Hilary Hahn – Paris (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 53:03 minutes | 543 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)
We present three-time Grammy-winning violinist Hilary Hahn’s upcoming release on DG. The new album Paris features Poème for Violin and Orchestra by Parisian-born composer Chausson; Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No.1, first performed in Paris; and the world premiere recording of Rautavaara’s final score, Deux Sérénades, written for and premiered by Hahn, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and its Music Director, Mikko Franck. With this project Hahn pays tribute to the rich cultural heritage of a city that has been close to her heart throughout her career.
“Paris,” says Hahn, “is about expression, it’s about emotion, it’s about feeling connected to a city and a cultural intersection, in a way that’s inspiring for the player and the listener. It has Parisian threads all the way through it. But it’s also a big reference to the arc of my career. I’ve been playing in Paris since I was a teenager.”
No one would guess it from its flowery cover photo. But Hilary Hahn’s opus ‘Paris’ takes us into the heart of three of the most extraordinarily moving moments written for the violin between the end of the 19th century and the early years of this century. Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Two Serenades, were written in 2015 and 2016 for the American violinist. They are splendid, and exalt her origins, enhanced by memories of impressionist music and the mark of the inescapable Shostakovich – the latter from the first violin theme. The work is often reminiscent of Barber and Vaughan Williams, as if the Finnish composer had immersed himself in his patron’s recordings of Barber’s Concerto (Sony Classical) and the Briton’s Lark Ascending (Deutsche Grammophon). In the first of the two pieces, Serenade to my Love, Rautavaara best captures the particularities of Hilary Hahn’s sonority, more dark than radiant, warm in the mediums, never quite bright. A great connoisseur of his compatriot’s music, Mikko Franck conducts these two pages with élan. In his hands the orchestral writing resembles shimmering garlands: there is often a hint of melancholy, a fully Finnish feeling, especially in its more dour aspects.
Interiority rather than brilliance is also the hallmark of this performance of Prokofiev’s First Concerto (1916-1917). From an equally luminous perspective, Lisa Batiashvili’s violin, for example, (with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Deutsche Grammophon 2018) seemed more radiant, and varied in accentuation, at the risk of sounding slightly lurid at times. In 2009, for his first album, released by EMI Classics, Vilde Frang had proposed an exciting recording. It is magical, with a ghostly spirit and lunar poetry. Here, with the perhaps more unique tones of the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, Hilary Hahn offers a rather restrained expression. It is never distant, but rather melancholic! … It is a pity, however, that this recording is only coming out just now. She has performed this work everywhere, and in a more luminous and superlative style (Lorin Maazel, with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra). Finally, Chausson’s Poem remains more convincing. It is performance as prayer. – Pierre-Yves Lascar
1. Hilary Hahn – Chausson: Poème for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 25
2. Hilary Hahn – Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19 – I. Andantino. Andante assai
3. Hilary Hahn – Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19 – II. Scherzo: Vivacissimo
4. Hilary Hahn – Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19 – III. Moderato. Allegro moderato
5. Hilary Hahn – Rautavaara: Deux Sérénades (Written for Hilary Hahn) – No. 1. Sérénade pour mon amour. Moderato
6. Hilary Hahn – Rautavaara: Deux Sérénades (Written for Hilary Hahn) – No. 2. Sérénade pour la vie. Andante assai. Comodo. Agitato