While I reviewed this recording before (October 24, 2011), I came across more videos of this music, so I thought you may enjoy learning more about Ives’ violin music.
This recording features two excellent performers, violin virtuoso Hilary Hahn and Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa, playing four beautiful and challenging sonatas by American composer Charles Ives (1874-1954).
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Ives’ music is an amazing mix of classical, spiritual, and folk influences blending with early 20th Century Americana into his own unique musical interpretation. Hilary Hahn notes the initial difficulty that she and her accompanist had in deciphering Ives’ detailed, demanding notations, which makes the wonderful flow of these recorded pieces all the more appreciated. Then they took these sonatas on a well-received world tour over two musical seasons before going into the studio to create this enjoyable recording.
There is a real American feeling to these works, because Ives relies so much on several recognizable folk tunes. In the second movement of Sonata No. 2, Ives uses references to “Turkey in the Straw” and “The Battle Cry of Freedom” — which takes on more of the feeling of a playful dance. And I predict that you will love the performance of the other Sonatas, as well.
Here is a sample of the enjoyable music on this recording:
And here is Ms. Hahn, talking with pianist Jeremy Denk about Charles Ives
Tags: Charles Ives, Hilary Hahn, Valentina Lisitsa