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Encore Series: Violin Recital by Anne-Sophie Mutter
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Information
Programme
Programme
Ticketing
Ticketing
Pre-concert Talk
Pre-concert Talk

Due to overwhelming response, there are 10 tickets of box seats with restricted view ($250 for each ticket) available for sale at the URBTIX Box Office of Hong Kong Cultural Centre from 10am on the day of the concert.  Each person can purchase a maximum of two tickets per transaction on a first come, first served basis.

 

Mutter's Beethoven: Overcoming inertia

William Lau

Mutter and her long-time partner Orkis will be making a much-anticipated return to Hong Kong in November with a performance of an all-Beethoven programme as part of the celebrations commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre.  The pair has been partners for 31 years, and this time they will be performing Beethoven's Violin Sonata Nos. 4, 5 (“Spring”) and 9 (“Kreutzer”) – a warm-up for the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth in the coming year.

Exactly 40 years ago, in 1979, Mutter collaborated with Karajan and the Berliner Philharmoniker to record Beethoven's Violin Concerto.  It was her second album with Karajan.  In the same year, they recorded Beethoven's Triple Concerto, with Mark Zeltser as pianist, and the 24-year-old Yo-Yo Ma as cellist.

Mutter’s Beethoven recordings include his complete works for string trio and the complete violin sonatas.  Beethoven will, of course, play a major role in her performances next year.  Besides concertos and sonatas, Mutter will also be collaborating with young musicians to perform his chamber works, including piano trios and string quartets.  The girl on those album covers from back in the days has grown to be a violin doyenne, founding the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation to support young music talents.

Of Mutter’s live performances, it was her recital in 2011 – also held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre – that made the deepest impression on me.  I had expected a high level of virtuosity from a soloist with a strong footing on the international music scene, but I was still amazed by Mutter’s preoccupation with the perfect sounds, even surpassing her peers on the top rung of the music world.

I was also stunned by her frenetic adherence to the written note.  It was more than “faithful” because she would go out of her way to do it.  Very few will care if she is following the score to a T, but she does it anyway.  This would make a big difference when playing Beethoven's violin sonatas.

Mutter released Beethoven: The Violin Sonatas back in 1998, when the market for CDs was much bigger than it is now.  From what I remembered, the recording attracted much attention in Hong Kong and had an impressive circulation.

I was young and inexperienced back then, and didn’t care much for the album.  Listening to it again after 20 years, I realise that not only does this recording stand the test of time, but it can also be considered a model for future music lovers and musicians.  I am certain that fans who are used to listening to music passively, or hold their favoured recordings as the standard, will find Mutter's renditions of Beethoven’s violin sonatas to be pretentious, strange and awkward.

Going back to the score, you will notice that Beethoven is challenging the performers and listeners to get out of the comfort zone and choose the difficult over the glib-and-easy.  In this recording, Mutter complies with Beethoven’s numerous “awkward” requirements, with all the tricky phrasing and rhythms, and the sudden changes in volume and tempo.  The so-called “fluid and natural” playing is just another word for being sloppy.

Another feature of Beethoven’s violin sonatas is the violin and piano’s echoings of each other.  A difficult passage for the violin played by the piano can make for a mess, but Orkis’ performance in this recording shows that he is indeed Mutter’s partner in seeking the ultimate sound, and his pianistic skills have been hugely underestimated.

Violin Sonata No. 4 is the sister piece to the “Spring” sonata, and its restlessness makes for an interesting contrast with the latter.  The “Spring” sonata and the “Kreutzer” sonata may be familiar to many ears, and if you think you already know them by heart, I will wait and see if Mutter and Orkis’ more-than-faithful interpretation will make an impact on your appreciation habits.

 

William Lau is a music critic who publishes his concert reviews on Hong Kong Economic Journal and Takungpao.

English translation provided by KCL Language Consultancy Ltd.

 

An all-Beethoven Programme

Sonata No. 4 in A minor, Op. 23

Sonata No. 5 in F, Op. 24, “Spring”

Sonata No. 9 in A, Op. 47, “Kreutzer”

 

The performance will run for about 2 hours including a 20 minute intermission. 

Audience is strongly advised to arrive punctually.  Latecomers will only be admitted during the intermission or at a suitable break.  The presenter reserves the right to change the artists and programme.

 

 

DATE
VENUE
PRICE
27.11.2019 (Wed)
20:00
Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
location
$880, $700, $550, $400, $250
DATE
27.11.2019 (Wed)
20:00
PRICE
$880, $700, $550, $400, $250

Tickets available from  10 August (Sat)  at URBTIX outlets, on internet, mobile app and credit card telephone booking.

 

Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first come, first served basis).

 

“Great Music” Package Discount

For each purchase of standard tickets for ‘Violin Recital by Anne-Sophie Mutter’ and ‘Sir András Schiff and Cappella Andrea Barca’ (15/11 and 16/11 concerts), the following concession applies:

10% off for any 2 concerts; 15% off for all 3 concerts.

 

 “Great Music” Group Booking Discount

For each purchase of standard tickets for ‘Violin Recital by Anne-Sophie Mutter’ and ‘Sir András Schiff and Cappella Andrea Barca’ (15/11 and 16/11 concerts), the following concession applies:

10% off for each purchase of 4 – 9 standard tickets; 15% off for 10 – 19 standard tickets; 20% off for 20 or more standard tickets.

 

Patrons can enjoy only one of the above discount offers.

 

Programme Enquiries: 2268 7321

Ticketing Enquiries:3761 6661

Credit Card Telephone Booking:2111 5999

Internet Booking:www.urbtix.hk

DATE
VENUE
PRICE
27.11.2019 (Wed)
18:45
Foyer Reception Area, 4/F, Auditoria Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Free Admission
DATE
27.11.2019 (Wed)
18:45
PRICE
Free Admission

The Celebrated Violin Sonatas (Conducted in Cantonese)

Speaker: Albert Ho (Lecturer of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts)

Admission free on a first come, first served basis.

Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
  • date27.11.2019 (Wed) 20:00
  • price$880, $700, $550, $400, $250
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DATE
VENUE
PRICE
27.11.2019 (Wed)
20:00
Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
location
$880, $700, $550, $400, $250
DATE
27.11.2019 (Wed)
20:00
PRICE
$880, $700, $550, $400, $250
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