Hilary Hahn - Retrospective

"A recording permanently strengthens my connection to that composition, composer, and group of colleagues. Once the sessions end, I feel that the piece is really, truly part of me, rooted deeply in my musical DNA. A recording leaves other traces: it reaches into people’s homes and daily lives in ways that a live performance - for all of its vibrancy and ambiance - can’t. In that way, it heightens the connection between musician and audience." Hilary Hahn

Hilary Hahn releases Retrospective album with cover and internal artwork by fans

January 19 - Hilary Hahn releases Retrospective her new an album showcasing all of her recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, along with new, unedited live performance recordings, which provide the full immediacy of the concert experience. The artwork for the album was sourced from Hahn's fans. The LP version was recorded in the rare direct-to-disc technique.

The collection includes at least one track from each of her 12 Deutsche Grammophon albums and live recordings from Hahn's Meistersaal concert in Berlin, an event especially dedicated to her fans. The recording includes the live performance of Mozart's Sonata KV 379, in addition to Max Richter's “Mercy” and Tina Davidson's “Blue Curve of the Earth,” with pianist Cory Smythe, from In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores. The double-disc LP version, which has fewer tracks overall but incorporates some additional favorite tracks, replaces “Blue Curve of the Earth” with the live recording of Mark-Anthony Turnage's “Hilary’s Hoedown,” which is also from her Encores project. In assembling this compilation, she listened to all of her DG recordings from beginning to end and realized that certain movements and pieces resonated particularly strongly with her musical trajectory.

Hahn made her first record at the age of 17: Hilary Hahn Plays Bach. She has gone on to release sixteen more albums on Deutsche Grammophon and Sony, in addition to an Oscar-nominated movie soundtrack and an award-winning recording for children, and win three Grammy awards. This latest release Retrospective references Hahn’s latest decade and a half of recording activity, from age 23 to the current day.

With the double-disc LP of Retrospective Hahn is the first artist to present a direct-to-disc pressing on Deutsche Grammophon since the end of the shellac era. Direct-to-disc is the most artistically challenging recording technique due to the complete absence of editing, which provides the full immediacy of the live concert experience.

For many years, Hahn has received unsolicited works of art from fans of all ages at concerts, which she features on her website and social media. To include her fans in this retrospective and acknowledge their longtime presence in her career, Hahn decided to use fan art for both the cover and the internal booklet. She chose pieces by professional and amateur artists in Turkey, Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S., and the artists will be compensated for the use of their work.

Christine Fraser, who drew the cover art says, “Fan art seems like a way to honor a person and to visually say, 'thank-you.' In Hilary's case, she has provided me with such a wonderful array of music that I frequently listen to while drawing or painting, I wanted to show her my appreciation by creating something to convey that message. For me, it's exciting to see an artistic exchange like this, as music has always been a huge influence in my own creative process. I am both honored and inspired by this opportunity and it is an incredible feeling to be part of a collaboration that includes artists of different age groups, with different styles, and from various locations around the world.”

Özgür Aktı says, "As a painter, in my search for the aesthetic world of classical music, I have honor and esteem for Hilary for evaluating Bach's compositions and for the feelings I have felt while listening to her perfect interpretations.”

Katja Dormann says, “When I am captivated by a strong and deep impression, I find myself in the ideal condition for authentic creativity on my part. So, when I listen to Hilary’s playing, I experience an ultimate creative clarity (let me call it a ‘divine order’ or ‘beauty’) shaping her music and from there finding its way through my senses and feelings directly to my hands and to my instrument, the brush. More than 40 paintings and countless drawings have originated from this vivid experience. They do not literally portray Hilary, but focus on her in her process of creating. I think they are a sort of icons, objects of loving contemplation.”

Miranda George says, "This watercolor was inspired by one of the pieces from Hilary's In 27 Pieces album, Tina Davidson's 'Blue Curve of the Earth.' I was thrilled to meet Hilary after hearing her perform in Dallas and honored to hand her this painting!"

12-year-old violin student Amy Huang says, “Hilary has been an inspiration to me ever since the beginning of my musical journey and I am so grateful to be able to contribute to one of her many spectacular projects.”

Jacqueline Li says, "The violin is a very unique form of music. The complex chords spell out a simple yet beautiful melody. And, the melody's meaning is very deep, with layers upon layers of meaning underneath the sweet notes. I think Hilary Hahn expresses the duality of melody perfectly."

Hahn adds, "I feel so lucky to have the fans that I have. They are a unique, thoughtful, and vivacious bunch, and they propel me forward. I’m glad to have this chance to showcase their contributions."