Flying Solo (Bartók, Paganini), A. Hadelich (2009)
We have reviewed Hadelich in solo recitals (2011, 2009) and playing chamber music with the Musicians from Marlboro, but since we missed his local debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, this was the first time we have heard him play a concerto, in his NSO debut. Hadelich's technique is nothing short of astounding, so there was little to complain about in the solo part of Dvořák's A minor violin concerto, with flawless octaves and other double stops, immaculately tuned, and daring finger-work. Hadelich's tone is intensely refined and clear but not overly large, and Hrůša, ever careful of balances, did well holding back the orchestra when he needed to do so. The first movement opened with Hadelich trading brilliant cadenza-like moments with the orchestra, with Hrůša following his soloist's impassioned stretching of the tempo here and there. A pastoral second movement, with Hadelich's sweet solo entwined gorgeously with horns and woodwinds, was followed by a tour de force finale, its joyous theme and furiant-like shifts of meter handled with urbane control by Hrůša. Appreciative ovations -- but not as overflowing as one might have expected from such a fine performance -- earned an encore of Paganini's 24th caprice. It is one of the most difficult pieces in the solo repertoire, and although I have never heard it played with greater technical perfection, Hadelich's performance left me overcome because of its musicality, that he phrased and caressed the piece so melodically, while making child's play of its virtuosic demands.
Anne Midgette, NSO revisits Prokofiev’s ‘Alexander Nevsky’ (Washington Post< June 7)
Katherine Boyle, Augustin Hadelich: The ‘golden age’ violinist to make his National Symphony Orchestra debut (Washington Post, June 5)
This concert will be repeated tonight (June 8, 8 pm) in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.