It is unashamedly a fun record, and even Mutter has rarely played with such freedom and warmth, obviously enjoying these display pieces every bit as much as the repertory concertos and new works that are her staple diet. The gipsy flavours of the two Sarasate pieces, as well as of Ravel's "Tzigane", sound even more exotic than usual, and rarely have I heard the brilliant sound section, with its Hungarian fire, sound quite so exciting with a stunning accelerando at the end. The tender repose which she then brings to the Massenet ''Meditation'' is thus all the more affecting.
Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy, which provides the whole disc with its title, is as high-powered as the Ravel [...].
[...] with James Levine and the Vienna Philharmonic providing Mutter with comparably weighty and committed accompaniment, I have to say her performance thrusts home [...] powerfully."