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Bach: Violin Concertos
     

Bach: Violin Concertos

4.7 10
by Hilary Hahn
 

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Bach's music holds fast to tradition yet remains innovative and inimitable. How appropriate, then, to hear Hilary Hahn's interpretations, which are born from age-old conventions yet are also thoroughly modern. With fleet tempos, the young violinist has clearly kept up with scholarship on Baroque performance practice -- which is, ironically

Overview

Bach's music holds fast to tradition yet remains innovative and inimitable. How appropriate, then, to hear Hilary Hahn's interpretations, which are born from age-old conventions yet are also thoroughly modern. With fleet tempos, the young violinist has clearly kept up with scholarship on Baroque performance practice -- which is, ironically, what makes her readings sound so modern -- yet the very beauty of her tone and the songfulness of her approach remind one of the great players of the past century. The slow movement of the A Minor Concerto, for example, is lovingly caressed and richly colored, though the flowing tempo is held firmly throughout. The faster movements, rhythmically vigorous and sinewy-toned, provide strong contrast. With lean, light-textured playing from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Jeffrey Kahane, the result is sleek and stylishly expressive -- Bach for the 21st century.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Hilary Hahn is not regarded as an early music star, by any means, but her recordings of J.S. Bach's violin concertos with Jeffrey Kahane and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra are somewhat in the spirit of historically informed performances, and listeners who might have expected more mainstream interpretations may be pleasantly surprised. Some of the expected characteristics of Baroque period practice are here, such as fleet tempos, a small ensemble, bright sonorities, light textures, and an active harpsichord and cello continuo, and the versatility of Kahane and his group goes far to create this period quality. Hahn might have indulged in some free ornamentation and even added some improvised cadenzas, but her straightforward playing is at least clean and unaffected, and she deserves credit for her brilliant technique, which carries these pieces. While her approach to Bach isn't close to Rachel Podger's playing in authentic Baroque style, neither does it approximate the richer, heavier, "old school" style of Yehudi Menuhin, so Hahn may appeal to some listeners as a compromise between competing schools of thought. Deutsche Grammophon's recording puts Hahn in a prominent, central position, so it's easy to stay focused on her solo part in the big sound of this hybrid SACD.
Gramophone - Rob Cowan
In short, the broad principles of Hahn's approach, her expressive agility, intelligence and natural feel for musical line, do Bach proud.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/09/2003
Label:
Deutsche Grammophon
UPC:
0028947419921
catalogNumber:
000098602
Rank:
39526

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV 1042
  2. Concerto for 2 violins & strings in D minor ("Double"), BWV 1043
  3. Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041
  4. Concerto for 2 harpsichords & strings in C minor (or for oboe & violin in D minor), BWV 1060

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Customer Reviews

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Bach: Violin Concertos 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
She works for flowers; she likes a quiet house. She held my hand.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I personally am very proud of Hilary for leaving Sony Entertainment for an older, more classical label. I hope this recording replaces all previous recordings of this piece, as it surely must supercede them all, because, you know, everything Hilary does is a breakthrough, such is the extraordinary mental power of this human being to elevate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To my mind, if it needs a conductor, it isn't chamber music anymore. I think this album's group of musicians is more accurately described as a mini orchestra. People who record orchestral music are unwise, unless it's specifically for library or archival purposes -- not mass production. It's hard to listen to this more than a half dozen times without it starting to irritate you. Don't buy it, unless you are buying it for your local public library.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alpha Female.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't begin to tell you how much this person means to me.
ClasseekGeek More than 1 year ago
Hahn quickly cuts to the chase with sharp intonations. The interpretations on the solo concerti in particular seem faster than usual compared to the more leisurely pace of Grumiaux for example. Perhaps listeners who prefer a more dancelike mood to Bach would appreciate the faster playing of allegros. It should be noted that the contributions of both the second violinist and oboeist are somewhat downplayed. DGG continually gives Hahn the spotlight. Hahn continually adds exciting works and couplings to the concerti repertoire: note for example, Sibelius and Schoenberg; Beethoven and Bernstein. It may seem to the casual listener that Hahn's imagination and intellectual curiousity make for precocious pairings. Unfortunately, not everyone is on the same level of musicological understanding that Hahn has. Recommended, with reservation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hilary returns to her first love. I hope the radio station where I volunteer receives a demo copy. I host an all-Bach show on Sundays. Currently, I only have string quartets in my library, and I have no budget. Anyone who loves Bach as much as we do should buy this recording.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was able to hear this recording for the first time with my mother, a former piano teacher, and I have to say: This is as good as earthly music gets. I mean Good as in Plato, one step below the Tao good. You will be inspired and uplifted. Whether you then direct that inspiration toward Humanity or God is a personal choice, but the music simply is like rain, perfect.
jettrock16 More than 1 year ago
I was lucky to see her perform in person and the encore she did was one of the pieces she played on this CD, so naturally, I chose this one and the entire collection of Bach by Hilary Hahn is amazing. She's very talented for such a young age and the depth and feeling she puts into the music is wonderful. For those looking for soothing, inspiring music to write, read or to relax to, this is the CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i would say hilary hahn is one of the finest young violinist the world has ever produced. even in her real young age, she handles Bach's music just as good as any other great ones in the old days. it's stylish, brilliant, clean, and very luminous sounding. although this recording just fantastic i would say if she recorded the exact same repertoire in about 20years, she would sound about a hundred times better. the only thing i did not really feel great about this recording was the orchestra. i would say the orchestra was a bit too heavy with bach's music. not that it's light party music but the members of the orchestra wasn't really used to performing Bach's music all the time. and one other thing if i may say so was that once in a while, the violinist sounded like she was in a hurry. but overall she was fantastic handling Bach's music. i look forward to many other recordings she will release later on.