SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Recital with Joyce Yang, March 2017

"News about Augustin Hadelich has been spreading slowly but inexorably over the past few years, as audiences become increasingly aware of the integrity and imagination of the young German violinist’s playing. He made an impressive debut with the San Francisco Symphony in 2013, gave a handful of solo recitals in the area, and recently won a Grammy for his recording of Dutilleux’s violin concerto “L’arbre des songes.”
In his return to San Francisco on Monday, March 13, Hadelich left no doubt that he’s a violinist of the first order, boasting iron technique and probing intellectual fervor. [...]
 
Appearing in Herbst Theatre alongside the excellent pianist Joyce Yang in a recital presented by Chamber Music San Francisco, Hadelich moved easily across a range of repertoire, from Mozart and Beethoven sonatas to a recent work by the Australian composer Brett Dean. The partnership was clearly an effective one, with the two performers seeing eye to eye on matters of tempo, mood and dramatic emphasis.
And the seriousness with which Hadelich seems to approach everything he tackles paid wondrous dividends throughout. Beethoven’s G-Major Sonata, Op. 30, No. 3, sounded structurally sturdy as well as lithe in its phrasing. Stravinsky’s “Divertimento,” drawn from the composer’s Tchaikovskian pastiche “The Fairy’s Kiss,” was at once energetically extroverted — especially in the vivacious variations of the final movement — and carefully weighted.
Yet Hadelich never makes things easy for the listener, and he offers few concessions to sensual delight or straightforward entertainment. (Few, but not none — the encore, Jascha Heifetz’s arrangement of Manuel Ponce’s song “Estrellita,” was a short, sumptuous burst of irresistible schmaltz.)
[...] Yet the pleasures of Monday’s performance far outweighed these reservations. In particular, Mozart’s Sonata in A, K. 305, was a marvel — taut, elegant and wonderfully graceful. Here was a case where the fastidious attention to detail displayed by both performers resulted in a performance of sparkling clarity."
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Joshua Kosman, March 14 2017
 

Debut with San Francisco Symphony - Beethoven Concerto

...the real splendor in this rendition came in the slow movement, a serene and harmonically static series of variations. This is music of extremely inward reflection, always teetering on the brink of solipsism, and the challenge for the soloist is to bring the audience into that inner world without shattering its Zen-like air of stillness.
 
Hadelich managed the trick superbly, spinning out a long, sumptuous thread of melody that kept getting sweeter and more rapturous. He began in a subdued, slightly reserved vein, playing with a wiry tone that derived its power from the purity of his intonation.
 
And then, as variation followed variation and Beethoven's writing grew progressively more ornate, Hadelich kept probing ever deeper into the score's emotional riches. When the performers burst into the light-footed rondo theme of the finale, it almost came as a relief. (April 18, 2013)
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Joshua Kosman, March 14 2017

 

 

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