When Hilary Hahn plays Bach came out on Sony in 1997, critics were astounded that a performer would choose solo Bach for her debut album; they were further confounded by her elegant approach to this music’s technical and interpretive challenges at such a young age. Bach expert Nicholas Anderson wrote in BBC Music Magazine at the time, “Bach’s six unaccompanied solos – three each of partitas and sonatas – have long been regarded as the pinnacle of violin writing and the most elusive of goals for the aspiring performer….Hahn’s affection for Bach’s music becomes apparent at almost every turn; and the concluding movement of the C major Sonata is a tour de force. I long to hear more.”

“This set of works has been a touchstone of my musical life.”
— Hilary Hahn

“Not a week has passed since then without an audience member asking me when I’ll record the rest of the set,” Hahn says, having released her first album, Hilary Hahn plays Bach, when she was 17 to great critical and popular success. Now 38, she completes her recording of the Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin in an album that will be released on Decca Classics today.

The new album includes the first partita and first and second sonatas. Listen to the Courante – Double (Presto) from the Partita for Violin Solo No. 1 in B Minor now!

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Margaret Batjer curator

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