This is one of 10 new vinyl releases by Universal Music Group from popular classical CD releases from the DGG and Decca catalog. I was first impressed with this reissue at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, so I hunted down a copy and confirmed it was not just the Lyra cartridge and VTL electronics talking. The two LP set is a collection of encores, the classical equivalent of pop tunes, with lots of Sarasate and of course Tartini’s Devils Trill. Mutter’s remarkable technique is not left to chance, miked closely and dwarfing the Vienna Philharmonic led by James Levine. But once you get over this pandering to marketing technique, and just let yourself go, these show stoppers are pure fun.
The recordings on the Allmusic Guide sum it all up—the professionals give it two stars, while users rate it five out of five. So you know which you are. If you don’t enjoy lollipops and only want serious full length musical excursions, take a pass. But for sheer musical and audio fun, this can’t be beat. I’ve sampled two of the releases from this series. These “Analogphonic Releases” are mastered at Emil Berliner Studios by Maarten de Boer and pressed by Pallas. The sound is impressive, although not quite as good as Diabolus in Musica, my reference DGG violin recording.