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Higdon & Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos

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Audio CD, September 21, 2010
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Silfra: Improvisation, spontaneous impressions, collaboration and new dimensions


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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Higdon & Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos + In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores
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Product Details

  • Composer: Jennifer Higdon, Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (September 21, 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,641 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Violin Concerto: 1. 1726
2. Violin Concerto: 2. Chaconni
3. Violin Concerto: 3. Fly Forward
4. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: 1. Allegro moderato
5. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: 2. Canzonetta. Andante
6. Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35: 3. Finale. Allegro vivacissimo

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

About the Artist

Hilary Hahn was born in Lexington, Virginia, USA, and moved to Baltimore in 1983, where she had her first violin lessons. In 1985, she began five years of study with Klara Berkovich who had taught at the Leningrad School for the Musically Gifted for 25 years before emigrating to Baltimore. In 1990, she entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia to study with 83-year-old Jascha Brodsky, the last surviving student of Eugène Ysaÿe. Alongside her solo work and a deep interest in chamber music, she has also collaborated with non-classical musicians and can be heard as featured soloist on the soundtrack of M. Night Shyamalan's film The Village, on the album Worlds Apart by Austin alt-rockers . . . And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, and on singer-songwriter-guitarist Tom Brosseau's latest album Grand Forks.

Customer Reviews

Music is felt in the soul and many parts of this piece touched mine.
Mark Van Vlack
Hilary Hahn plaaying "Higdon & Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos" is a welcome selction to my music collection.
Sandra A. Janowski
If then you raised the volume to hear Hilary play, the orchestra would come in way too loudly.
Phil Schaffer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Mark Van Vlack on September 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I would normally only talk in a review about my visceral observations of the performance as the Classical piece being played is often well known. This is surely true of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. However, since the Higdon Violin Concerto is enjoying its premier recording on this CD, it may be necessary for me to break my own rule this once.
The Higdon Concerto is done on a grand scale. It is modern in style (meaning you aren't going to be whistling it anywhere) but its subtle melodies are never obscured by the type of ugly discordance found in much of the non-romantic modern repertoire. The piece has a tremendous amount of power and energy that brought me many a smile on my initial hearing.
I also must say that if I did not have a hearing aid I would surely not have heard most of the beginning of the first movement as it is full of harmonics way above my age-onset hearing loss. The third movement is exciting, played at a breakneck pace that may have been inspired by Miss Hahn's performance of the Barber third movement. Jennifer Higdon was right when she said that it sounds like Miss Hahn plays the third movement of her (Higdon's) concerto as if she had six fingers! As for its beauty, you can judge for yourself. Music is felt in the soul and many parts of this piece touched mine.
As for Hilary Hahn's performance of both pieces she is in typically amazing form. The phrasing, tonality and technique in these pieces are flawless and inspiring. She has the refreshing ability to put the music above her virtuosity and turn the technically monstrous passages into beautiful and graceful compliments to the spirit of the piece she is playing.
Many have commented that the Violin in Tchaikovsky's concerto was not written in a "violinistic" fashion.
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58 of 68 people found the following review helpful By H. T. on September 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Hilary Hahn, once again, gracefully proves her fearless and mature artistry through the daunting Higdon concerto and the very well-known Tchaikovsky concerto. It is clear that Hahn never settles for mere virtuosic ostentation. Turning away from the gaudy approach that many violinists take toward the Tchaikovsky concerto, Hahn delves into the music and interprets it in a restrained but most heartfelt manner. She doesn't wrestle with the piece; she dances with it and lets it speak for itself. The Higdon concerto is just wonderful. It captures Hahn's energy and artistic consistency very well. Throughout the two concerti, Hahn can be seen as either Athena in a tough battle shining with her wisdom and perfect control or a young lady in an idyllic landscape embodying purity and evoking nostalgia. Hahn's versatility is admirable.

It is, however, unfortunate that some listeners can't pick up this beautiful music in the noise of their prejudices. Some can't get over Hahn's physical youth and something as absurd as their own resistance to the Tchaikovsky concerto's popularity, to judge the music for what it is. I encourage you to listen to the music with an open mind and appreciate what Hahn has accomplished with this recording.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By emmkay on March 1, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This recording is rather disappointing, to a certain degree, if you are familiar with Hahn's potential.

First the Higdon: there is no doubt that Higdon is an accomplished composer. In true post-modern fashion, she shows off her knowledge of the modernist and not-so mdernist canon with numerous references to her predecessors, most obviously the homage to the Berg concerto in the opening of the first movement. But one doubts whether this melange will have meaningful staying power as the years go on. While there are some truly engrossing moments, there are others that sound like average film-music: not terribly inventive and actually quite cheesy, especially in the second movement. That said, Higdon certainly knows how to orchestrate and knows how to throw her solist a few bravura virtuoso bones, which Hahn of course knows to make the most of. She is most dazzling, as usual, in her superhuman control of double-stops - a trademark of which Higdon must have been aware, for she gives Hahn numerous opportunities to display this skill.

That said, one wonders how much is rotten in the American classical music business, when a new concerto written by an American composer on a commission from several American and Canadian orchestras (Baltimore, Indianapolis & Toronto) and one American conservatory (Curtis) gets its world premiere recording at the hands of a distincly second tier British orchestra? When will American musicians wake up to the fact that their prehistoric contract structures are doing long-term damage to American musical culture by forcing artists to go abroad due to the prohibitive costs of recording stateside?

The Tchaikovsky shows Hahn falling into her worst habit: obsessive-compulsive cautiousness.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Shaun Broderick on September 21, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This CD is simply amazing. Hilary, once again, never ceases to amaze me. The Higdon violin concert is a beautiful piece. It really shows off Hilary's perfect skill, especially the cadenza in the first movement. I've never heard anything like it before...ever. This recording is much better at displaying her dynamic contrasts. In her concerts she has the ability to fill the hall with her sound even over the orchestra or play so quietly that you feel the need to lean in to hear every note. This is the first recording of her that has captured a portion of that. After her release of the Shonberg and Sibelius, Hilary had really stepped up her game. She plays the Tchaikovsky with an entirely different interpretation and with amazing ease. Her approach almost cradles the music like a loving mother. Some sections that are played without much care by most violinists, are really emphasized and phrased properly.

If you are the critique that doesn't generally like Hilary, try this CD. You may find this recording exciting and fresh.
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