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Classical 101

David Finckel Completes Long Farewell With Emerson Quartet

Professional athletes find themselves at the end of their careers when most of us are just getting started.  Fastballs slow down, knees can't take pounding on the football field, reactions slow. With rare exception, musicians improve with age.  Familiarity with the music allows deeper understanding and expression. Once difficult passages become less daunting. For a string quartet, familiarity is a huge part of music making, so when a member of a string quartet leaves, it can be tough to find the right fit.  It's not unlike losing a family member.  Replacing them with the wrong person can create an impossible situation. Now, two years after David Finckel decided to leave the Emerson String Quartet, the transition is complete, Paul Watkins in sitting in David Finckel's familiar spot, and the earth still spins. In a conversation with writers from the NPR Classical blog Deceptive Cadence, Finckel reflects on his time with Emerson, their final recording together, and where he goes from here. Read more: David Finckel On The Emerson Quartet's Changing Of The Guard (NPR)