Simply the best performance of Beethoven’s only violin concerto by America’s (and the world’s) top violinist Hilary Hahn. With purity and exactitude of her tone, with her coherent musical expressiveness that doesn’t permit any commonplace exaggerative facial expressions, she would easily make the composer totally agree on her interpretation if he were alive.

My favorite part is from 29:20 to 34:00 – five minutes of exquisite serenity, a sheer joy – genuine beauty of the violin brought to us like a gift from Beethoven.

Der wahre Künstler hat keinen Stolz; leider sieht er, daß die Kunst keine Gränzen hat, er fühlt dunkel, wie weit er vom Ziele entfernt ist und indeß er vielleicht von Andern bewundert wird, trauert er, noch nicht dahin gekommen zu sein, wohin ihm der bessere Genius nur wie eine ferne Sonne vorleuchtet.

The true artist is not proud; he unfortunately sees that art has no limits; he feels darkly how far he is from the goal, and although he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached yet where the better genius shines before him only like a distant Sun.

– Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827), Letter to Emilie M. in Hamburg (1812)

Die große Auszeichnung eines vorzüglichen Mannes: Beharrlichkeit in widrigen harten Zufällen.

The chief characteristic of an admirable man: perseverance in adverse and harsh circumstances.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827), Diary (1816)

Alles Gute zum zweihundertfünfzigste Geburtstag, Ludwig! Wie immer danke ich dir für jede deiner Inspirationen.

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