04. August 2007 · Comments Off on Putting It Together · Categories: Ramble

Josh Ritter and Hilary Hahn.

The show at Cafe Campus marked Hahn’s debut as an improviser. Once a bedrock of the classical musician’s art, improvisation has all but disappeared as one of the skills in the classical musician’s arsenal. The mere thought of improvising in public can turn steely nerved classical superstars into jelly-fingered beginners.

“It was terrifying but exciting,” said Hahn. “I was really hoping to work with him because I knew I would learn a lot from him. I improvised to a couple of his songs, and it was the first time I had ever improvised onstage. It was great.”

She also played one of the most demanding pieces in the solo violin repertoire, an arrangement of Schubert’s song, “Erlkonig,” by 19th century virtuoso Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst. The Cafe Campus clubgoers were impressed.

“Seeing the audience response — through the whole evening, to him, to ‘Erlkonig,’ to the music we played together — made me realize I wanted to do a lot more of it,” said Hahn. “It was just so musically gratifying.



(I love it … who says we can’t mix things up a bit?)

Comments closed.