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Brahms violin and horn sonatas

 

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"Brahms is great," says violinist Wu. "Brahms is my favorite composer." An exuberant fellow with a quick laugh, Wu has been with the DSO for twelve years, the last three as assistant concertmaster, but he still finds time every week for chamber music. "This is all very lyrical Brahms," he says, "not just the songs but the sonata." The D Minor Violin Sonata, the last of three, is late Brahms, Brahms after the last symphony and just before his official retirement — Brahms full of passionate reserve and heroic restraint. "Especially the Horn Trio," Wu continues. "It's very lyrical and got a very mellow sound." The E-flat Trio for Horn, Violin, and Piano is Brahms at his early maturity, Brahms before the First Symphony, even before Ein deutsches Requiem, Brahms full of glorious melody and tremendous energy but also touched in the Adagio mesto by a sadness occasioned by his beloved mother's recent death.

Wu says he plays chamber music with Michele Cooker "quite often, sometimes at DSO functions and sometimes at other things." As in all the best chamber music partnerships, Wu says he and Cooker understand each other: "We don't need to talk. It's just there."

[Review published November 2006]    (end of article)

 

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