Echoes of Paris (Poulenc, Stravinsky, Debussy, Prokofiev),
A. Hadelich, R. Kulek
Hadelich showed he had a great way with a phrase in Beethoven's sixth violin sonata (op. 30/1), with crisp sixteenth notes and gentle phrasing in the first movemen; a plush cantilena in the slow movement, with an immaculate sense of the arc of each line; and a folksy, rustic quality to the impishly mischievous third movement. What a contrast of tone, then, in the Romantic fuoco applied to the first movement of Poulenc's sonata for violin and piano, which leads off Hadelich's latest disc on the Avie label, the Strad's throaty G string given a diabolical theatricality. The second movement had a smoky lassitude, a sultry tango studded with flawless double stops, spoiled scandalously by the ring of a cell phone. The third movement's circus antics were brought to a standstill by a tragic crash, a dramatic shift that leads the piece into an elegiac lament. Here as throughout the program Rohan de Silva played ably, impressing not so much by technical achievement or musical independence but by his careful support of his partner.
Robert Battey, Violinist Augustin Hadelich deserves a higher profile (Washington Post, December 9)
The Fortas Chamber Music series returns next month, with the Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio (January 18), in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.