Hilary Hahn and Minnesota Play Sibelius

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Thursday, March 03, 2016

Hilary Hahn. Hilary Hahn. (Michael Patrick O'Leary)

This performance is scheduled to be re-broadcast at 9pm on Tuesday, September 13, 2016.

On Thursday, March 3, WQXR broadcast a live performance from Carnegie Hall, featuring violinist Hilary Hahn and the Minnesota Orchestra. Music director Osmo Vänskä, one of the best interpreters of Sibelius's music, led the program of his fellow Finn's works.

The concert begins with one of Sibelius's lesser-known symphonies, his third, which was also one of the composer's personal favorites. It follows with the virtuosic violin concerto, the only one that he ever wrote. Symphony No. 1, which was a runaway success since its premiere in 1899, closes the program.

WQXR morning host Jeff Spurgeon hosts the broadcast along with WNYC's John Schaefer.

Schaefer talked with Hahn ahead of the concert about working with Vänskä and Minnesota. Take a listen:

And Spurgeon chatted with Vänskä backstage, before the performance. 


Program playlist:

Sibelius: Symphony No. 3
Sibelius: Violin Concerto
Sibelius: Symphony No. 1

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä, music director and conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin

* The archived audio for this broadcast has expired. 

We asked listeners to share their thoughts during the broadcast using #CHLive. Here is a collection of those tweets and photos:

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Comments [9]

William from Minneapolis

I hope this concert will be made available for replay on your website, as you have for a few others in this series. The Minnesota Orchestra plays Sibelius like no other band, but they outdid themselves here.

Mar. 07 2016 12:12 AM

My wife and I were minorities last night...New Yorkers!

Sibelius is my favorite, and I heard so much about your conductor.

Nothing disappointed.

But I'd love to know what the encores were>

Orchestra, 3 in pretty rapid succession.

Mar. 04 2016 02:24 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

It was so life-affirming to hear this concert celebrating the Orchestra's re-vivification that was so well applauded and appreciated by the attending audience, many of whom were Minnesotans who made the trek to New York, as the announcer said. About the performances themselves, I was completely delighted and have no equivocations or complaints at all. The First Symphony, as Mr. Va"nska" said, certainly was taken faster than it's usually heard, notably the first and third movements. He has the score's metronome markings to back him up, however: for the first movement's "Allegro energico", 108 to the dotted half note; and for the third movement, 104 to the dotted half note. I wish, if I were important enough, that I could have asked him how he felt about what Eugene Ormandy and Serge Koussevitzky did as regards adding to the orchestration of the final bars of the First Symphony and Seventh Symphony: Ormandy added a harp arpeggio to the strings' pizzicatos to the movement's final two chords in his Philadelphia Orchestra recording; and Koussevitzky added a trumpet to the final B to C cadence in the Seventh Symphony in his BBC Symphony performance.

Mar. 04 2016 08:27 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

Someone should have remonstrated against my writing about Hilary Hahn playing double octaves: she'd have to be a pianist to do so! The Concerto calls for octaves in the solo violin part, not double octaves.

Mar. 03 2016 09:24 PM
Maike from Santiago, Chile

Thank you for sharing this wonderful concert! Bravo Minnesota Orchestra!!! Specially to Ken Feed, Aaron Janse and Peter McGuire hello from us in Chile!!!

Mar. 03 2016 09:22 PM
Sarah from Minneapolis

Listening and trying not to cry (for lots of reasons). I planned to come for the past year but health intervened. I don't think people really know what it took to get this band back on the stage after a few banksters tried to kill it, and how emotional it has been for so many of us. So glad to be able to hear this concert from CH.

Mar. 03 2016 08:30 PM

oops, my bad. I just double checked prices. Seems I got it wrong.

Mar. 03 2016 06:14 PM

I adore Hilary Hahn and wish I could attend. But the ticket prices are crazy high! I'll just have to listen on line.

Mar. 03 2016 06:07 PM
Les from Miami, Florida

Let's all make time to attend or listen to this concert. The Third Symphony is a usually overlooked jewel with a slow movement similar to the Fifth and a final movement that begins with ambiguous tonality --- "Where are we?" but ends triumphantly in C major with the strings hammering out the notes B-C, B-C, B-C until the C major arpeggio is reached. Hilary Hahn is an exciting and serious artist welcome anytime; and I can't wait to hear her tear into the double octave motive in the Concerto's first movement. The First Symphony is one of Sibelius's signature works. The conductor is to the manor born and the Minnesota Orchestra is of long repute, harking back to the conductorships of Ormandy and Mitropoulos.

Mar. 03 2016 06:55 AM

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