Out West Arts: Performance at the end of the world

Opera, music, theater, and art in Los Angeles and beyond

Blue, the color suits you.

April 09, 2008

Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lambert Orkis
Photo : mine 2008

It’s official. There is no longer any reason to bother reading the LA Weekly.

Here’s hoping we get to read the last redeeming asset of that woe begotten periodical: the music critic Alan Rich, in a smarter, and more practical, on-line format soon.

But, no matter how, by whom, or in what format it is written about, the music in Los Angeles continues. Take last night. Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Lambert Orkis arrived in town on her current U.S. Tour for a rather amazing performance of the Brahms’ Violin Sonatas. She arrived in perhaps the most fetching frock I’ve seen on any classical music performer in awhile. You know the one. It’s on the multitude of Mozart recordings she’s released recently. It’s even more impressive live, neither overly slinky or ridiculously frumpy. She looked like one gorgeous woman easily in control of her audience.

I talk about the dress, but it’s her playing that was the true wonder. I found her phrasing particularly lovely, and even if her attack seemed a tad murky in a few spots in the first piece, she was a force to be reckoned with. Her playing was neither overly dramatic nor needlessly showy, maintaining the perfect amount of restraint throughout. The Brahms became surprisingly touching at times. But, just in case one thought she couldn’t deliver the drama when needed, she performed – count ‘em – four encores, including three of the Hungarian Dances.

No, not shabby at all.


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