of the Mendelssohn Concerto. Now Hahn has signed with Deutsche Grammophon to record the rest of the standard concerto repertoire along with chamber music and other projects. At a time when major artists are searching for record deals, Hahn's success is almost as astounding as her virtuosity.
As anyone who hears her play the Ciaccona on Thursday, February 12, at Hill Auditorium will discover, Hilary Hahn is an astonishing performer. Her legato is like butter, her vibrato like honey. Her portamento is discreet but very, very effective. Her tone is rich and deep. Her bow arm is strong and sensitive. Her dexterity is blindingly brilliant. Her interpretations are brightly polished. Whatever you want, Hahn's got it, and whatever you can do with it, Hahn's done. The only thing she lacks is maturity.
But maturity is a big thing to lack in the Ciaccona. As well as being the supreme test for every violinist, the Ciaccona is one of the most sublimely inspired works ever composed for any instrument. Hahn's playing is practically perfect in every way, but virtuosity is not the whole thing for a violinist. The hard part is the sublime inspiration. And while sublime inspiration can strike at any age, the capacity to realize and communicate that inspiration does come with age.