Bach: Violin Concertos
Hilary Hahn, Jeffrey Kahane & Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
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Run, Hillary, Run!
This recording affected me so much that I decided to write my first review at Apple Store... Clearly, the sound of an amazing instrument (most likely a Stradivarius) in the hands of a talented, strong- but also rather impatient young lady... Yes, I have heard a lot of sounds so far in my lifetime, but I have never heard anyone play the Bach violin solo so fast! What a rush! So much acceleration (tempo varies between Presto & Prestissimo) and so little control. The performers never took the time to step back, encompass, feel, understand, think, contemplate & reflect the stunning beauty, maturity, equilibrium & aesthetics of these baroque concertos... For some reason, this interpretation reminded me of a high speed roller coaster ride. But if I wanted high speed, I could have listened to techno trance or hard rock. When I listen to classical / baroque / pre-classical music, I expect harmony and balance. Rebuild and recover from the stress of everyday life. So why bring the stress into Bach music? Why ride a scooter inside the Louvre? You can "kind of see" some of the amazing art around you, and "kind of feel" the atmosphere- but it goes by sooo fast... When it's over, in no time, you find yourself standing, with the head spinning- can't really remember... "What happened?" "Ah, yes- Mr. Kahane & Ms. Hahn are done playing... Good!"
This woman, Hilary Hahn, is just what the doctor ordered. Her quick, strong interpretations of these classics is absolutely refreshing. In another review, someone likened these interpretations to a rollercoaster ride. (In a derogatory way, of course.) And there is a sense of immediacy in her pacing. But I have to tell you, I LOVE IT! If you don't want your heart to quicken a little, listen to a nice quiet piano sonata. Frankly, I love when Bach is played WITH SOME BALLS. And Hilary's obviously got-em. Technically, she's flawless. GO HILARY!!!
Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra struggle mightily to make music here, but it is clear Hilary Hahn spent much more time learning Paganini than Bach. A thoughtful, and mature musician she is not. While she relentlessly hammers away at the notes with impressive technique and cartoon-ish tempi, she finds none of the poetry or beauty of Bach's music. This interpretation should be accompanied by a healthy dose of ibuprofen because it is guaranteed to induce a headache.
Born: November 27, 1979 in Lexington, VA
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s