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Hilary Hahn’s partnership with pianist Valentina Lisitsa models what two singular artists can accomplish in the interests of a common cause. Quirky, peculiar, rich with Charles Ives’s idiosyncratic notion of melody, peppered with prankish dissonance yet also logical − and, in its logic, beautiful − Ives’s works for violin and piano turn familiar musical expressions upside down. They are an alternate universe of aesthetic pleasure.
“When a star such as Hilary Hahn takes on the Ives violin-and-piano sonatas it has to be special...she and Lisitsa, accurately balanced, are completely efficient in every way. They understand the Ives idiom saturated with hymn-tunes; they swing with the best of them; and their performances are as convincing as anything on offer.”
2nd December 2011
“it’s a joy to hear her playing these Ives pieces, solidly partnered by the Ukraine-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa. As she did with Schoenberg, Hahn goes out of her way to spotlight the music’s lyrical throb, driving forward urgently, sometimes at speed, always sweetening the melodic tangles with her agile bowing and tightly controlled vibrato.”
“The Third Sonata (1914) is the highlight here...It can have no finer advocate than Hahn, who invests the brief central scherzo with a drive that galvanizes its rhythmic intricacy, while bringing slow-burning intensity to those subtle 'verse and refrain' contrasts of the first movement and eloquence to the 'variations in search of a theme' finale.”
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