In an SF Performances recital on Saturday night, violinist Hilary Hahn and her accompanist Valentina Lisitsa put together a set of pieces that had nothing in common, except for the mastery of the performance. It was a grab bag of music, a mix-and-match of periods and styles, as if to better display the full range of the performers. And across the different genres, the pair consistently delivered.
They came up on stage in glamorous outfits, Hahn in a floral print spring-like gown, and Lisitsa in a silky bridesmaid outfit and started with quasi-baroque music: a theme and variations on a theme by Corelli in the style of Tartini. "In the style" means that the composer, prankster or hustler Fritz Kreisler, claimed to have discovered it and passed it off for an original when he actually wrote it. There was nothing counterfeited about the performance, with particularly delicate ornaments in the second variation and powerful double-stop chords in the third and last one where Hahn could fully assert that big strong sound of hers.