A couple of months ago Viviane (violin) and Nicole (piano) Hagners came to town for a week full of concerts. I looked forward very much to hearing them since I enjoyed my (then only one) CD of them very much. Needless to say the performances were splendid and I went looking for more on Youtube and found this:
A fantastic clip of Viviane Hagner doing the finale of Henri Vieuxtemps' 5th violin concerto with the Lahti Symphony, a Finnish band that I had never heard of that sounded like a million buck. Anyhow, it turns out the whole concert is available for free at Classiclive.com until 3 May 2013.
I know she sounds a bit odd at times (especially on high notes... just a tad shy of strident), but there is something very compelling about the way she uses her sounds and impeccable precision (and really fantastic changes of speed) to say something with the music in a very expressive and yet controlled way... It sort of reminds me of Vesselina Kasarova in her bel canto 90's days. I've heard a million renditions of Beethoven's romances for violin and orchestra, but never quite like this... the odd little slip in the middle of the G major romance not withstanding. Such a light and easy but sure touch, very gentle romances indeed!