Label: Deutsche Grammophon – 479 8506 -180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
Direct-To-Disc LP and Standard LP material
Until the 1940s most sound recordings were made by cutting directly to a master disc. With the direct-to-disc recording process used for LP 1 in the present release, Hilary Hahn has confronted the artistic and technical challenge involved in this particular recording technique. This is a technique that is nowadays used extremely rarely, not least because few artists have the requisite ability that such a direct-to-disc recording process necessarily presupposes. With any direct-to-disc recording the microphones are connected to a cutting head. On 8 May 2016, while Hilary Hahn and Cory Smythe were performing works by Mozart, Turnage and Richter in Berlin’s Meistersaal, a stylus was cutting their interpretation directly into the grooves of the master disc. As a result the recording could not be subsequently edited, remixed or modified in any way. The master discs produced by this process then served as the mould for the pressings. This means that every single LP is an identical analogue copy of the original. Direct-to-disc means pure authenticity. In this way Hilary Hahn and Cory Smythe have produced a recording that is an unadulterated and unique expression of their artistry.” – Rainer Maillard (Emil Berliner Studios)
Hahn made her first record at the age of 17: Hilary Hahn Plays Bach. She has gone on to release sixteen more albums on Deutsche Grammophon and Sony, in addition to an Oscar-nominated movie soundtrack and an award-winning recording for children, and win three Grammy awards. This latest release Retrospective references Hahn’s latest decade and a half of recording activity, from age 23 to the current day.
With the double-disc LP of Retrospective Hahn is the first artist to present a direct-to-disc pressing on Deutsche Grammophon since the end of the shellac era. Direct-to-disc is the most artistically challenging recording technique due to the complete absence of editing, which provides the full immediacy of the live concert experience.
For many years, Hahn has received unsolicited works of art from fans of all ages at concerts, which she features on her website and social media. To include her fans in this retrospective and acknowledge their longtime presence in her career, Hahn decided to use fan art for both the cover and the internal booklet. She chose pieces by professional and amateur artists in Turkey, Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S., and the artists will be compensated for the use of their work.
Christine Fraser, who drew the cover art says, “Fan art seems like a way to honor a person and to visually say, ‘thank-you.’ In Hilary’s case, she has provided me with such a wonderful array of music that I frequently listen to while drawing or painting, I wanted to show her my appreciation by creating something to convey that message. For me, it’s exciting to see an artistic exchange like this, as music has always been a huge influence in my own creative process. I am both honored and inspired by this opportunity and it is an incredible feeling to be part of a collaboration that includes artists of different age groups, with different styles, and from various locations around the world.”
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