- Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
- Romance for violin & orchestra No. 1 in G major, Op. 40
- Romance for violin & orchestra No. 2 in F major, Op. 50
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Anne-Sophie Mutter was just a teenager when she first recorded Beethoven's Violin Concerto with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic. It was an impressive account that still sounds fresh and satisfying. But the violinist has continued to grow, delving deeper into the staples of the repertoire, and this live recording finds her taking even more chances -- using greater rhythmic freedom and intensifying her expression, while still respecting the music's classical proportions. The New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur is a noble partner, accompanying with finely chiseled playing. Beethoven is Masur's specialty, and he, too, digs deep into the emotional core of the music, balancing grandeur and intimacy with marvelous assurance. The two Romances make fine bonuses, their sweet melodies performed with affection without making them seem too soft, as they sometimes can. The sound quality is immediate and appropriately weighty. A recording to savor.