It took me a while to "get it" with Hilary Hahn. Once I thought she was a little cold, a little restrained and a little...lacking. But I was wrong. What I saw as "restraint" is just her exquisite taste. There is no coldness, but as she explains herself, her unsurpassed technique never gets buried in the fireworks.
Any ambitious or budding violinist should see this video to witness a quite flawless technique in every department. Her bow control is sublime. Her sound is always utterly beautiful. Her fingering appears absolutely effortless, and her playing is unbelievably always in tune. That opens the door to suggestions of a clinical virtuoso and absence of soul. Not so. Hahn just simply never goes wrong..there's not a note out of place. And she has something unique: Her bowing never becomes ragged and she never "over-plays". Even in the fortissimo passages the sound remains sweet and pure. This is a stunning achievement.
I wish this DVD had more footage of her wondrous technique close up; perhaps with slow motion and zoomed in to her left hand with its utterly flawless vibrato and a 4th finger that appears as strong and assured as her second (she even does trills on the fourth finger!).
She comes over as a thoroughly normal, unpretentious, approachable person with an engaging modesty. This DVD is worth it for the Mozart Sonata and Korngold's romantic, film score-like concerto, but there is good footage of Hilary's touring life and some interesting views on music and performing.