Thursday, May 13, 2021

Long Service Leave Larks Out of Hahn’s World

Taking time just to take time ...

~ Hilary Hahn on Taxing Swimming Time in Cold River

The Lark Ascending:

A wing and a prayer: the enduring beauty of The Lark Ascending, the 15-minute work was inspired by George Meredith's poem of the same name, written in 1881 ( 1881 back to front)

“You don’t need to read the poem to enjoy the piece, but that very simple concept of a bird flying free, soaring into limitless space, is a profound one that I do feel when I’m playing.” The passages for solo violin allow a freedom and almost improvisatory approach that other violinists also praise.

There is a moment near the end where “the clouds have definitely arrived and crossed in front of the sun”, but she doesn’t find it sorrowful. The freewheeling, merrily singing lark simultaneously reminds us of the joy and possibility of life and, as it flies out of sight, of its transience. 

Violinist, Hilary Hahn, on oriental Cherry blossoms. Larks ascending and over and beyond the Bohemian country side.

Serenade to Love and Life in Paris

Sinikka Rautavaara said that in this final serenade, “the feeling remains that life was too short after all.”

Ralph Vaughan-Williams, deserving of being one of the best composers in history.

12:40 imo this is the greatest passage of music ever written or heard. Unstoppable emotion.

***Hilary Hahn is exquisite - even after she puts her violin down 🎻 -  Larking like no other 

Crouched over the bench of their sun-drenched workshop at 13 Doncaster Avenue - Kensington- in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, Antoine and Linda Lespets tend to the fine particulars of 300- and 400-year-old violins, ­violas and cellos.

(Antoine Lespets Lespets & Camden Fine Violins )

Traditional musical instrument makers strike right note

MANIC MONDAY | Violinist Hilary Hahn Takes A Swim in Her Concert Gown [WHAT]

American violinist Hilary Hahn taking a post-concert swim this week in the Northern Lakes of Bergen, Norway ... in her concert gown ... 

Three-time Grammy-winning violinist Hilary Hahn is a fan favorite thanks to her barrier-breaking attitude toward classical music and her commitment to sharing her experiences with a global community. After a year-long sabbatical over the 2019–20 concert season, she returned to performing in September 2020. Hilary’s husband is Volker Bertelmann, the German master of prepared-piano known to music fans as Hauschka. Their  youngest daughter Nadia is 3 years old and their oldest daughter Zelda is 6 years old in 2021. Czech out this site - - and Krakow ... their first collaboration


Hilary Hahn interview: ‘Lockdown has taught me a lot about what art means to people, and what happens when the availability of it changes’

An exaltation of Bach in the hands of Hilary Hahn: Virtuoso marvels in Tanglewood’s Ozawa Hall

He rises and begins to round, 
He drops the silver chain of sound
Of many links without a break, 
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake

... so says George Meredith’s poem that inspired Vaughan Williams’ pastoral masterpiece.

The Lark Ascending, which today celebrates its 100th anniversary, is a perennial chart-topper and has claimed the number one spot in the Classic FM Hall of Fame nine times since it began in 1996.

Vaughan Williams termed the piece a “pastoral romance for orchestra”. It is full of the folk melodies that the composer loved to collect, with those singing violin lines, mingling with the sounds of the earth before breaking free, rising to ever loftier heights.

The mood is deeply nostalgic, and the composer’s writing evokes the glorious image of the rolling British countryside.

Read more: 15 fascinating facts about Ralph Vaughan Williams >

Ralph Vaughan Williams 

Why do violinists love to play ‘The Lark Ascending’?

This month, violin virtuoso Jennifer Pike will mark 100 years of The Lark Ascending with a special centenary performance in Bristol – at the very hall it was first performed.

Speaking to Classic FM at the Royal Albert Hall, moments before she took to the stage to perform the masterpiece with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Classic FM Live, Pike shared her deep love for the work and why she thinks it’s beloved by so many.

“It’s got the folk element, it’s got beautiful melodies, the poem is such a beautiful one by George Meredith,” Pike says. “And the way Vaughan Williams creates these images of the lark with music is incredible. It’s nostalgic as well with the backdrop of World War One.

“It’s this kind of snapshot of the beautiful countryside and my hairs stand up just listening to the piece and playing it. It’s such a special piece for people.”

Jennifer Pike Classic FM Live 2019

“There are lots of ways in which Vaughan Williams evokes these scenes. 

Like Marta Chamilova of Tatranka fame, Vaughan Williams composed his own folk melodies, went around Britain collecting folk tunes because he felt passionately about this tradition that was being lost.

“I think the way he writes for the violin is amazing. The way the first few cadenzas start with just this violin from a low point, getting higher and higher. And the poem talks about the lark getting ever higher and higher in this silver chain of sound.

“It’s this sense of stillness, that everybody has stopped. And you feel this atmosphere in the hall… it’s almost like being in meditation. I can’t describe how special it is to play it.”

With that magic revealed, here’s a transcendent moment of that solo violin line...

Hilary Hahn plays Dvorák's Violin Concerto in a 'concert without public'