Earlier, in what amounted to an exchange with Yiangos about favorite violinists I made mention of Hilary Hahn. This young lady, all of 26, is my nominee for the standard bearer of violin music of the future. I have long used the Beethoven Concerto in D Major .Opus 61 as the measure of a violinist's soul. It is, I believe, not only as challenging a work as a concerto ought to be, but a powerfully romantic composition. Soloists are justifiably measured by how they render it. Hilary Hahn passes the test of that great composition with flying colors. I highly recommend the Sony CD which includes as well Leonard Bernstein's Serenade for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion. Hilary is wonderful. David Zinman leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a particularly energetic performance of the orchestral portions of the Beethoven, which at first seems a bit heavy handed and then becomes simply a proper counterpoint to the energy and romanticism of the soloist. Buy it, if you haven't already, play it, and love it. Recognize that here is a player who will be making beautiful music long after most of us are dead and gone.
As for the Bernstein, who can resist Lenny? While most of you know the Beethoven note for note, the Serenade may not be as familiar but it is a fitting companion and reminds us of Lenny's wonderful ability to make listening to orchestral music a joyful experience.
Hooray for Hilary (and the Baltimore Symphny for that matter)!