sleepy_bn | 12/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was cold outside. Chicago has been hit by a blizzard and everywhere is covered with snow. The winter just began yesterday.I got this DVD in the mail today, opened it and put it in my DVD-Rom. Suddenly, winter withdrew and "spring" has come! Of course, it's Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata.For thousands of Mutter fans, this DVD is godsend. It includes two programs of Beethoven's Sonata. The first one is the Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 5 in F major (Spring), 26 minutes. The second one is the Sonata for Piano and Violin No. 9 in A major (Kreutzer), 44 minutes. ASM is amazing and perfect in both programs, working together with her long-time partner, Lambert Orkis. The music is exuberant with color, emotion and energy. This was a live recording in Theatre of Champs-Elysees in France in 1998. For those Mutter fans who have been to an ASM concert (as I have), the format is very similar to those concerts. Mutter stands on the right side of Orkis and piano, closer to the stage. They work together perfectly, the dialogue of music flows like a stream in spring.A HUGE bonus is the documentary A Life With Beethoven. In this 58-minutes movie, Mutter tells us how she grew up to be a violinist, her early music training with Herbert von Karajan, and her interpretations of Beethoven's music. It is a documentary full of photos and video clips. Both sound and video quality are magnificent. I own one ASM DVD recored in early 1980s and it's quite dull. But this one is perfect in every perspective.I am lucky enough to find this DVD before it's released. For a Mutter fan like me, this is the ultimate collection that you don't want to miss."
KENNY NG | Vancouver, BC, Canada | 03/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For music lovers, it is trite knowledge that Beethoven's chamber music is as ingenious as his symphonies and concertos. In this DVD, one witnesses live Paris performances of two of Beethoven's most celebrated violin sonatas: the "Spring" (No. 5 in F Major) and the "Kreutzer" (No. 9 in A Major). I don't need to explain (to anyone culturally sophisticated enough to be reading this review) the sublimity of these two masterpieces.As for the performing artists, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is the serious interpreter while the "accompanying" pianist Lambert Orkis appears to be the more fun-loving one."A Life with Beethoven" is sort of a "behind the scenes" look at these two performances as they arrive in Paris by plane, practice the violin sonatas together, and chat about Beethoven and music history. This documentary also includes clips from what appears to be live performances, by the same duo, of Beethoven's other violin sonatas including the 10th. There are also brief clips from the 70s showing Ms. Mutter playing Beethoven's Violin Concerto under the masterful baton of the late Maestro Karajan."
Well worth it
Rod Saunders | Tulsa, Ok | 01/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great DVD. The video and audio are excellent. By the end you get a real insight into the world of Beethoven shared by Mutter and Orkis. Mutter's interpretation, of course, is open to debate among fellow violinists but her interpretation is well presented in this video. The storyline of the documentary is well thought out, beginning with Mutter and pianist Orkis arriving at the airport in Paris for the performance, then on to Mutter's review of her experience as a teenager performing the Beethoven violin concerto with Herbert Von Karajan, followed by a visit to a music museum where a gloved ASM displays for the viewer the original manuscripts of the sonatas. (Unlike Mozart, Beethoven's originals had numerous corrections and revisions throughout). Interspersed throughout the movie are video clips and still photos of Mutter throughout her life and an interview with a french violinist whose advice she sought on purchasing her current Strad, along with glimpses of Mutter and Orkis discussing their shared musical insights and historical tidbits. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. One final note, if your TV set's proportions are standard as mine is you'll need to make sure to adjust the display of the DVD or ASM won't be fully displayed during her performances."