“But in the hands of Capuçon and Wang, this music took on an edge and excitement often reserved for more muscular romantic works. Bold sections had full-bodied power while Chopin’s soft interjections sounded with a soft glow. The opening theme, which provided much of the material for the first movement, unspooled in a long line as Wang shaped her phrases with generous rubato. When he took over the phrase, Capuçon transformed Chopin’s music into an almost operatic melisma.”
“The two sonatas, very different in character, gave the duo with an excuse to explore the softer side of virtuosity. Together, they frequently made the music whisper without losing any of its engaging tone. The pianissimo playing drew our attention into a rapt, tight circle around the stage lights.
Then the music would explode into passionate louder passages that conveyed deep emotion without ever losing a sense of tasteful control. This might sound calculated, and by necessity it has to be, but Wang and Capuçon also had the ability to make the unfolding drama in music sound spontaneous.”
“But Wang — a star locally since her Curtis days and a superstar everywhere else since — is a pianist worth hearing because of her strong personality, and it was there in abundance. In the Chopin Cello Sonata, Opus 65, she found ideas and musical lines to underscore in boldface. So excitable was the last movement you felt you were in the throes of some weather phenomenon. She digs into moments of arrival, releasing a deep sense of satisfaction.”