One night at Carnegie Hall, Hilary Hahn did something refreshing: She played the Goldmark Concerto. Hahn, as you may know, is a brainy and exacting violinist. And the Goldmark is a very old-fashioned Romantic concerto. It is also a wonderful one—and it speaks well of Hahn that she recognizes this fact. Of course, she was trained by a violinist of the old school (and eternal school, as far as I’m concerned): That was Jascha Brodsky. He himself had studied with Ysaÿe and Zimbalist.

As for Karl Goldmark, he was born in 1830, to a Hungarian-Jewish family; he spent his career in Vienna, dying in 1915. If he is known for anything today, it is that violin concerto, along, possibly, with the “Rustic Wedding” Symphony. The top violinists of yore played the concerto, among them Heifetz and Milstein. In recent times, Joshua Bell and Sarah Chang have recorded it.

Hilary Hahn played the work with the...

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