John Williams started writing his first violin concerto, one of his earliest concert works, as a memorial to his wife actress Barbara Ruick after she died in 1974.
Now, after almost 50 years, comes a musical tribute to another woman in his life, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and his second violin concerto, which was given its world premiere performance at the Tanglewood Festival over the weekend and which is available to stream on Deutsche Grammophon’s DG Stage.
Williams conducts the Boston Symphony Orchestra for this three-movement work, a piece that should immediately blaze its way into the violin repertoire, for this is truly stellar music from a composer who knows all about stars.
“I can only think of this piece as being about Anne-Sophie Mutter, and the violin itself,” Williams says. “While writing, I recalled her flair for an infectious rhythmic swagger that is particularly her own.”
The pair have built a potent musical relationship over recent years with their Yellow Label album Across The Starsenjoying major success....