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  • Elgar: Violin Concerto / Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
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Elgar: Violin Concerto / Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending


Price: $15.24 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Audio CD, September 28, 2004
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Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Elgar: 1. Allegro - 1. Allegro18:00Album Only
listen  2. Elgar: 2. Andante - 2. Andante12:17Album Only
listen  3. Elgar: 3. Allegro molto - 3. Allegro molto19:25Album Only
listen  4. Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending - The Lark Ascending16:19Album Only

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The 2013-14 season marks the 30th anniversary of Hahn’s first violin lesson. In the two decades since her professional debut, Hahn has followed her passion for adventurous programming, delving into core repertoire, contemporary music, and less familiar classic compositions with equal commitment; and bringing virtuosity, expansive interpretations, and daring repertoire choices to diverse ... Read more in Amazon's Hilary Hahn Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Elgar: Violin Concerto / Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending + Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto / Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1
Price for both: $25.24

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Product Details

  • Performer: Hilary Hahn
  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Composer: Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Audio CD (September 28, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • ASIN: B0002CX4Q8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,641 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This is an oddly cool performance of one of the most overtly sentimental--indeed, gushing--pieces in the violin repertoire. In an effort simply to present, rather than interpret, the music, Hahn seems to have gone overboard--she plays with little portamento and vibrato, she keeps away from the music's soul. All that having been said, the playing itself is faultless, her tone lovely, and by the last movement her virtuosity is truly impressive. The classic performance remains Menuhin's, but Hahn and Davis and his LSO have much to offer here. Vaughan Williams' gorgeous-if-sappy "The Lark Ascending" is played ravishingly, with more overt feeling than the Elgar, and again the LSO add greatly to the pleasure with the woodwind section--and clarinet in particular--shining brightly. --Robert Levine

Product Description

Customer Reviews

Hilary Hahn has great intonation and feel for the music.
Rich
Her playing perfectly matches the dark and emotionally wrenching Elgar concerto making it more accessible than it perhaps has ever been.
Brian F. Hudon
I like my music played straight, especially violin concertos where too much vibrato will drive me crazy.
HB

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 53 people found the following review helpful By C. Roe on October 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
While other reviewers carp about the Elgar Concerto as a flawed composition, I've always found it rather beautifully melancholic. Hahn is a superb technician (in the tradition of Grumiaux) and plays here with the flawless technique one also recognizes in her Bach recordings. Levine, in his review, faults Hahn for playing too "cool[ly]" in a piece known for its rather hot-house emotions, but I find her restraint, a quality found in all her recordings, noble in the Elgar. I've heard Hahn play this concerto in performance and found no difficulty experiencing the emotions Elgar recreates in his music, so, perhaps, that colors my listening to this disc. Yet one need only listen to the Lark Ascending to hear that Hahn has no difficulty communicating the rapturous emotion VW caught in this piece. No, Hahn doesn't gush as a player, but then, she produces such a beautiful tone through her faultless technique and lancet intelligence that gushing seems beside the point (and rather vulgar).
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Brian F. Hudon on October 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I have to admit that I own every Hilary Hahn CD and yet now, this one, along with her CD of solo Bach might be my favorite; but about the Elgar... Until this recording came along I thought I would own no other version than the 1949 recording with Jascha Heifetz. And now Hilary Hahn records a brilliant version of this somewhat "difficult to know" piece. Her playing perfectly matches the dark and emotionally wrenching Elgar concerto making it more accessible than it perhaps has ever been. The London Symphony Orchestra, as on the 55 year old Heifetz recording, is wonderful and shows why they are one of the finest ensembles in the world. And if the the Elgar is too dark, Vaughn Williams Lark Ascending brightens things greatly. Hilary Hahns playing is as light and as lovely as I have ever heard and soars just as the title of the piece suggests. This is sweet romantic music to listen to and daydream by with your eyes closed. This is a wonderful recording all around and worth repeated listenings. You will love this one.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Al Au on November 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I did have great expectation on this recording as I think Hilary Hahn is definitely the best violinist to appear in the past 10 years as witnessed from her interpretation of Bach's partitas, Brahms, and Shostakovich. She is a rare instrumentalist in the present music scene with both flawless technique and remarkable interpretative power.

To review the present set, the most convenient comparison would be Kennedy/Rattle as this is a key digital era recording of Elgar (as mentioned by many reviewers here) and both discs pair it with Lark Ascending.

Hahn's entry is lyrical but restrained, definitely unexpected if you have heard her Brahms (that's why Amazon review writes "oddly cool"). And you expect the tension to build up but the atmosphere remain pretty the same in the final part of the first movement and even toward the end of the whole work. Though having a cleaner, more assertive and powerful tone than Kennedy, Hahn lacks the heat here. She is like a storyteller telling a story about a man and his destined to be in vain affection to a woman. But it is in past tense thus the mood is nostalgic. On the contrary, Kennedy thinks of himself as the hero of the story, his playing is intense with emotions keep pouring out. And along passages he can display unforgettable contrasts between painful love and extreme tenderness. This fits the spirit of the work when you think of Elgar's affection toward Alice Stuart-Wortley (the ..... and the soul being enshrined) when he wrote this music. Kennedy gives a more impressive interpretation here.

The key of playing Lark Ascending, in my opinion, is to deliver a soaring mood with beautiful tone color, especially in the high register. Hahn wins here with her clean intonation even though both play the work brilliantly.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Brian J. Buchowski on February 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'll admit it - when I first listened through this recording, I felt a bit alienated. The concerto seemed to lend itself to a much more "emotional" performance than Ms. Hahn delivered, and as a result I almost wrote her off as a technician. The more I listened to the album, however, the more i came to realize that I never would have lasted through an overly emotive reckoning of the Elgar Violin Concerto. Hilary Hahn is miles more than capable of tugging at the heart-strings, as evidenced by her almost painfully sensitive interpretation of Vaughn Williams' "The Lark Ascending", so obviously her restraint throughout the Elgar concerto was intentional. (Not to say there are no melodramatic moments - the cadenza is fantastic, for example). Please don't misunderstand me: this is not a tentative performance by ANY means, and the virtuosity present is unlike anything else I've heard from ANYONE. After literally dozens of listens, I feel I've truly grown to appreciate this interpretation. It takes a rare restraint to play so technically challenging a piece with such an easy fluidity, allowing me to almost forget the violinist and lose myself in the music entirely. Ms. Hahn never allows herself to be trapped and bogged down by an overly emotional performance - far too often I come across young players who make their performances more a study of their interpretive and empathic prowess than a projection of the composer's will. Perhaps I'm just too young and jaded myself; I have a number of recorded versions of Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto, for instance, and I invariably find myself searching out the most "mechanical" performances in my collection.Read more ›
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