Masterclass: Augustin Hadelich on Beethoven’s Violin Concerto first movement - part 2

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The German–American violinist considers ensemble, character and line in the first movement of this great Classical work, in the second of two articles

It can be easy to lose yourself in each beautiful phrase of this concerto, and to forget the musical direction and structural understanding necessary to sustain the long first movement. While there are many ‘right’ interpretations, it is nevertheless possible to make bad choices. As beautifully and brilliantly as the solo part shines and stands out, this is a symphonic work, conceived by Beethoven as a whole, and the soloist needs to be aware of where to lead and where to follow. It is important always to be in communication with the orchestra and to be aware of all its voices, without being over-indulgent or selfish. 

There is great depth in the simplicity of this music, and it is a work that has become more meaningful to me the longer I have studied, played and listened to it. The time and effort I have invested in it have been repaid many times over…

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