I have been a loyal fan of Hilary Hahn for many years. Since the time in her teens when she would travel with her father to give concerts, I have enjoyed her music making at places like Carmel and Santa Cruz, California, and at all the more major venues.
While Hilary Hahn’s playing of the Beethoven concerto is on my iPod, I am always interested in her interpretation of music less frequently played. This recording has paired the Brahms concerto with the Stravinsky violin concerto, so that got my attention!
Brahms composed his violin concerto in 1878, and he dedicated it to his friend, Joseph Joachim. Stravinsky’s concerto was premiered in October, 1931. As such this is music that was created more than 50 years later than the Brahms!
Ms. Hahn provides a beautiful interpretation of both concertos. The Brahms is lovely, war, technically perfect, articulate, and satisfying. The Stravinsky is more rhythmical, and somewhat less lyrical, yet it is still a great vehicle for the violinist to show of his/her capabilities to convey the composer’s musical ideas. And the Academy of St Martin in the Fields provides terrific orchestral support for the violin soloist. They are well known for their own recordings and concerts as well as backing many other soloists. Their warmth of tone and playing accuracy provide a perfect foundation and blending with Hilary’s playing.
Here is Hilary Hahn, performing the first movement of the Sibelius Violin concerto: