Higdon & Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos
Hilary Hahn, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra & Vasily Petrenko
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Another OK offering from Hilary Yawn.
This offering shows Ms Hahn in her usual offering of juxtaposing two works from differnt eras. Surprising as it seems these two works share more in common then they do apart.
The Higdon concerto was written for Ms Hahn and subsequently won the pulitzer shortly after. I'm not sure certain why this was the case because she has written better works in the past. Higdon's work is shocking in that it is a very conventional work. It's almost a thowback to a time gone by. True she's never really done anything groundbreaking with respect to sound and form, but she does just fine filling new wine into old wineskins. Higdon manages to find ways to write well shaped works in the old way. Hahn takes full advatage plays these with ease and assertiveness. This may not be the best concerto of the year but one suspects that it may have enough to be played often very well into the future.
The Tchiakovsky reading by Hahn is good but is a little too studied. It lacks the spark and hang-on-the-edge-of-your-seats abandon that Janine Jansen brought to the table about a year ago. Still if one wants an updated recording of an old interpretation one wouldn't be put out by getting this.
The RLP under Petrenko brings the needed warmth and support needed dispite the occational sluggishness in the harder sections. All in all this would get a passing recomendation. -Bz
I heard her play the Tchaikovsky concerto live tonight. I was moved with the beauty of the sound. The crispness of her playing and the sheer sound she can create with her violin and her movement with the music touched me. Fantastic. Incredible talent. Enjoy. Buy the CD and do everything in your power to get to one of the cities she is visiting to perform. Well worth your time.
Hahn Plays Higdon
Hilary Hahn delights us once again this time with her sensual performance of Higdon's violin concerto written for Hahn. The concerto itself has a multitude of technically dazzling passages interspersed throughout the concerto. 1776,the best track of the concerto, starts with beautiful harmonics on the violin echoed between the soloist and the first violinist. And there are her trade mark rapid fire scale passages. But between passages of virtuosity there lacks cohesion and focus. At times this concerto reminds me of concertos of the Romantic Age then it comes roaring into the 21st century sounding like a chase scene movie soundtrack. Still it is brilliantly played by Hahn and well worth a listen.
Born: November 27, 1979 in Lexington, VA
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s