2014 - Premiere of David Lang’s “mystery sonatas” at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall
After intermission, the evening, and the series, ended with the premiere of Mr. Lang’s “mystery sonatas,” a work of nearly 40 minutes for solo violin performed stunningly by the brilliant young violinist Augustin Hadelich … I cannot imagine a better performance than the one Mr. Hadelich gave. His playing combined impressive technical command with plush, rich-textured sound. And with magisterial poise and serene control, Mr. Hadelich became a riveting storyteller, which was the point of this piece. And the series. (April 30, 2014)
2013 - Recital at the Frick Collection with Charles Owen
The Frick Collection’s Music Room, which seats just 175, is an ideally intimate space for chamber music. This is especially so when the performers are as excellent as the brilliant young German violinist Augustin Hadelich and the fine British pianist Charles Owen, who played a memorable recital there on Sunday afternoon, a highlight of the Frick’s valued concert series, now in its 75th-anniversary season.
At 29, Mr. Hadelich, who lives in New York, has won acclaim for appearances with major orchestras and is especially devoted to chamber music. This program also revealed him as adventurous in his choice of repertory.
To glance at the printed program, you might have thought the program a motley collection of pieces. There were sonatas by Beethoven, Schumann and Janacek, along with a solo violin sonata by Eugène Ysaye, and works by two living composers, both born in the 1920s, who seemed an unlikely pairing: the Hungarian modernist Gyorgy Kurtag and the ubiquitous André Previn.
There may have been no discernible theme or stylistic thread running through the program. But surprising musical resonances, contrasts and connections between these works came through vividly. From the opening movement of the first piece, Beethoven’s Sonata No. 1 in D, the level of playing was superb. Mr. Hadelich’s combination of rich-toned elegance and impish spontaneity was wonderful. The rippling clarity of Mr. Owen’s playing brought consistent delight.
It was an inspired idea to follow the Beethoven with music from seemingly another realm: Mr. Kurtag’s “Tre Pezzi”for violin and piano, composed in 1979. The first piece is mysterious, almost aphoristic, just tentative piano chords and a quizzical violin line. In the last piece, the violin seemed to be playing some scratchy-toned, ancient folk song atop cosmic piano chords.
The performers segued without break into Schumann’s Sonata No. 1 in A minor. And even though the Schumann begins with a rhapsodic theme for violin over a piano part of agitated runs and arpeggios, the inner strangeness of the music seemed more apparent because Mr. Kurtag’s fantastical work was still in your ears.
After intermission, Mr. Hadelich played Ysaye’s one-movement Sonata No. 6 in E, composed in 1924. These solo sonatas by Ysaye, the astonishing Belgian virtuoso violinist (1858-1931), are often dismissed as show-off pieces. While dispatching the technical challenges easily, Mr. Hadelich revealed the musical ingenuity of a work that evolves in daringly disjointed phrases and obsessive sequences, until toward the end there is a hint of a dance.
Next came Janacek’s searching, strangely beautiful Violin Sonata, in a gripping performance. In the first movement, this duo teased out what seemed some hearty Czech folk dance trying to break free of ominous tremolos in the piano and haunting stirrings in the violin.
Finally, the dance element came center stage with Mr. Previn’s “Tango, Song and Dance,” composed in 1997. For an encore, Mr. Hadelich and Mr. Owen kept the choreographic character of the program going with a spirited, fresh account of Bartok’s Six Romanian Folk Dances.
THE NEW YORK TIMES, ANTHONY TOMMASINI - DECEMBER 9 2013
2012 - Lalo Symphonie Espagnole with New York Philharmonic and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
That the first half nevertheless offered moments of excitement was entirely because of the energetic performance of Augustin Hadelich, who threw himself into the virtuosic solo violin part with a passion bordering on impatience.
To be fair, Lalo gives the violinist all the best lines. Written with the fiendish dexterity of Pablo de Sarasate in mind, “Symphonie Espagnole” is closer in spirit to other 19th-century violin concertos than to the form its name implies. Its five movements are driven by the vigorous rhythms of Spanish dances, including the lilting habanera of the opening.
At 28, Mr. Hadelich is part of a generation of musicians with multidisciplinary curiosity; when he was studying the music of Astor Piazzolla, he took tango dance lessons. I don’t know whether he practiced the flamenco and seguidilla before this performance, but his Iberian dances were sharply characterized: by turns flirtatious, raunchy and arrogant.
Mr. Hadelich appeared undaunted by the technical challenges, bringing humor to the embellishments in the final movement and making the most of his instrument’s distinctive low range in the extensive passages on the G string.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
2009 - A Prized Violin and a Flair for Playing It
The violinist Augustin Hadelich plays the 1683 ex-Gingold Stradivarius, named after the eminent violinist Josef Gingold, to whom it once belonged. Mr. Hadelich, 25, was awarded temporary use of the instrument after winning the 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Gingold (who founded the competition and died in 1995) was famous for the tonal beauty of his playing and, as a pedagogue, for instilling complete musicianship in his students. He would surely have approved of the brilliant recital given by Mr. Hadelich and the masterly collaborative pianist Rohan De Silva at the Frick Collection on Sunday evening.
Mr. Hadelich stands out amid gifted young violinists for his prodigious technique, gorgeous tone and ability to deliver well-known works with a distinctive interpretive flair. His technically dazzling and sultry rendition of Sarasate’s “Carmen Fantasy,” which concluded the program, oozed sensuality.
Mr. Hadelich plays with a singing tone that seems to communicate directly with each listener, particularly in the appealingly resonant confines of the Frick’s intimate music room.
[…In] Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3 for solo violin, “Ballade,” […] Mr. Hadelich’s burnished tone sounded particularly lovely, and he navigated the technical intricacies of this bravura showpiece with seemingly effortless virtuosity.
Mr. Hadelich’s accomplishments are all the more remarkable in light of his background: he was seriously injured in a fire in 1999 and needed extensive rehabilitation to regain the use of his bow arm and hand. He performs like a musician who takes nothing for granted, communicating an expressive, joyful spontaneity.
NEW YORK TIMES - Vivien Schweitzer