Sometimes the gap between one tradition, or one era, and another seems just too vast to bridge, to make the connection between the comforts of, say, the familiar older melodies when set against the risks of our moment, in this here and now.
Two days ago, guest conductor Cristian Macelaru led the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra in a program featuring friend and cellist Johannes Moser.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
CSO, Domenech, Hadelich beat the heat in colorful, pictorially rich performance.
It was the kind of night seldom encountered by the cool waters of Chautauqua Lake: suffocatingly hot and humid. So it was easy to forgive the not-insignificant portion of the Amphitheater audience that fled, presumably for the comfort of air-conditioned homes, after Augustin Hadelich’s Apollonian performance of Édouard Lalo’s “Symphonie espagnole.” They didn’t know that they would be missing a performance of Ottorino Respighi’s “Pines of Rome” that was almost as torrid as the weather.
When violinist Augustin Hadelich was 15 years old, he experienced a terrible accident.
An out-of-control fire on his family’s farm in Italy left him badly burned. He spent six months recovering from his wounds, which required multiple skin grafts.
Hadelich said that at the time of the accident, he was at the age when he didn’t think seriously about his future. Though his brush with death helped him appreciate being alive, he doesn’t often think about the incident.
Three may be the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s magic number this summer.
The CSO 2013 season features three world premieres: The Romeo and Juliet Project, a collaborative extravaganza featuring Chautauqua’s best in dance, theater and voice; Laurence Roman’s “Concertino for Flute and Orchestra,” featuring Richard Sherman, CSO principal flutist; and Michael Colina’s “Three Dances for Cello and Orchestra,” in which Jaime Laredo will conduct cellist Sharon Robinson, his wife.
There are also three evenings of anniversary performances. This year marks the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten and Pyotr Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring,” as well as the 200th birthdays of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. CSO will honor each of these composers throughout the season.
It would have been easy for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra to have presented a meat-and-potatoes program Thursday at the Amphitheater. But with violinist Augustin Hadelich engaged for the evening, something much more enticing was in store.
The concert, conducted by Mei-Ann Chen, included a classical concerto (Haydn’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in C major) and a favorite symphony (Mendelssohn’s “Italian”).
Ten years ago, 17-year-old violinist Augustin Hadelich made his U.S. debut with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. He has been back to Chautauqua almost every summer since.
“It’s one of the first places that gave me a chance, gave me a shot when I was just starting out,” he said. “The whole time I was there, I felt like people were really rooting for me and supporting me, and every time I’ve been back, as well.”