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Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Chamber Ensemble
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Brentano String Quartet
Chamber Music Society of
Lincoln Center
Elias String Quartet
David Finckel, cello & Wu Han, piano
Daniel Hope, violin
Jerusalem Quartet
Prazak Quartet
St. Lawrence String Quartet



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Duo Programs - 2017/18 Season:

  1. The Singing Cello        
    Beethoven: 7 Variations in E-flat Major on 'Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen' from Die Zauberflöte by Mozart, WoO 46 (1801)
    Franck: Cello Sonata in A Major, M.8 (1876)
    Mendelssohn: “Song without Words” for Cello and Piano, op. 109 (1845)                                Grieg:  Sonata in A-Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 36 (1882)
     Or (presenter choice)
    Chopin: Sonata in G-minor, Op. 65 (1846-1847)


About the Singing Cello program, David Finckel and Wu Han comment: “Among all of the musical instruments, the cello is closest to matching the timbre of the human voice. When selecting repertoire for a cello program with this in mind, we began with Beethoven’s elegant variations on a Mozart opera followed by Franck’s beloved Violin Sonata (transcribed by the duo for cello and piano), which was composed as a wedding gift for the violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. Mendelssohn’s ‘Song Without Words’ follows, and our program concludes with a Sonata by either Grieg or Chopin, both hyper-romantic works that never fail to tickle our listeners’ hearts.”


  1. Distinctive Voices               
    Beethoven:  12 Variations in G-Major on "See the conqu'ring hero comes" from Handel's Judas Maccabaeus, WoO 45

    Bruce Adolphe:  "Couple" - composed for DFWH (1998)
    Lera Auerbach:  "Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 69 - composed for DFWH (2002)
    Mendelssohn:  Song Without Words for Cello and Piano
    Grieg:  Sonata in A-Minor for Cello and Piano, Op. 36

About the Distinctive Voices program, David Finckel and Wu Han comment: “In offering this program, we offer our audiences the unique opportunity to hear four distinctive voices from four very different cultures around the world. This journey starts off in familiar territory, with Beethoven’s operatic variations on a theme of Handel. Delightful American optimism is exuded in Bruce Adolphe’s ‘Couple,’ followed by the passionate and intensely Russian voice of Lera Auerbach. After a visit to Leipzig for a quintessential Mendelssohn ‘Song Without Words’ (composed specifically for cello), Grieg’s a minor Sonata concludes our program, celebrating the picturesque landscape that so profoundly influenced the Norwegian composer. This program is certainly an unusual one for us; its repertoire highlights the incredible variation between four distinctly different cultures, all through the virtuosic display of the piano and cello.”

III. The Russian Cello       
Prokofiev:  Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major, op. 119 (1949)

Shostakovich:  Sonata for Cello and Piano in d minor, op. 40 (1934)

Rachmaninov:  Sonata for Piano and Cello in g minor, op. 19 (1901)

About the Russian Cello program, David Finckel and Wu Han comment: “It is no secret in the music world that David’s greatest cello influence was the incomparable Mstislav Rostropovich, with whom he studied for ten of his most formative years.  The time we spent with Rostropovich – not only in musical settings – gave us a deep understanding of the Russian culture and especially its music.  We cannot play or even think of these pieces without recalling the spirit of Rostropovich, whose influence continues to guide us in our interpretation of these works, pieces that are extremely close to our hearts.”  

IV. Ludwig van Beethoven: The Five Sonatas for Piano and Cello (1796-1815)

About the Beethoven Cycle program, David Finckel and Wu Han comment: “We’ve mentioned more than once that if we did not have these five great sonatas from the composer we revere above all others, that we might not even be playing duos!  That is how essential we consider these works, not only to our professional lives but to our inner selves as musicians. There is no substitute for learning these pieces if one hopes to be a serious cellist, especially on the recital stage. We are happy that we learned and recorded them early in our career, as they have taught us much about music and about ourselves along the way, and they continue to be an irreplaceable facet of our musical lives. It has been a joy for us to share this cycle with audiences on three continents through performances of it in every season so far in our career.”           

Trio Programs for 2017/18: David Finckel, cello, Wu Han, piano, Philip Setzer, violin