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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 January 2013
Five INSPIRED Stars! A great musical duo. On "Silfra", Grammy-winning classical violin virtuoso Hilary Hahn and the inventive avant-garde pianist/composer Hauschka (aka Volker Bertelmann) produce exhilarating, modernist, non-conventional, totally-improvised duo performances. After two years of periodic preparatory sessions, they went to Greenhouse studio in Reykjavik, Iceland for 10 days to produce these amazing musical tone poems. "Silfra" re-introduces us to the adventuresome side of Hilary Hahn (who has performed with a beat-boxer and was last recorded with Valentina Lisitsa playing Charles Ives: Four Sonatas). And it displays Hauschka's prodigious musical acumen and his complex 'prepared piano' with its wide universe of sounds, using objects like ping-pong balls, foil, duck tape, floss, and mallets on the strings to produce sounds like cymbals, drums, clicks, continuous tones, and bell-like sounds whose pitch can be altered to startling effect. Hahn uses her wide palette of violin sounds and effects, arco and pizzicato, very inventively in this partnership. At times, one is not able to distinguish the piano from the violin. These improvisational pieces are neither classical, pop, nor jazz but something uniquely approachable and beautiful, without conventional compositional structure. The 'best of the best' begins with the lovely 1m:43s "Stillness"; the 12 minute "Godot", with Hahn creating some awesome effects over Hauschka's frameworks; the oriental-like "North Atlantic"; the more conventional beauty of "Krakow" and "Ashes"; the eerie "Halo of Honey" with freaky high register Hahn violin notes, and perhaps best of all, the swinging joy of the madcap "Bounce Bounce" and the awesome, bluesy, swinging "Draw A Map". The music is influenced greatly by the stark beauty and cultural implications of the Icelandic seascape of the "Silfra" geographical rift, near where they recorded this work. These are fascinating, propulsive, solemn or joyous pieces of cooperative sonic art created by a wonderful musical duo. Produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson. This recording is Highly Recommended. Five MARVELOUS Stars! (This review is based on NPR's "First Listen", the 5 YouTube videos, and an mp3 download of 12 tracks, Total time: 52m:22s. Hilary plays an 1864 Jean-Baptiste Villaume copy of Paganini's Cannone violin.)
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on 19 March 2013
I looooooove it !))))
Great musical pieces , great sounding vinyl!!!!

I looooooove it !))))
Great musical pieces , great sounding vinyl!!!!
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 January 2013
I bought this for Hilary Hahn's violin play and the improvisations. It certainly lives up to expectations. Until now I've only listened to Hilary's classical music, but she can certainly also handle other genres with her usual perfection and technical master of the violin.
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on 7 August 2014
arrived quickly and as described
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