Reviews ...

Passion, humor and hometown success

... a cello concerto

by Jackie Wattenberg

It was Olde Home Night Saturday evening in Memorial Hall
as the audience
waited with great anticipation for the performing star of the
evening, cellist
Nicholas Finch, who grew up in Melrose. Now 31,he
performed with the
Boston Symphony at 18. Recently, he has been appointed
chief cellist of the
Louisville Orchestra and frequently plays with "A Far Cry," a
chamber orchestra.

After intermission he appeared on stage to perform
Dvoyak's only cello
concerto, which he had declined to compose earlier, and
was greeted
warmly. As was this performance by Finch, who was
welcomed with
welcomed with forceful applause - and cheers when he
appeared on stage
after intermission, tucked within the orchestra's musicians.

This concerto is perhaps the composer's most sensitive,
with few forceful
sections and a depth of wandering thoughtfully, softly,and
the young cellist
was ever sensitive to the moods. His tone is warm and
expressive, no trouble
with quicker tempos and sudden more dramatic passages.
His manner in
performing is modest, unpretentious, not ever boasting an
assurance of his
own talents ... maybe because he is a born Melrosian?

This concerto has long been associated with French cellist
Jacqueline dePre,
whose brilliant career was stopped short by multiple
sclerosis. This is not an
easy concerto, for either soloist or orchestra, but the
orchestra under
Udagawa, despite snow-cancelled rehearsals, responded
well to the
demands of the music and the warmth and the sensitivity
of our gifted
young cellist.

The program began with laughter as Conductor Yoichi
Udagawa described
the drama of Wagner's opera, "Tristan and Isolde," before
conducting its
gorgeous "Prelude and Liebestod." If our conductor ever
gets a little bored
with conducting, he could tell amusing stories on John
Stewart's late night
TV show, or just wait until the fall when Stephen Colbert
takes over the "Late

Also included in this program titled "Love and Longing" was
the "Romeo and
Juliet Fantasy Overture" by Tchaikovsky, a very romantic
piece indeed, also
amusingly described by Conductor Udagawa. With snow
preventing rehearsal
times, this was heartfelt, but a little troubled here and

Lucky for music lovers, not a waft of snow on Saturday

Reprinted with permission from the
Melrose Free
Press March 12,2015..


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