This weekend, amazing artistry and beloved favorites come together in The Artistry of Augustin Hadelich, featuring pieces by Bach, Shostakovich, and Saint-Georges. Grammy Award-winning Hadelich, “one of the outstanding violinists of his generation,” (New York Times) returns as soloist and leader with the Symphony, last appearing in Houston in January 2020.
Principal Oboe Jonathan Fischer joins Hadelich to open the program with Bach’s marvelous Concerto for Violin and Oboe. Read on to hear more from Fischer about his excitement for the piece, favorite moments, and more.
Houston Symphony: What are you most looking forward to when playing with Augustin Hadelich?
Jonathan Fischer: I have admired Augustin's playing for years and am always thrilled to have him here as our soloist. However, this time he'll also be leading the orchestra while he plays. Playing without a conductor creates a different dynamic for us and I think we will feel more connected to the orchestra, as if we're playing chamber music.
HS: What Baroque stylistic elements should the audience listen for in the Double Concerto?
JF: I'm certainly not an expert in Baroque performance practices, but I'm always charmed by the sense of gesture when playing music of this era. Within the longer phrases there are small gestures, like little bows and curtsies, turns and trills, which usually take place on the strong beats, making the music feel like a dance.
HS: Which movement are you most excited about performing and why?
JF: The second, without a doubt! The second movement of the Bach Double is one of those pieces that makes me happy I'm an oboist. It's filled with long, soaring phrases forming a conversation between the oboe and the violin. It's truly gorgeous.
HS: The original instrumentation of Bach’s Double Concerto is debated, but some say it was either written for two harpsichords or two violins. Does knowing this impact your artistic interpretation? If so, how?
JF: I think it sounds great for oboe and violin and since the second movement is one of my favorite things to play, I try not to pull on that thread, ha. I certainly don't adjust my sound or anything like that. I let the oboe sound like an oboe.
WATCH: Jonathan Fischer on his reed-making process, and performing with the Houston Symphony.