Mutter and conductor Herbert von Karajan have a long history with the Beethoven Violin Concerto. She began learning it in her mid-teens with Karajan, performing it first under his direction when she was 16. The two worked together until his death.
"I learned to study — first of all — the score very carefully, not only the violin voice," explained Mutter in a documentary about her journey with Beethoven’s violin concerto and other works.
"Secondly, I learned much about the complexity in Beethoven’s writing — this is especially true for the violin concerto, which is written in such an interwoven way between the orchestra and the violin — that it is tremendously important to know each other’s importance at any second of the piece," she advised.
"My one year study [of the piece] was at last fruitful, the recording with Herbert von Karajan took place in Berlin. Though, we kind of regretted this early recording later on because after having played it together at least 20 times, we both realized how much more under the skin we came with every performance.
"And especially with me getting more mature and also playing other repertoire, it was apparent that the first recording I did of the Beethoven Violin Concerto — as was with many other recordings at that very early age — it is like looking at a snapshot in my family album, it has nothing to do with what I would do today," she concluded.