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Concert: Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra at Proms; Previn / Mutter, The Times

The Times 1 September

13/09/2004 :: The Oslo Philharmonic’s concert featured André Previn as conductor, composer and husband of the soloist. Their centrepiece was another, unnecessary London performance of Previn’s torpor-inducing new Violin Concerto, about which Anne-Sophie Mutter has been so defensive in interview. Understandably so: no one likes to have their wedding presents criticised, yet it would take intimate involvement not to find it long and meandering. Mutter played it with all the polish for which she is renowned.

Previn’s tenure in Oslo is looking like a bad mistake for the orchestra, which not long ago was regarded as one of the greats. In Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune the normally sensual creature cried out for a little Viagra, and in a bombastic account of Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony it sounded like a third-division band.

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