San Diego Union-Tribune
May 15, 2016
Wu Han shines in Music Society’s Beethoven concerts
David Finckel and Philip Setzer also bring their A game to La Jolla Music Society’s ‘The Complete Beethoven Piano Trios’ performances
“It takes at least four concerts to hear every symphony Beethoven composed — six to hear all his string concerts and eight very long concerts to hear every piano sonata.
On Saturday at Sherwood Auditorium, pianist Wu Han, violinist Philip Setzer and cellist David Finckel devoted two concerts — with a dinner break in between — to what were billed as “The Complete Beethoven Piano Trios.” Musicologists and hardcore chamber music fans were thrilled by the opportunity to hear six Beethoven trios in chronological order given masterly performances; other listeners may have been overwhelmed by the endeavor.
Sponsored by the La Jolla Music Society, the afternoon concert featured the three Piano Trios, Opus 1. All three works expanded piano trio form by adding a fourth movement, a cocky move on the young composer’s part. The trios of Haydn and Mozart were less ambitious than their string quartets or symphonies. In Beethoven’s Opus 1, the 24-year-old composer demonstrated that a piano, violin and cello could produce an equally meaningful musical statement.”