In 27 Pieces, The Hilary Hahn Encores’ program notes proclaim, “If you are captivated by a certain piece, you can acquire the score and study its architecture. If you are interested in commissioning, consider sponsoring a composer you like, be it someone close to you or someone you have always admired.” Why, yes.
Then she goes on to say: “Mesmerized… I listened for hours…Uncovering works …was intoxicating… fueled by tea and chocolates. A newly written work is like exploring a mysterious building with no apparent doors… once inside, I wander around, puzzling where I fit.”
I sincerely hope that admirers of Hilary Hahn won’t upset themselves by reading further.
This compilation speaks volumes of Ms. Hahn’s acumen (not musical) in the promotion of her reputation at the expense of her sponsors and these many talented composers.
Of these 27 short and aspiring chestnuts, let’s hazard that three might survive this ambitious project. A couple are in the form of perpetual motion; monochromatic, yet impressive in ways brilliant and self-apparent. Jennifer Higdon’s Echo Dash is engagingly compelling with dry charm and wry wit. David Lang ’s light moving is gentle and atmospheric, admirable in its transparent construction and lack of pretension. In The Angry Birds of Kauai by Jeff Myers, if the octatonic harmonies are predictable, this character piece is handled masterfully, though the performance could have been more robust.