First Disc of Two-LP Set Recorded Direct-to-Disc, First Such Deutsche Grammophon Release Since End of Shellac Era: Curated by Hilary Hahn, Retrospective Also Features Unreleased Live Material
Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn is renowned for her virtuosity, expansive interpretations, and creative programming. Her dynamic approach to music-making and her commitment to sharing her musical experiences with a broad global community have made her a fan favorite. Hahn's distinct stylistic choices honor the traditional violin literature while delving into the unexpected. An artist portrait curated by Hahn herself, Retrospective features recordings from albums she made with Deutsche Grammophon as well as almost 30 minutes of new, unreleased material from a live concert of Mozart's Violin Sonata K. 379 and new recordings of three tracks from her Encores album. Commissioned through Hahn's social media platforms, the Retrospective artwork and packaging were designed using portraits submitted by her fans.
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. 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 served as the mold for the pressings. This means that every single LP is an identical analog 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.