The complete elegance of the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter🎻

I’ll never forget this concert because it was the first time in my life that I got to witness the presence of someone who has the sort of extremely rare world-class elegance and charisma. I knew beforehand that she is very stylish, but I didn’t quite expect to see the level of elegance...

Anne-Sophie Mutter stands with her chamber ensemble on stage, wearing a pink evening gown.
Anne-Sophie Mutter and her chamber ensemble Mutter's Virtuosi at the Turku Music Festival in August 2023 © Elle Palmu
I’ll never forget this concert because it was the first time in my life that I got to witness the presence of someone who has the sort of extremely rare world-class elegance and charisma. I knew beforehand that she is very stylish, but I didn’t quite expect to see the level of elegance that was obvious from the moment she walked on stage.
The concert's program:
- A. Vivaldi: Concerto for three violins F Major RV 551
- J. S. Bach: Violin Concerto A minor BWV 1041
- André Previn: Nonet (2014) (Finnish premiere)
- J. S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 G Major BWV 1048
- Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint Georges: Violin Concerto A Major Op. 5/2

Finland, the city of Turku, the 23rd of August 2023, at 7 pm. The concert hall was filled with anticipation and my eyes were glued to the stage door to see when the performers would come out.

The moment came and the world-renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and her chamber ensemble Mutter’s Virtuosi came on stage. I had waited for this concert for so long, and my expectations were quite high, but it turned out to be maybe even better than I had imagined it to be. It wasn't just Mutter's elegance, but the whole concert experience made me forget about the mundane things and at the same time I got so inspired by music, art and life in general. The performers truly deserved the standing ovations and every clap, cheer and "bravo" that we gave them as an audience.

The music

One of the reasons why this was such a high quality concert is the level of concentration that each of the performers had on the music. It was so captivating to see, especially from Mutter, how present she was in the moment. I felt like she was using the power of every cell in her body to perform the music well, while having fun and enjoying the pieces they were performing. Then again you could see how experienced she is as a performer and even the effortlessness of her playing position indicates how natural it is for her to play the violin.

Thinking of the program of the concert, they performed some very nice pieces by Vivaldi and Bach, but the Violin Concerto in A Major op. 5/2 by Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–1799) stuck to my mind the most. I hadn't herd of the composer (with a very long name!) before and the piece was so much fun to listen to. Here you can read some information about the interesting and unorthodox life story of Joseph Bologne.

The crowning moment of the evening was when Mutter played John Williams' theme from the film The Long Goodbye as the second, and the last encore. If you want to listen to the piece, here's a video of her performing it in Berlin with a full orchestra with Williams himself conducting. It is an incredibly touching piece (even though I have no idea what the film is about😀) and it was evident that we heard such nuances and depth of interpretation that only a violinist of her caliber and talent can execute. I don't think there were many dry eyes in the concert hall after she stopped playing.

Mutter's appearance

I'd say the most remarkable feat of Mutter's look that night was that the pink velvet evening gown could've looked tacky quite easily, but instead she looked like elegance itself. I kept thinking that had she had different shoes or more attention-grabbing accessories or her hair more made up, she would've probably looked silly. But due to the facts that she had more muted pink heels in suede (maybe from the brand Högl), with only a thin platform and a not too high a heel, and that her small sparkly earrings were the only pieces of jewellery that she wore that drew attention, she looked fresh and appropriately youthful for a "femme d'un certain âge" (Engl. "a woman of a certain age") like her. I also wondered if the vibrant pink color of the gown was either consciously or unconsciously a reference to the recent Barbie-mania caused by Greta Gerwig's film.😅

Overall, her appearance was what I expected because it included at least two of her style trademarks: her long hair loose, but nicely styled, and a strapless, bandeau-shaped top of her gown. Of course you can't ignore the fact that she has a quite slim and athletic build. It must be of help to her to be in good shape especially because she tours the world, plays a lot of concerts and practices a lot.

Mutter as a performer

There is no doubt about it that Mutter has that indefinable something, the charisma and talent, that draws the audience in even if she'd just stand still on stage. But in addition to that, I'm quite sure she's learned to operate in a certain way on stage during her career because she has seen what works for audiences in different parts of the world. And now that she has performed for so long, it's possible she does all of the things that work mostly automatically, and that's why it looks effortless. All of her nonverbal communication and actions on stage contribute to the perception of charisma in the minds of the members of the audience, and thus, she is able to win the audience over (of course by her extraordinary violin playing as well).

It's clear that at least she won me over during the concert. Her elegance and charisma was just so evident and wonderful to watch. It's funny that I've known about her for many years already, and I've also known she's very stylish, but only now that I saw her live and witnessed her elegance, I've started to research more of her work. I've now watched and listened to some of her interviews (even her German interviews, even though I don't understand basically any German😆), and little by little I feel like I start to know what her elegance consists of and which things have contributed to the success of her career. I just can't wait to learn more about and from her!

Alright, enough about me raving about this concert and Mutter for now. This picture that we took after the concert pretty much sums up the rest of my emotions that I can't verbalize.🤪

Elle xx

My enthusiastic mood after the concert :P © Elle Palmu