Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 5 in d major, Op. 102, No. 2
Musical America has just announced its 2012 awards, and for the first time ever a duo partnership has snagged the “grand prize” to be named Musician(s) of the Year: DAVID FINCKEL AND WU HAN Read more
“In the chamber music world they are rock stars”
We could have said it, but in fact the above quote appeared in a terrific New York Times Arts and Leisure feature (the sort we used to see frequently, now much rarer) on David Finckel and Wu Han’s many contributions to chamber music. The comment was made by Chamber Music America’s chief executive Margaret Lioi, who went on to say: “Having people with that international profile leading a chamber music organization cannot be overestimated in terms of bringing the kind of attention to the art form that they have been able to do.” In addition Ara Guzelimian (dean of the Juilliard School) observed: “David and Wu Han are heroic role models of the chamber musician as entrepreneur.” No wonder “Chamber Music’s Busy Power Couple” (as the Times headline read) continues to be in such high demand, with nine duo concerts between Feb-May!
25-Feb 2010 On January 31, David Finckel and Wu Han performed Beethoven's five sonatas for cello and piano in a sold-out concert at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. For the first time since reopening last year, the legendary venue was forced to resort to stage seating to accommodate the audience. This concert was part of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's Complete Beethoven Cycle series. Vivien Schweitzer of the New York Times called the performance “terrific,” citing their “striking interpretation” of the Sonata in A (Op. 69) and the D Major Sonata, which offered “an impressive showcase for Mr. Finckel's rich tone and Ms. Wu's sensitive musicianship.” Read the full review
Violinist Philip Setzer (of the Emerson Quartet) joined the duo this month to perform Franz Schubert's piano trios in a series of concerts in Chicago, Richmond, and Boston, where they were received by enthusiastic audiences and press acclaim.
The Chicago Classical Review had this to say:
The program, showcasing Schubert's two piano trios, offered a thrilling combination of technical prowess and almost telepathic communication onstage. Throughout the evening we felt the performers' sheer delight in making music together....
Setzer, Finckel and Han explored every corner of this fertile terrain. Their voices were perfectly balanced. Each was clearly present and more than willing to take the spotlight when appropriate. But at no point did Han's lucid, often playful piano, Finckel's darkly textured cello or Setzer's crisp violin distort Schubert's delicate musical balance....
These trios are full of sudden stops and changes of direction, and in these transitions the three musicians seemed to stop breathing and then exhale like a single organism. The music unfolded like a spontaneous, heady conversation among three intimate friends. Performances don't get more exciting than this." Read the full review
The Boston Globe concurred:
"The performance was marvelous. The sound was old-fashioned in its plushness.... Schubert's melodies unfolded with sure-footed grace, all three players attuned to the music's slow-build but resolute large-scale rhythmic pace, not injecting fervency into each phrase, but drawing out reserves of warmth.
Read the full review