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Violin Solos - Released October 5, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Record of the Month
A student of the last student of Ysaÿe, American violinist Hilary Hahn has played Bach's solo violin music since she was nine, and inaugurated her recording career seven years later with a recording of half the cycle of six, in 1997. That recording rightly won acclaim with its flawless technique and Apollonian lines straight out of the best of the French violin school. Uniquely, she has returned to complete the set 21 years later, and the results are marvelous. It's sometimes hard to pin down the ways in which Hahn's style has changed, but it has to do with a kind of inner relaxation, with a willingness to let the meter vary a bit and pick it up again in the longer line. The flawless tone is still there, but it's not so much an end in itself. It's not an accident that some of the graphics picture Hahn smiling, nor that her quite relevant notes to the album detail the long creative process that went into making it. Sample anywhere, but you could try the very beginning, the first movement of the Sonata for solo violin No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001, where Hahn takes just a bit of time, draws you in, and lets the rest of the movement flow from there. Decca's engineers do excellent work in a Bard College auditorium that one might not have picked as a venue for this. A superb release from one of the preeminent violinists of our time.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions Exceptional sound
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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles de Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released October 18, 2005 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 30, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released March 30, 2015 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released August 6, 1997 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 5, 2018 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Booklet
A student of the last student of Ysaÿe, American violinist Hilary Hahn has played Bach's solo violin music since she was nine, and inaugurated her recording career seven years later with a recording of half the cycle of six, in 1997. That recording rightly won acclaim with its flawless technique and Apollonian lines straight out of the best of the French violin school. Uniquely, she has returned to complete the set 21 years later, and the results are marvelous. It's sometimes hard to pin down the ways in which Hahn's style has changed, but it has to do with a kind of inner relaxation, with a willingness to let the meter vary a bit and pick it up again in the longer line. The flawless tone is still there, but it's not so much an end in itself. It's not an accident that some of the graphics picture Hahn smiling, nor that her quite relevant notes to the album detail the long creative process that went into making it. Sample anywhere, but you could try the very beginning, the first movement of the Sonata for solo violin No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001, where Hahn takes just a bit of time, draws you in, and lets the rest of the movement flow from there. Decca's engineers do excellent work in a Bard College auditorium that one might not have picked as a venue for this. A superb release from one of the preeminent violinists of our time.
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Classical - Released January 19, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2008 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hilary Hahn is always ready to take on new challenges as she has demonstrated in nearly every album of violin concertos in her recording career, from her precocious 1999 recording of Beethoven's masterpiece to her 2006 pairing of showpieces by Paganini and Spohr. On this 2008 Deutsche Grammophon release, she grapples with Arnold Schoenberg's knotty Violin Concerto, Op. 36, and Jean Sibelius' demanding Violin Concerto, Op. 47, two works that are among the most difficult of modern concertos and notable for their brooding moods and darkly dramatic music. Hahn deserves great credit for giving the Schoenberg concerto a much needed airing, and listeners new to the piece will find that its dense but expressive music is not as daunting as its reputation. Yet for all its penetrating intensity and compelling complexity, and in spite of Hahn's dedicated playing, this twelve-tone tour de force will never be as popular as Sibelius' tonal concerto, which has fared much better with audiences over the years. While Hahn makes a valiant intellectual effort with Schoenberg and patiently works her way through his dissonant counterpoint, it seems her heart is really with Sibelius, and the passionate way she embraces his melodies reveals an essentially Romantic and emotional approach to the music. While Hahn's playing seems quite vigorous and at times rough edged in the first work, her bowing here is much smoother and sweetly lyrical, so fans who admire her for her polish will find more to like in this performance. The accompaniment of Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is sympathetic and robust throughout, and the recordings of both concertos position Hahn centrally, so the sound of the violin is carefully balanced with the orchestra and fully present.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Booklet
Unlike most albums of violin encores featuring the most popular showpieces in the repertoire, In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores introduces original works for violin and piano that have been specially commissioned by Hilary Hahn in an effort to rejuvenate this specialized musical category. The pieces recorded here are not easy to pigeonhole, either stylistically or by moods, and while Hahn and pianist Cory Smythe bring considerable verve and presence to each, they all have distinctive characteristics and sound profiles: some are bright and virtuosic, and others rhythmic and dancelike, while still others are serious and thoughtful. The roster of composers includes some familiar names, such as David del Tredici, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Jennifer Higdon, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Lera Auerbach, James Newton Howard, and Max Richter, along with 21 other composers from around the world, showing Hahn's openness to many traditions and expressions outside standard European classics. Of course, encores are usually presented at the end of recitals and given a certain pride of place in that spot, so they tend to receive focused attention. In a setting of nothing but encores, especially in a double-CD package, they tend to compete for the listener's attention, and some naturally will require repeated listening to create a stronger impression. Taken altogether, this is an attractive collection of chamber music, and Hahn's project is an unqulified success.
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Classical - Released September 28, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2003 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2011 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released September 16, 2011 | Sony Classical

Released on separate CDs between 1998 and 2002, the selections in this triple-disc package represent the early concerto recordings Hilary Hahn made for Sony, which in turn established her reputation. Admirers who already own the original albums will find nothing new here, though Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto is now paired with Dmitry Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1, and the Violin Concerto in D major of Ludwig van Beethoven is now coupled with Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor, so the original programs have been trimmed of the Serenade by Leonard Bernstein and the Violin Concerto by Edgar Meyer. The award-winning album of concertos by Johannes Brahms and Igor Stravinsky hasn't been changed, so it appears to be the only one in the set that didn't give the compilers second thoughts. On the one hand, Hahn's playing has been extolled for an amazing virtuoso technique and for her seriousness of purpose, which she has consistently demonstrated throughout her career. On the other, these performances fall short of full expressiveness and dramatic power, lending credence to the idea that Hahn is a fairly cerebral musician with a perfectionist streak that keeps emotion in check. However, everyone agrees on Hahn's obvious precocity and risk-taking, which have been evident since she signed with Sony at the age of 16. These are all ambitious projects for artists of any age, and Hahn showed she was up to the challenges in each case. Listeners who are coming to Hahn for the first time should compare this set with some of her later albums to chart her artistic growth.

Artist

Hilary Hahn in the magazine
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