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Elgar: Violin Concerto

Elgar: Violin Concerto
Hilary Hahn, violin
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Colin Davis, conductor

Review by: Robert Zierolf

These late Romantic, quintessentially British solo works are performed with all the verve and lushness they require. Hahn's playing is absolutely secure throughout, intensely personal, virtuosic (the concerto was composed for Kreisler), with only a peculiarly dull sound in the low register to detract from an otherwise superb rendition.

The overt extravagance of Elgar's uncommonly long concerto is nicely complemented by Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, a meditation on George Meredith's poem. Hahn's understanding of the simple, direct musicality is ideally supported by Davis and the LSO. Unlike some others of her generation, she has neither recorded too much nor taken on repertoire beyond her mid-twenties maturity. This wisdom is evident in this CD and places her at the forefront of violinists of any age these days. Her reflective poem included in the CD booklet is indicative of a thoughtful musician and serves as an introduction to the music.


Sound Quality:

Robert Zierolf is Professor of Music Theory and History and Division head of Composition, Musicology, and Theory at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. He is also a freelance writer on classical music.


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