Hilary Hahn performs!
This unique CD contains two violin concertos that are, in my view, very different: They are:
Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto Op.36; and Sibelius’ Violin Concerto Op.47
Sibelius’ work premiered on 19 October 1905
Schoenberg’s concerto was premiered in about 1936
This CD was released in April, 2008;
The Sibelius concert is one of my great loves. It was written by an accomplished violinist, whereas other violin concertos (ex: Brahms) was composed by a pianist, who needed the advice of his friend Josef Joachim to clarify technical aspects of playability.
Hilary Hahn’s interpretation of the Sibelius is wonderful: Flowing, romantic, technically flawless, with depth of feeling, and great emotional phrasing.
The Schoenberg’s Concerto is, of course, written by a pioneering composer who brought us music in his new 12-tone system. While it is more difficult to understand and does not exhibit the tonality of Sibelius, there are passages which are clearly featuring emotions that parallel the Sibelius work.
The difficulty you may have when listening to the Schoenberg is that you expect to follow a melodic line. This music, however, is not written in the traditional old, tonal way. As such, it takes effort for the listener to get used to this but the reward is a world of sound that would likely represent a new experience for you. Give it a try!
Here’s a video of Hillary Hahn talking in further detail about both of these concertos: