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Mutter, Orkis Explore the Genius of Mozart

To mark the composer's 250th birthday this year, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and pianist Lambert Orkis have been on an all-Mozart sonata concert tour. They also have released a four-CD set of 16 Mozart sonatas.

Mutter and Orkis marvel at the accomplishment of the young Mozart, who started writing the duets for violin and piano before he turned 8.

Mutter likens the works to Japanese haiku.

"They have very few notes, but they are of equal importance," she says. "There's nothing to hide behind."

The sonatas, even the earliest one, show an uncanny understanding of style.

"He had a God-given maturity that he was able to enhance, but had nothing to do with the years he had already lived," Mutter says.

The two musicians talk about Mozart's letters, which helped them understand the sonatas, and other strategies they used in the complex task of making Mozart sound simple.

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Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.