on May 23, 2008
Never have warmed up to Schoenberg, or any of his 12 tones, and I'm not a musician so I can't appreciate what a work of genius his re-invention of tonality is. But WOW, this recording by Hilary Hahn is making me think anything is possible. I bought this disc for the Sibelius, which I love and is obviously a much better known piece; but it's the Schoenberg that keeps me hitting 'play.' She brings such beauty and warmth, with such incredible purity of tone, full of life, and seems to me to find the perfect balance between romanticism and the 'avant garde.' This is a record for those of you, like me, not accustomed to Schoenberg's tonal palate. It may not displace a favorite like the concertos by Sibelius or Beethoven, but when presented with such passion, precision and total conviction, ...it is just a wonderful experience. WOW!!
And...I can't forgot to mention that her recording of the Sibelius concerto is also excellent, not too romantic. The only reservation is that the first movement is pretty slow, although Hahn brings it off---just. Her playing and tone is again so beautiful and strong that it compels you to listen, even when the tempo seems like we're all of a sudden in the second movement.
Nevertheless, it is a superb disc--go for it!