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Hilary Hahn interviews a fish (Hall of Fame #76-75)

We'll get to the fish, but you'll have to bear with me. Ranking at 76th place in the hall of fame is Chopin's Nocturne in E flat major. Listening to a nocturne (night music) in the middle of the day is like eating After Eights for lunch. You feel like you're missing out on the intended effect, but who cares if it still tastes great? The performance I watched was Valentina Lisitsa's. I can't remember seeing a pianist with such floaty hands. She even strokes and massages the keys during the notes, which makes me think she'd probably be pretty nifty on a ROLI Seabord. I can only commend her expressivity, even while finding a few phrases a little too elastic.

One rung ahead of the nocturne we find Beethoven's Violin Concerto. Hilary Hahn demonstrates some truly breathtaking violin work. It seems likely that Beethoven himself never heard his piece played so well. There's an extended solo from 19:44 onwards which Hahn sails through with jaw-dropping confidence, inviting shouts of adulation from the audience (at the appropriate moment a few minutes later, of course).

Clearly a very serious musician, Hahn has a decidedly whimsical side. So here she is, conducting a five-minute interview with a camera-shy tropical fish.

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