We were disappointed that David Lockington would not be here (because we love him)
but were overall quite taken with the guest conductor, Andrew Grams, by
the time the concert was over. He walked out with his left arm bent at
his waist with his fist clenched, his baton in his right hand. He was
animated, dramatic, and altogether fun to watch (stock photo).
comments about the music. Brahms wrote only one violin concerto and he
wrote it for a friend of his. And apparently (obviously?) he composed it
to show off the skills of his friend, violinist Joseph Joachim (on the right).
it is superb. One can hear glimpses of Brahms in the orchestra but the
solo part is all technique, especially in the first movement. (Listen to his symphonies if you want to hear the beauty of Brahms.) And yes,
violinist Augustin Hadelich is incredible, as he proved again during his
encore, flawlessly performing Paganini's Caprice No. 5, a technical
and impressive masterly performance. He has his own amazing back story, coming back from a serious burn at age 15 that threatened his future as a violinist (stock photo). But comparing this concerto to Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D (recently read in a review) doesn't work for me, as the latter is stunningly beautiful and the former is just technical to my ears. It's nothing against Hadelich because I'm pretty sure he can play anything, beautifully and perfectly.
The second work
of the night was Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. It was interesting to
hear individual instruments/sections highlighted and it was impressive
overall but again, we were not swept away. I'm sure this is sacrilege to
fans of the composition, but other than parts of the fourth and fifth
movements, it all seemed somewhat randomly constructed.
Some music can
bring you to tears just through its sheer beauty, but tonight was not
that night. It was technically amazing but it did not touch our souls.