Notes & Reviews:
Among the most compelling of contemporary violinists, the American Hilary Hahn may seem young to already be the subject of a Sony Classical Master series retrospective, but it is a testament to the quality of the evolution of her career and discography that make this 5 CD collection a particularly fascinating collection containing the entirety of her early formative recordings on the Sony label. From the start, Hahn's deft and often insightful work in the classic repertoire co-existing with an affinity for contemporary composers and a explorer's delight in crossing genres. Her performances have never been 'precocious' as the collection reveals, possess unusual focus and strength both serious and playful in turn. That she is only just now entering her prime and continues to evolve and astonish with her program choices is astonishing to think about and makes this collection ever more timely. Also of note are the assemblage of brilliant ensembles led by conductors seemingly inspired by the occasion including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with David Zinman, Oslo Philharmonic with Marek Janowski, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Sir Neville Marriner and more.
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Masterworks of the 20th Century - works by Boulez, Takemitsu, Stravinsky, Schuller, Ives, Crumb, Xenakis, Del Tredici, Stockhausen et al. / Kirkpatrick, Partch, Gazzelloni, Rzewski
Mozart: Piano Concertos 14 & 26 / Pires, Abbado, Vienna PO
Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending; 'Tallis' Fantasia; Symphony No. 5 / Marriner, ASMF
Ravel: Boléro; La Valse; Pavane pour une infante défunte; Daphnis et Chloé, suite no. 2 / Barenboim
Mozart: Clarinet Quintet, K.581; Weber: Clarinet Quintet, Op. 34 / Eduard Brunner, clarinet
Beethoven: Triple Concerto; Choral Fantasy; Coriolan & Egmont overtures / Beaux Arts Trio
Isaac Stern Plays Brahms: Violin Concerto; Double Concerto; Piano Trios 1-3; Piano Quartets 1-3; Violin Sonatas 1-3 / Eugene Istomin, piano; Yo-Yo Ma, cello; Emanual Ax, piano [5 CDs]
Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas / Maurizio Pollini, piano [8 CDs]
Douglas Lilburn (1915-2001): String Quartet in E minor; Phantasy Quartet; Canzonettas; String Trio, etc. / New Zealand String Quartet