Baltimore Symphony Orchestra / Jakub Hrusa, January 2016
Khachatryan’s visit was overdue. He made his BSO debut a decade ago, playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto memorably. He addressed the same work on this return, and played the heck out of it even more impressively Sunday afternoon at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The performance was greeted with shouts and whoops not typically expected from a matinee crowd. And no wonder.
This was a sterling performance in technique, to be sure, but, more importantly, in terms of interpretive depth. The hushed opening made that clear; Khachatryan coaxed his first notes as if from some ethereal realm.
Such pianissimo playing, matched in subtlety by the orchestra’s strings, cast a spell over the hall.