During Friday's performance at Abravnel Hall, Augustin Hadelich earned an encore after blazing through Bartok's Concerto No. 2 for Violin and Orchestra alongside the Utah Symphony.
It seemed like the least the more-than-appreciative crowd could do after already having given him a fast-rising standing ovation at the conclusion of the lilting, engaging Bartok piece.
Led by Guest Conductor Julian Kuerti, the Symphony soared along in perfect accompaniment as Hadelich tore through a nearly a half-hour of blazing crescendos, demonstrating overwhelming technique, a sense of dynamics and complete mastery of the piece. When he halted briefly during the section section of the Concerto, before racing back into the music, as the Symphony flawlessly resumed its place beneath the violin, it seemed effortless - and more powerful because of the ease with which they had done it.
After the standing ovation, Hadelich returned to play Paganini's Caprice No. 24. A brief but imposing piece that again required the violinist and his 1723 Stradivarius violin to engage in top-flight pyrotechnics that again left the crowd on its feet.
Following the intermission, the Symphony skillfully worked its way through three moving Rachmaninoff pieces before launching the evening's featured performance, DeBussy's "La mer," an Impressionistic composition designed to reflect the ocean. Although the Symphony was on target, and La Mer is beautiful and does indeed evoke the ocean, the crowd didn't seem as fixated as they had been earlier in the evening.
It seemed understandable. Following the 26-year-old Julliard graduate's wonderful appearance, it was difficult to refocus.