Friday, June 18, 2021

Lede by Johannes Brahms

Davies Symphony Hall
Photo by me

I've got a review published today, in an unusual location: in Joshua Kosman's absence, I reviewed the San Francisco Symphony for the SF Chronicle. It was a fine program, with a terrific Brahms violin concerto that was quite different from the last time I heard it live, a more extroverted account by Christian Tetzlaff under MTT. The more I hear Augustin Hadelich, born in Italy to German parents, now a U.S. citizen, the more I like him.

I'm going to get up on a soapbox now: I was thrilled by the applause after the first movement, I joined in, and I think it's high time for a return to 19th century norms, where such applause was expected. I never want to have to sit on my hands after the first movement of Mahler's mighty Eighth Symphony again! And Salonen and Hadelich accepted the applause, looking pleased by it. More like this, and fellow audience members, no shushing, no finger-wagging, no protests!


nobleviola said...

Hadelich is my favorite violinist that we get as a regular soloist. His Beethoven a couple seasons ago was incredible, as was his Ades concerto. Incredible musicianship! And a delightful human!

Lisa Hirsch said...

He is wonderful. His stage demeanor is modest and slightly awkward, which I like. Nice to hear that he is a delightful human!

David Bratman said...

You were with me at Hadelich's first appearance with SFS, playing the Beethoven under Blomstedt in April 2013. His low-vibrato, nasal and tonally wandering quality, and amazingly crisp fingering reminded me of recordings of Joachim and other early violinists.
I heard him again at SFS in the Mendelssohn with Urbanski in 2017. Again a dry, unresonant tone, but his urgently energetic phrasing made for a brisk, winning performance, better than he could do with Blomstedt.

"modest and slightly awkward" - words that describe Gil Shaham also, another great performer

Lisa Hirsch said...

I don't really like the Beethoven much, or anyone, I strongly disliked that performance. I heard the Mendelssohn but remember the other works on the program better.

His vibrato was to the fore Thursday night, for sure.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Anyway, not anyone, of course.