Hahn’s Shostakovich

Hahn’s Shostakovich

I recall hearing Hilary Hahn at a live concert many years ago, when she was still a teenager; even then she showed us signs of maturity, expert playing, commitment to artistry and to fine intonation.

Hearing her in person again many years later, makes it clear that she has a lot of personal charisma, and a special gift of communication with the audience that keeps an entire concert hall hushed while she plays.

Hilary Hahn makes something special out of the Shostakovich First Concerto. She plays with a wonderful lyrical style, and yet she can produce the gritty and wiry sounds when the composer asks for it. Her interpretation of the Finale is hard-hitting, biting, and strong.

The Mendelssohn is concerto has become so well known that it is bordering on being overplayed. So many artists have recorded it, that it is hard to distinguish a unique contribution. Mutter takes certain sections at a slower tempo. Other violinists try alternate interpretations. Hahn’s playing is delightful in the very fast finale, but my taste is for a somewhat more measured tempo.

Here is Hilary Hahn – Shostakovich Violin Concerto:

And here’s another performance, with different players:

Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1 / Braunstein • Bychkov • Berliner Philharmoniker:

Tags: Shostakovich violin concerto, Hilary Hahn

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