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Hilary Hahn Violin Concertos



Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto;...


5 of 5 stars Day and Night February 20, 2003

"I like to put pieces together that aren't normally thought of as being together, pieces that stand well on their own but that also complement each other. Each brings out an aspect of the other that might not be brought out by a piece that's similar. But there is some reason why they relate to each other." - Hilary Hahn

Hilary Hahn seems to have a sweet innocence in her playing and yet at times she plays with such brilliance and sensitivity it is breathtaking.

The violin concertos were chosen because they were born in very different circumstances but are as esteemed today as they were at their debuts.

The Concerto I E Minor, Op. 63 was composed during the summer of 1844 when Mendelssohn was in need of a long summer's rest. Here, the finale is played more quickly than it has been in the recent past. The Mendelssohn concerto received its first performance in 1845 and Hahn breaths new life into a finely polished concerto. In this piece you feel as thought you can't catch your breath.

Shostakovich's Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 77 is much darker and was written in the summer of 1947. Shostakovich had to become more resilient under a government who did not see art for art's sake. There is a certain sorrow at the start of this piece and perhaps it is a reflection of the frustration Shostakovich must has felt as he had to conform his music to please the most pedestrian government censors.

In this piece you feel that you cannot take a breath. It is definitely more tense and yet it does break free occasionally in a jaunty way and even expresses a certain repressed joy just wanting to absolutely break free.

What a contrast. Hilary Hahn first learned the Mendelssohn concerto when she was only eleven. This has since become a staple of her repertoire. She considers both of these concertos to be cornerstones and could not imagine her concert life with out them.

Time magazine declared her "America's best young classical musician," and she does bring a fresh and beautiful interpretation to classical music. This CD follows the 2001 release of her critically acclaimed recording of the Brahms and Stravinsky Violin Concertos.

~The Rebecca Review



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