The Passacaglia from Violin Concerto no. 1 by Dmitri Shostakovich, performed here by Hilary Hahn:
Hilary Hahn has long been one of my favourite violinists, since she came to my attention with her recording of Bernstein’s “Serenade” for violin and string orchestra. Hers is a very pristine, clean style of playing, but it never lapses into mere dry technical mastery of her instrument.
If anything, her somewhat reserved and understated style serves to add greater profundity to much of the music that she plays – no more so than in the case of this Shostakovich violin concerto, where she draws out the full impact of the composer’s spine-tingling, chilling, yearning melody in the Passacaglia.