David Finckel, Wu Han and Philip Setzer will be playing an all-Mendelssohn program when they come to the theater on Friday, February 24, 7:30 pm. Jacob Stockinger, who blogs at "The Well-Tempered Ear," interviewed Finckel and Han. The full interview will be available on his blog next week. In the meantime, here's a teaser, Finckel's explanation of the program choice.
Ear: Why did you choose an all-Mendelssohn program? Could you give a short introduction to each piece you will play and what you think its importance is or what the audience should listen for?
David Finckel: Mendelssohn was not only one of the most skilled and devoted musicians of all time, but his music appeals to a broad spectrum of the public, from those who are musical experts to new listeners. His ingenious voice well deserves an entire evening's attention.
The Trio in D Minor, Mendelssohn's first, shows him in a stormy mood for its outer movements, and offers both a song without words and “A Midsummer Night's Dream” experience in its middle movements. There’s something for everyone in this trio.
The Trio in C Minor is a more advanced work in terms of its
structure, with a final movement that contains extraordinary
innovations. Listen for the quiet introducing of a hymn within a
folk-inspired movement, and follow its progress toward the conclusion where both ideas are reconciled. It is one of the most magical creations in all of chamber music.
The Sonata for Cello and Piano in D Major is one of Mendelssohn's most exuberant works. Giving the lion's share of notes to the piano, the composer nevertheless affords the cello all the main themes and uses the instrument's signature lyrical strengths to the fullest. It's an absolute joy to play from start to finish.