Throughout her career, the music of Mozart has remained front and center for superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. In her recitals, she usually programs at least one work by the giant she calls “the crown of composers.”
That will be the case when Mutter returns to Orchestra Hall with pianist Lambert Orkis and cellist Daniel Müller-Schott for an SCP Chamber Music concert March 17. The program will consist of Mozart’s Violin Sonata in E Minor, K. 304; Ravel’s Violin Sonata; Currier’s Ghost Trio; Beethoven’s Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1 (Ghost), and Poulenc’s Violin Sonata.
Following are some of her thoughts on her favorite composer, along with musings on other topics:
Why mostly Mozart?: “His music is like an x-ray of the soul. It shows what is there, and what isn’t.”
More on Mozart: At the age of 6, she heard a sound that “made a huge impression on me — an old scratchy recording of Mozart played by the legendary pianist Clara Haskil.”
The Japanese influence on Wolfgang Amadeus: She compares Mozart’s duets for violin and piano to Japanese haiku. “They have very few notes, but they are of equal importance. There’s nothing to hide behind.”
Blaue augen: She attributes her fascination with a certain trait to her step-grandfather. “He was from East Germany and made children’s toys. He was great fun, a very caring man with the most beautiful blue eyes. I think my fascination for men with blue eyes came from him.”
A fondness for Luke Skywalker: “I got to meet him at the London premiere of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and felt like I was in heaven. It was cool to meet your childhood idol. I also fell in love with the American composer John Williams as a kid.”
But no Polynesia the Parrot or a Pushmi-Pullyu: An animal lover, the violinist recalls that one of her early teachers lived among a virtual menagerie. “As she had a poodle and a giant tortoise in the living room and rabbits in the garden, arriving for a lesson at her house was like going to see Dr. Dolittle.”
Climb every mountain: Performing is the easy part, according to the violinist. “For me, traveling and publicity are the most exhausting things, not the concerts or recordings themselves. Sometimes the pressure gets to me, but I find that a few days of walking in the Alps helps put everything into perspective.”
Props for her Polar Prize mate: She confesses that she was not familiar with rapper Grandmaster Flash and his music before they were named as 2019 Polar Music Prize laureates. “I have been learning about him, watching his videos,” she told Billboard magazine. “He really is the grand master of enhancing music in a very creative way.”
Crisp apple strudel? Maybe schnitzel with noodles? On personal site, she lists some of her favorite things: The color red. Flower, lily of the valley. Bird, the nightingale. Literary heroes, Oscar Wilde, W. Somerset Maugham, Thomas Mann, A. Tschechow, Heinrich Böll.
Top of the mark: She regards Schubert’s Fantasie in C Major as the greatest work ever written for violin and piano. “It’s so difficult and for each of us we have to be so together, so much in synch.”