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Josh Ritter and Hilary Hahn

May 22nd, 2008 · No Comments

National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” today aired a spot focusing on the unusual but inspired collaboration between classical violinist Hilary Hahn and one of Spitball’s favorite songwriters and persons, Josh Ritter.  The two became acquainted due to an academic connection between their parents, and seemed to fall naturally into a sympathetic musical relationship.  Hilary’s violin adds a tender air to Josh’s songs (listen to “Girl in the War,” below), and Josh has re-interpreted the Goethe poem upon which Schubert’s song, Erlkönig, was based (see the video for “The Oak King,” also below).  Their duo concerts contain duelling versions of “The Last Rose of Summer,” doses of Hilary fiddling solo classical works, several Josh Ritter chestnuts, even his soulful handling of the guitar part in Paganini’s Cantabile, a duo for violin and guitar.  It is refreshing to see two highly-regarded artists stretching beyond the boundaries of their respective musical realms with such interesting results.  Bravo!

Stream the NPR segment in its entirety here.  The webpage includes streaming audio of the pair’s entire Metropolitan Art Museum concert.

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Josh Ritter and Hilary Hahn perform Josh’s “Girl in the War” – from the Met Museum concert.
This track is downloadable at Josh’s myspace page…CLICK!


Video of Josh Ritter performing “The Oak King,” which is his interpretation of the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe poem upon which Franz Schubert based his famous song Der Erlkönig.  Josh has incorporated a musical motive from the Schubert piece into the guitar part for this song.

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[Note: This video has extremely low volume…for maximum impact, turn your speaker volume up, Up, UP!]

Tags: music

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