Augustin Hadelich / Miguel Harth Bedoya / Norwegian Radio Orchestra

Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2; Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto

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German-American violinist Augustin Hadelich made the most of a substitute appearance for Christian Tetzlaff at Disney Hall in Los Angeles in 2014 and has emerged as a growing young star. It's easy to hear why in this 2015 release, combining a pair of well-worn repertory concertos, but offering new insights into each. Hadelich is well supported by conductor Miguel Harth Bedoya and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, who obviously took the time to figure out what the soloist was doing in readings that present unorthodox interpretations of both concertos. Efforts to run counter to type may achieve nothing more than quirkiness, but Hadelich's performances have logic as well as originality. The Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, is especially effective: Hadelich cuts way back on the vibrato in the outer movements and in general delivers a dry performance of a work that is generally synonymous with Romantic lyricism. The outer movements have an episodic quality with lots of local detail, and they stand up to the more lush slow movement. Hadelich also applies greater lushness to the Bartók Violin Concerto No. 2, a work in which Bartók flirted with serialism and devised an extremely ingenious hybrid sonata-variation form. Here he seems to be working a bit more at cross purposes with the music, but mileage may vary. At the very least, he's an exciting young artist who's not keeping things safe.

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