THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

David Finckel and Wu Han

Review: Finckel-Han-Setzer Trio | Dallas Chamber Music | Caruth Auditorium


Three's Proud

The Finckel-Han-Setzer Trio makes masterful music for the Dallas Chamber Music series.



published Thursday, November 6, 2014

Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
David Finckel and Wu Han

Dallas — When the average classical music aficionado is asked to list the best pianists, violinists, or cellists in the world, the same names crop up again and again. Although each fan’s exact choices will vary, almost always the named musicians are the soloists who perform recitals alone or accompanied, or play concertos with major orchestras.

It’s less common for chamber musicians to be mentioned in the same breath with Ax, Ma, Bell, and the like. In some cases, though, they should be, as Monday evening’s masterful performance by cellist David Finckel, pianist Wu Han, and violinist Philip Setzer demonstrated. These three musicians perform together in a variety of permutations. Finckel was, until last year, the cellist with the Emerson Quartet, and Setzer still plays with that ensemble. Han and Finckel are a married couple who regularly concertize together as a duo. Thus, it was possible last season to hear each of these musicians in DFW, in other combinations. Han and Finckel were in Fort Worth in March (see the review here), while the Emerson Quartet with new cellist Paul Watkins was in Dallas in April (see the review here). In any grouping, all three are brilliant. They present a systematic yet passionate approach that sets the bar for how chamber music should be played.

In Dallas for the first time as a threesome, the Finckel-Han-Setzer Trio performed only two pieces on the Dallas Chamber Music Series, but they are two of the most substantial pieces in the piano trio repertoire: the Mendelssohn C Minor Trio, Op. 66, and the Brahms B Major trio, Op 8. The C Minor is the less commonly performed of the two trios Mendelssohn wrote; his D Minor Trio is heard far more frequently. To me, anyway, the C Minor seems unjustly neglected. This late-Classical trio includes a gorgeous second-movement Andante followed by a wild ride of a Scherzo, and Wu Han herself discusses the religious themes in the piece in her recent interview with TJ here.

In Monday’s performance, the trio attacked the first movements with intensity—the climactic chord near the end of the first movement Allegro was almost a religious apotheosis, ecstatic and beautiful. They then took the Scherzo at a quite a quick tempo—not too fast to be musical, but certainly faster than many groups would be capable of.

The Brahms trio, a Romantic explosion, was also in spots almost unbelievably intense. There were moments where Han was just a bit overwhelming to the two string players, and others where Setzer, perhaps trying to outdo Han, played with a bit too much pressure. But these are such minor issues in a performance that was, in the aggregate, outstanding and memorable. The third movement Adagio, particularly, which in the wrong hands can simply be boring, here was a meditation of sparse, spare grandeur.

The encore was a movement from Dvořák’s “Dumky” trio. I would happily have stayed in the auditorium for another hour to hear them play the whole piece.

Each musician produces an extraordinary tone—Finckel, in particular, produces sound that is the ideal for the cello, luscious, dark, and gorgeous. What they can do individually, though, is surpassed by what they do together. This group’s great gift is for ensemble—it is clear that they have thought through the musical ideas they wish to convey, then they articulate those ideas, almost always, as if they are one voice. It is vanishingly rare to find a group with more uniformity of execution of musical ideas than this one. When one of these three musicians echoes a phrase that another has just played, it sounds as if the same person is playing, albeit on a different instrument.

In short, Monday’s performance was extraordinary. If you have a chance to see any of these musicians performing, together or separately, go. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Three's Proud
The Finckel-Han-Setzer Trio makes masterful music for the Dallas Chamber Music series.
by J. Robin Coffelt

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center Firehouse Theatre Mistletoe Magic Daylight Cara Mia Collin College Chamberlain Gloria Scrooge Irving Arts Center Dallas Opera Bocelli American Airlines center
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit