Announcer 2:44
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K. 216
This is arguably Mozart’s most popular violin concerto; it has neither the boisterous enthusiasm of No. 4 in D nor the electric virtuosity of No. 5 in A – it is a far more intimate work than either of those – but the sweetness and ingratiating simplicity of its melodies are surpassed by virtually nothing Mozart ever wrote.

Track 06. Allegro 9:53
Track 07. Adagio 9:37
Track 08. Rondo: Allegro 6:26

Disc 2
Track 09. Announcer 3:21
Rihm: Lichtes Spiel (World Premiere)
Conductor: Michael Francis
Wolfgang Rihm is one of today’s foremost composers having created more than 350 stage, orchestral, chamber, choral, vocal, and piano works. The orchestra for Lichtes Spiel is reminiscent of a Mozart-style ensemble. “I wanted to write a transparent orchestral movement… something light, but not ‘light-weight’.”

Track 10. Rihm: Lichtes Spiel (World Premiere) 17:00

Conductor: Anne-Sophie Mutter; Soloist: Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Track 11. Announcer 1:42
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K.
After a sublime Adagio, Mozart gives us a taste of Turkish music in the last movement (very fashionable and a source of fascination in the 18th century), thus accounting for the concerto’s nickname [“Turkish”]. Watch for special effects from the low strings playing with the backs of their bows to imitate the sound of drums beaten with wooden sticks, as the Janissaries (elite soldiers of the Ottoman Empire) go marching past. The concerto ends with a delightful and unexpectedly understated cadence.

Track 12. Allegro aperto 9:28
Track 13. Adagio 11:04
Track 14. Rondo: Tempo di minuetto 8:37

Total Time: 108:23

Click here for the tracks.