Augustin Hadelich / London Philharmonic Orchestra / Vasily Petrenko / Omer Meir Wellber

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole

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Augustin Hadelich is quite comfortable in the violin's standard repertoire, though in his recordings he has sometimes paired a well-known concerto with one that is less familiar, e.g., matching the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Concentric Paths by Thomas Adès, showing an adventurous side to his programming. However, for this 2017 release on LPO, he plays the famous Violin Concerto in D major by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, backed with a perennial concert favorite, the Symphonie espagnole of Édouard Lalo, two powerhouse Romantic works that need no introduction. These live performances, with Vasily Petrenko conducting the Tchaikovsky and Omer Meir Wellber conducting the Lalo, are unabashed showstoppers, and the response of the audience in London's Southbank Centre shows how effective these performances were. Hadelich takes a fairly relaxed approach to the barline, and his affable inflections and playing with phrasing show a seasoned virtuoso at home with the music and unafraid of where it will take him. The extraordinary sound of this recording puts Hadelich front and center, and there's no loss of orchestral details in the meticulous engineering, so every note is fully audible. While there's no shortage of recordings of the Tchaikovsky or the Lalo, this recording is worth considering for Hadelich's highly personal and personable performance, and the satisfying richness of the London Philharmonic's sound.

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