The elegant, but impassioned musicianship of Augustin Hadelich evokes the violinists of the ‘golden age’ of the early and mid-20th century. Winner in 2015 of the inaugural Warner Music Prize, Hadelich now releases his first recording for Warner Classics: Paganini’s 24 Caprices for solo violin. These works of proverbial virtuosity were conceived by the flamboyant Nicolò Paganini to test and showcase every aspect of a violinist’s skills. As Gramophone has written, Hadelich “meets and surmounts all obstacles, yet it's not technical wizardry that most impresses but his musicianship.”
Hadelich’s musical personality has been summarised by the WashingtonRead more Post as “distinct and nostalgic, never a dizzying exhibition of skill devoid of substance”. Similarly, Gramophone has written that Hadelich “meets and surmounts all obstacles, yet it's not technical wizardry that most impresses but his musicianship. He makes the musical sense of each piece crystal clear, and his playing has an inner life, each phrase, each note, is felt as it's played.” Described as a “brilliant violinist” by The New York Times, in the words of The Strad he is “a masterful musician”.
In general, Hadelich plays these pieces not as studies but as tone poems, even rhapsodies. In the mystical trilling of No 6 he captures the music’s poetic heart: his diminuendo as the music changes key towards the end of the piece is absolutely breathtaking. In No 17 in E flat he sounds as if he’s challenging rivals to have as much fun as he is having: the only time I have heard this music sound a more mercurial note is in Liszt’s piano transcription of it, and then only in the hands of Horowitz. In the 24th Caprice his expressive way with slides and vibrato (which is never used with predictable consistency), his rich multiple-stops, and often thrilling passagework at speed, is breathtaking.
Introducing the bright future of violin artistryMarch 20, 2018By David P. (Palm Springs, CA)See All My Reviews"I have three copies of various artists playing the Paganini Caprices, and have even played one or two of the easier ones passably well. This young man brings to them a new sense of artistry and melodic depth. His vibrato is reminiscent of a singer as much as a violinist, and his tone is warm and full. The combination of these elements and his technical prowess make him a real star. I've never heard the Caprices performed like this young man does - I'll probably never listen to my other three copies again. In a world of young technicians who play flawlessly but with little depth, Augustin Hadelich is a welcome change. He adds a song-like quality to everything he touches. Perhaps the fact that he was mostly self-taught, and has conquered adversity in his life bring this added emotionality to his playing. If you can find his recordings, buy them!"Report Abuse
Fireworks and PoetryMarch 6, 2018By Kevin H. (Poughkeepsie, NY)See All My Reviews"I very much enjoyed my first listen of this cd and have gone back to it repeatedly. This holds up very well against other interpretations that I have (including Perlman and Accardo). Hadelich does not treat these caprices as mere exercises, rather he imbues them with a depth of feeling and poetry that is at times mesmerizing. Even if you have other fine interpretations of this piece I would challenge you to listen to this one and not be taken aback by a new revelation or two. The sound is excellent and immediate in a good way. This is a wonderful violinist on top of his game. Looking forward to more from him!"Report Abuse