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Duke Arts Presents

David Finckel, Cello & Wu Han, Piano

Saturday, February 26, 2022 | 8:00 pm

Chamber Arts Series

Baldwin Auditorium

Husband-and-wife duo David Finckel (cello) and Wu Han (piano), directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, return to Durham for Duke Performances’ 2022 spring season. The evening’s program, The Unfolding of Music, journeys through two centuries, featuring sonatas by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Debussy, and Britten. Finckel and Han will lead listeners through the extraordinary evolution of classical music. Beginning with Bach’s vibrant sonata for the viola da gamba and harpsichord – the ancestors of the cello and piano – the program transitions seamlessly to Beethoven’s experimental sonata from the twilight of the Classical period, whose opening recollects the music of Bach. Mendelssohn, who paved the way for full-blown Romanticism, is featured in his second sonata, an ebullient, virtuosic work that pushed the capabilities of the instruments to their limits at the time. Debussy, universally regarded as the inspiration for musical modernism, composed his only cello sonata late in his life, and the short work became the most important work for the cello in the Impressionist style. The program concludes with the extraordinary sonata by the renowned Englishman Benjamin Britten, the first of five masterworks he composed for Rostropovich. Finckel was privileged to study the work with Rostropovich, gaining priceless insight into the sonata’s conception through the intimate knowledge of its dedicatee.

Please note: This performance replaces the Eliot Quartett’s planned February 26 performance. The “Four Quartets” reading planned for February 27 is also canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. If you purchased a ticket for the Eliot Quartett, you will be contacted regarding an exchange or refund.



The Unfolding of Music 

Bach: Sonata in G Major for Viola da gamba and Keyboard, BWV 1027 (1720)
Beethoven: Sonata in C Major for Cello and Piano, Op. 102, No. 1 (1815)
Mendelssohn: Sonata No. 2 in D Major for Cello and Piano, Op. 58 (1842–43)
Debussy: Sonata in d minor for Cello and Piano (1915)
Britten: Sonata in C Major for Cello and Piano, op. 65 (1960–61)

David Finckel & Wu Han - Bach: Sonata at Tippet Rise Art Center

"...What the cellist David Finckel and the pianist Wu Han have achieved with their hands-on approach to blending standard, unusual and new repertory...has connected with a large, enthusiastic constituency."

The New York Times