Hilary Hahn music video on youtube

October 20, 2006 at 09:26 PM · There is a really cool Hilary Hahn music video on youtube.

the link is: http://youtube.com/watch?v=R8aTn3KGeM8&mode=related&search=

it's a collaboration between Hahn and Peter Miller (a filmmaker) of the Paganini concerto she just released.

Please go and check it out. It's really worth the 6 minutes to watch it.

Replies (48)

October 21, 2006 at 11:45 AM · I edited my post because I was talking about the "play"-video, which I didn't like that much.

The paganini is really cool, though. Also kind of funny in some parts.

October 21, 2006 at 12:32 AM · Does Hilary have to resort to lowering herself to the Country and Rock genre, or is this just Marketing taking over?

October 21, 2006 at 12:35 AM · Hillary is a rock fan she says. I'd guess it's marketing that keeps her from playing it.

October 21, 2006 at 02:41 AM · I really don't see the point of that...

She's using some other violin as a prop. And when they zoomed in on her face, I actually thought I was seeing another body part at first...

October 21, 2006 at 04:14 AM · I decided to edit what I wrote here. Suffice it to say that I had a great laugh.

Thanks Pieter.

October 21, 2006 at 09:29 AM · Despite finding the whole music video thing quite weird, I didn't find the video very well filmed at all. It just didn't seem to fit in with the music in any way at all. Maybe if it was some slow pop music or something it would look decent, or even if it was with a different classical piece, like Legende by Wieniawski maybe.

Somehow, adding pictures to Paganini is just undoable for me. The music is so beautiful and so descriptive that any video immediately limits its impact and scope. It is kindof like adding video to a Mozart violin concerto. I was listening to Paganini Concerto no 4 the other day, and I realized that Paganini's concertos are almost a virtuosic extension of Mozart's violin concertos. They really have a lot in common in the orchestration and the development. Does anybody else see this or is it just me??

For an even weirder video check this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9ps4BVI9Hs

I'm not saying I'm against all music videos for classical music, the eclectic videos of Vivaldi's Four Seasons are quite wonderful (Anna-Sophie Mutter, Kyung-Wha Chung, but you see the performer playing throughout, and they are far more subtle and vague.

October 21, 2006 at 02:29 PM · I don't like the videos. To me they're like bad dreams that make no sense.

October 21, 2006 at 09:58 PM · Wow Marty, you hit the nail on the head!!! That's exactly how they feel for me! What's with that whole thing with her hands in the beginning of that video, for example...

I'll take my dream of an underwater volcano exploding right in front of me, blasting my ears and waking me up any day! (My dream last night lol)

October 21, 2006 at 10:09 PM · Nice playing, but what a weird video...I only watched the first 2 and a half minutes, but it's very strange. Sort of a combination of a GAP ad and Postwar Central European Symbolist-Expressionism (whatever that is), with a touch of (director) Tarkovsky and some sort of MTV-for-grownups. Very odd.\

Edit: my main problem was that it didn't fit the music AT ALL, not even in a surrealist, postmodern-impressionist sort of way. (Egad, I sound like an art critic!)

October 22, 2006 at 01:43 AM · I disagree. I think her movements, dress, and settings fit the music suprisingly well in an imagination imagery sort of way. I was expecting a lot worse. Should it and does that make it work? I don't know. I'm not drawn to see it again, personally. In a directory on my computer I have an ongoing collection of (still) shots of violinists posing with their violins in ways that don't work. The photographer hasn't worked much with a violin before and seems to be fascinated with the shape and the violinist doesn't know any better and they take a shotgun approach to figure studies together using the violin. What they often end up with doesn't work and is stale besides. The only things that seem to really work are playing pose, some "at ease" pose that looks natural, and with the females at least, some variety of smooch the violin pose. If the photographer starts posing you with the violin in odd positions, you might want to think twice and talk to him about it. This is the first time I've seen a video using it some and it seems to work better. When she has it over her shoulder at the beginning and when she's laying with it over her head later and at the end, it works because it's in a context that works overall, not a photograph that has to stand on its own.

October 22, 2006 at 10:29 AM · At least she knows how to hold her bow.

I was feeling that she needed to put more thrust into that axe swing. And sit down in the sand, dig down deeper than just her toes, and make out with some shadowy figure in the reeds while she's moping around in the water. More, more! That's what the music tells me.

I would say that it is much like a dream sequence, except that my dreams are much more violent usually. And vivid.

Has anyone here seen Salvador Dali's "Un Chien Andalou"? I think the piano/dead mule scene would be perfect. ;)

October 22, 2006 at 10:55 AM · We could have her driving a bulldozer during the loud parts. Then she could fling a violin in the air and a bird would catch it. Then she could pour gas on the water and set fire to it and drive her car into it.

October 22, 2006 at 12:20 PM · I like the major ending. That would be when the suicide takes place.

October 22, 2006 at 03:22 PM · I'll confess, I didn't watch the whole video, only about 3 minutes of it. To me if you are going to put something visual to a piece of music you have to enhance the music. The music that she's playing was written before the age of telivision so it should be able to capture our hearts with the performance rather than the visual. The visual itself I thought was not that well done. As someone said, it was kind of like a bad dream.... It seemed a bit random and not really in flow with the music. Is she trying to make up for a poor performance of the work?? Is she trying to make more money? Is it her PR that pressured her in making it? I personally find the performance to lack that oomph and conviction and spontaneaous quality that I think is a big part of Paganini, even in a slow mvt. My overall thoughts, lacking performance and bad music video.

1 out of 5 stars.

October 22, 2006 at 04:27 PM · I don't think it was meant as a music video the way we know it and are used to it from pop where the scenes in the clip tell a story or something like that. I think it was a visual approach to something than can usually not be perceived with the eyes. It was maybe a way of trying to visualize a feeling that she connects with the Paganini. It seems like a stream of consciousness to me.

About the technique: all I can say is that it was a private project made between Hilary and Peter. The label had nothing to do with it and I assume they didn't have a major budget like you usually have when making a music video.

For further information you should read her latest journal entry on her website.

I like the idea of this clip and I am curious about what else may come from that direction.

October 22, 2006 at 07:10 PM · The concerto is one of my first favorite violin pieces I'll likely never be able to play--and, the music behind the video just didn't come through for me that well--I often listen to it on stereo.... al

October 23, 2006 at 08:54 AM · Totally weird.

October 23, 2006 at 12:49 PM · Wow...the lost cuts from Erich von Stroheim's "Greed"...

October 23, 2006 at 03:00 PM · The triumph of marketing over substance. Good reasons for me to question the integrity of this generations of "artists." Whatever happened to musicians who knew how to say no to such meaningless ploys?? I can't see how it will entice the younger generation with it's artsy muddled thread and it sure turns off at least this codger. Time was I thought she was a major talent--the word I would use now is more appropriate for La Traviata!

October 23, 2006 at 03:25 PM · in fact i think it is a failure of marketing over substance. the director could have done better. i cannot name one emotion associated with the flick. well, i take that back because i did say, uh?

the music is fine, the clip is more like a collage of moving pictures than what technology has to offer.

more like a high school project than Seventh Seal.


October 23, 2006 at 04:36 PM · ..."more like a high school project".

Well, at least it's not a majorly produced marketing-thing.

As far as I know it's something that she did with a friend who makes movies. To quote her:

"...they were done in a true artist-community fashion, between friends, and they're unusual in their experimental nature. The record company and management weren't involved; this whole project was our doing, for better or for worse."

I think that's very unusual. What we have here, in my opinion, is something that she wanted to express and not a marketing strategy.

To me this is not something that raises questions about her integrity; to the contrary: it shows her integrity.

October 23, 2006 at 10:50 PM · Finally got a chance to watch it. I think it's a neat idea and generally well-executed, despite a few weird parts (with the hands, and did anyone else cringe when she lay on the violin? Eeek!). Hilary is so beautiful physically in addition to her musical talent.

Did all that rustic scenery remind anyone else of "The Village"? :)

October 24, 2006 at 05:02 PM · Honestly. Some of you guys really need to take it down a notch. It's not a big deal, its just a music video..it doesn't make her less of a musician. Did I like the video...no. Would I like to see more classical musicians try this sort of thing...if well done, yes I like it.

October 24, 2006 at 06:52 PM · How about this for a video idea:

Have 'insert Deutsche Grammophon solo artist name here' perform at 'insert Manhattan recital hall name here' with 'insert Big 5 orchestra name here' led by 'insert name-brand conductor's name here'. Then the camera could pan back-and-forth between the soloist's hands and face and occassionally glance back to the orchestra when certain sections are being featured!

Why won't someone shoot a video like that?

As excellent as Hahn is, her recording of the Paganini and Spohr, if it suffers from anything, it's over-production. It's refreshing to see something as unmeasured as this from her.

October 24, 2006 at 07:32 PM · I'm a fan of other styles of music where music video has been a paradigm that's been far more explored than in the classical world.

This isn't a good video for me, it doesn't add to the music and in fact it's very cheesy and makes her look like an idiot. She isn't an actrice. She doesn't do the whole stare into the camera in a sultry way very well. I'd far rather watch her natural movements on the stage than watch her lay down on some Chinese violin to stunt double as her Vuillaume.

October 24, 2006 at 10:31 PM · Agreed--it's not the concept of making a music video to classical music that bothers me, it's the fact that in my opinion, this wasn't a very good video!

October 25, 2006 at 12:17 AM · XD Well, for me...it kind of summed up the way I felt at the violin today (ax swinging). It goes without saying that her playing was superb.

October 25, 2006 at 04:37 AM · Yeah, I agree, too. I think people should make music videos for classical music because it can add something interesting and "artistic," but this particular one just wasn't very good.

October 25, 2006 at 08:39 PM · "How about this for a video idea:

Have 'insert Deutsche Grammophon solo artist name here' perform at 'insert Manhattan recital hall name here' with 'insert Big 5 orchestra name here' led by 'insert name-brand conductor's name here'. Then the camera could pan back-and-forth between the soloist's hands and face and occassionally glance back to the orchestra when certain sections are being featured!

Why won't someone shoot a video like that?"

-Why does no one shoot a "music video" like that? Because there are hundreds of videos like that out there. Watch any concert recording and THAT is exactly what you get. Why all of a sudden call it then "music video"? There is nothing new and inovativ about that concept either.

October 25, 2006 at 08:48 PM · Um, I think Craig knows that. I'm pretty sure his post was intended as a joke.

October 27, 2006 at 05:37 PM · Indeed, I was being facetious. There seem to be two ways to do a video for the standard repetoire: my previously described scenario and set to pastoral images of the countryside. Anything else seems to lead to scathing criticism immediately bringing into question an artist's integrity.

October 27, 2006 at 05:58 PM · it is really not a big deal. like it or not, yes or no.

no one is questioning the violinist who is always fantastic. i do not like the film. period. i think the editing is poorly done, timing is sluggish, imagery there but not powerful and affective. i do like the violin supporting itself, putting an end to the hot debate on shoulder rest or not. i am not sure if the violin music is accompanying the film or the other way around. who cares because it is art?

it does not always have to be a field of dreams. or hypersexually vanessa mae. close shots of cows will do if done well.

the director is entitled to claim that well, if you don't get it you don't get it.

well, i don't get it:) at least not this version.

we can play mozart like bach and vice versa and have a disclaimer that i am experimenting and exercising some artistic freedom for the sake of art. just a suggestion for our next masterclass participant:)

October 27, 2006 at 06:30 PM · Has anyone seen the video (over a decade old) of Joshua Bell playing the Brahms Hungarian Dance #1? It's a very film-noirish work featuring Karen Black. Rather different from the pastoral scenes that seem to be so vilified here...

October 27, 2006 at 10:05 PM · I think the problem with this video is simply that it looks like a couple of high school kids out with a video camera trying to be artistic. One of 'em wants to be an actress when she grows up, while the other's going to be a singer. Hmmmmm, I feel a Harry Chapin song coming on.

Sorry, it's just an amatuerish effort of a video - much like my attempts at humour.


October 27, 2006 at 10:11 PM · Neil, you put it very well.

October 28, 2006 at 12:02 AM · I disagree. That type of composition, color and camera work would be extraordinary for a high school student.

October 28, 2006 at 12:33 AM · Unless the high school student is Gus van Sant...The video stayed with me somehow. I don't think it's bad.


October 28, 2006 at 03:01 AM · I just saw Elephant, at first I thought it was great. Then I just found it pretensious.

Ilya, what exactly stayed with you? Maybe you need to see more music videos. Or maybe I'm missing something. To me it wasn't all that different to those tired video montages on PBS at 4am with someone playing a beethoven sonata or something.

October 28, 2006 at 03:24 AM · i wonder if this video will appear on mtv or vh1,fuse or BET Hmmm.

October 30, 2006 at 04:17 PM · Unfortunately, YouTube is probably the only place you're likely to find it. The culture of mediocrity is ubiquitous (BET, VH1, MTV, et al.)while true artists Like HH are relegated to the back pages.

October 31, 2006 at 08:18 PM · the video did nothing for me at all. sorry.

October 31, 2006 at 08:52 PM · Her playing had this uniform, even quality to it that reminded me of a MIDI violin sound from a computer. It seems like most of the note just sound the same, and her vibrato doesn't vary all that much.

The video was a nice idea, I guess. It didn't affect me and I only got through 3 minutes. It kind of reminded me of those boring short movie things that Yo Yo-Ma made for the Bach suites. We were forced to watch those in high school whenever the teacher didn't feel like doing anything, which was pretty often.

November 4, 2006 at 10:33 AM · I disliked this more than I thought I would. I normally dont mind her playing but this was not inspired at all.

She is good live though

November 4, 2006 at 12:00 PM · may be you just don't get it,,,,like me:) there are much worse videos out there on youtube...um, you will see!

i know a so called "director" that cannot even manage to compress the file so that the playing can fit into one video...pathetic!

it is so much easier to criticize others,,,,albeit more fun i must admit:)

November 4, 2006 at 06:00 PM · video directors should be as artistic as the artists are. floria sigismondi is an perfect example of an artistic video director. this video is just not cutting it.

August 11, 2010 at 02:35 AM ·


Just thought I'd weigh in on it even though this is an old discussion...

I saw this being screened when I went to Hilary's CD Release Party for the Paganini/Spohr album, and my first thoughts were that it reminded me of the work of Maya Deren (Crazy that one of you used "Un Chien Andalou" as a reference, that was another avant-garde masterpiece), I guess mostly because Maya's films were all B&W and were mostly just her doing weird things and basically giving us a piece of her dreams.

Hilary collaborated with Peter Miller on this (as well as the other film "Play") and it was most likely a mish-mash of different discussions of what his and her ideas were for what really kind of amounts to a "MUSIC VIDEO", which is what it really is. Trust me, I've seen far worse music videos than this, and for me, this is a rare treat.

Being a Hilary fan I'm biased, but if this is what Hilary Hahn dreams about, I'm hoping film-making is something she'd like to switch to if she gets sick of being a professional violinist.

August 13, 2010 at 01:54 AM ·

I just tried your link, and it didn't work.  I got a message saying that the video has been withdrawn for copyright reasons.

August 13, 2010 at 02:02 PM ·

Try this, Pauline:



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