From the Classical Vault Dept.: I remember this concert well. The aged audience at Memorial Chapel was usually given to odd coughs and eructations, but at some point during the first sonata, the geezer two rows back sneezed with enough velocity that I felt it on the back of my neck. Followed by more sneezes. Too self-conscious to change seats mid-piece, I waited it out but – too late! – came down with the flu a few days later. Is it any wonder I trust no-one in the age of Covid?
AS PIANIST WU HAN pointed out during last Sunday’s Union College concert, we’re fortunate to have a wide chronological spread of Beethoven’s five cello sonatas. The first two, written when the composer was 25, show the first stirrings of rebellion in the context of fairly well-behaved classical pieces.
|David Finckel and Wu Han|
Which meant that we were able to enjoy a program that was at once a panorama of Beethoven’s styles and an intimate exploration of the sound of cello and piano, in the able hands of David Finckel and Wu Han, whose many visits to the Union College Concert Series have made them audience favorites.
They have long ago demonstrated the degree of technical mastery that makes all effort transparent. Add to this that Finckel played the cello parts from memory, and you can understand that the music itself would not be an issue. What we were there to witness was their unique interpretive stamp.