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WQXR spends 15 minutes with Hilary Hahn on release day

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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." Stereo Review wrote, "I would go so far as to say that I've never heard this legendary, impossible piece of music played on a higher level, technically and musically, than it is on Hahn's debut CD. This is simply a magnificent performance, completely true in all its parts and possessed of a depth and wisdom that belie the performer's age. Unlike most of the violinists who play this music, she is truly its master, and that frees her to play it with soul."

Now 38, she completes her recording of the Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin in a Decca Classics album that releases today, October 5, 2018. The new album includes the first partita and first and second sonatas and HH has now recorded the complete works for solo violin of J.S. Bach. WQXR's Jeff Spurgeon spoke with the violinist about Bach, practice habits and more.