Three-time Grammy Award-winner Hilary Hahn releases Hilary Hahn Plays Bach – Sonatas 1 & 2, Partita 1 on Decca Classics.
The recording has received a stunning 5-star review in The Times, with critic Geoff Brown writing: “Technique, feelings, heart and mind — every element is intuitively fused, as Bach always demands. Hahn’s greatest, most dazzling mature achievement mirrors Bach’s own: effortlessly conjuring the appearance of voices in counterpoint from single notes, abrupt changes in register and miraculous, spreadeagled chords. Thank you, Bach and Hahn.”
When Hahn’s first Bach album came out on Sony in 1997, critics were astounded that a performer would choose solo Bach for her debut album; they were further confounded by her elegant approach to this music’s technical and interpretive challenges at such a young age. Bach expert Nicholas Anderson wrote in BBC Music Magazine at the time, “Bach’s six unaccompanied solos – three each of partitas and sonatas – have long been regarded as the pinnacle of violin writing and the most elusive of goals for the aspiring performer… Hahn’s affection for Bach’s music becomes apparent at almost every turn; and the concluding movement of the C major Sonata is a tour de force. I long to hear more.” Stereo Review wrote, “I would go so far as to say that I’ve never heard this legendary, impossible piece of music played on a higher level, technically and musically, than it is on Hahn’s debut CD. This is simply a magnificent performance, completely true in all its parts and possessed of a depth and wisdom that belie the performer’s age. Unlike most of the violinists who play this music, she is truly its master, and that frees her to play it with soul.”
“Not a week has passed since then without an audience member asking me when I’ll record the rest of the set,” Hahn says, having released her first album, Hilary Hahn Plays Bach, when she was 17 to great critical and popular success. Now 38, she completes her recording of the Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin. The new album includes the first partita and first and second sonatas.