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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Evening with some Amazing Musicians

Last night was a musical mountaintop experience as I listened to David Finckel and Wu Han play an amazing program on masterworks for cello and piano. Opening with Schubert's tuneful Arpeggione Sonata, a work written for a now defunct hybrid between the cello and the guitar, I was quite taken by David's careful attention to Schubert's melodies, and how he took great care in his bowings to make the phrases sound as if they were sung and not played on an instrument.

Next came a youthful Beethoven sonata, one that was obviously written more to show off his own skill at the piano than the cellists' prowess. Wu Han tore it up to put it somewhat bluntly. She fired off Beethoven's clusters of notes with apparent ease. More remarkable still was the delightful rapport between this husband and wife duo.

In the second half we were treated to music of Anton Webern. Wu Han set the mood for the audience with a humorous chat about the music, deftly dispelling any fears that the audience may have had about the brief but sometimes pungent music.

Finally a gorgeous and autumnal Brahms sonata finished out the program. Two encores followed, a little melody by Borodin and a fierce scherzo by Shostakovich. This was an amazing evening of music making. I encourage you to check out David and Wu Han's recordings at

There was a lovely reception afterwards in a private home, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to join the artists around an intimate table for several hours of conversation and bantering about music and musicians. What a night!


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Grasshopper

-Dr. J from Indiana.

Kevin Sutton said...

Thank you. You're very kind.

Anonymous said...

De nada, my friend.