“Half the repertoire is extremely familiar — Bach’s solo violin concertos in A minor and E major — and half is totally unfamiliar — Sofia Gubaidulina’s concerto for violin and orchestra called “In tempus prasens.” Mutter had recorded Bach’s concertos 25 years earlier with Salvatore Accardo and the English Chamber Orchestra. Those performances were lovely and lyrical, but plain vanilla readings; these performances, while no less lovely, are much more expressive and dramatic. As always, Mutter’s tone is silken and her technique impeccable. But now her interpretations are much freer.
Mutter, who commissioned and encouraged the [Gubaidulina] concerto, delivers a premiere recording that is, for all intents and purposes, definitive. Her soaring tone, smooth legato, and subtly nuanced colors make the most of the work’s opportunities for virtuoso display, but her clear-headed, warm-hearted interpretation makes the most of the work’s opportunities for emotional and spiritual growth without ever tipping over into histrionics. Accompanied by the masterful Valery Gergiev leading the consummately professional London Symphony Orchestra and recorded in translucent digital sound, Mutter’s “In tempus prasens” is not only new and different; it is clearly important and those listeners interested either in Mutter or in contemporary music will be obliged to hear this disc.”–All Music Guide