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The Essential Joshua Bell

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Album Review

Existing fans of violinist Joshua Bell are already well-acquainted with the broad scope of repertoire and performance abilities ranging deftly from the classical concerto repertoire to his well-known collaborations with Edgar Meyer. For those unfamiliar with Bell's recorded works, this two-disc set of The Essential Joshua Bell provides quite a comprehensive overview of his wide-ranging talents. Of course, it could also be argued that if one movement of a concerto is "essential," so too should be the rest of the movements. Some of the single-movement works on the album, such as the Paganini variations or the Sarasate "Introduction and Tarantella," work well on compilation albums such as this because they don't leave the listener with an incomplete picture of what the composer had intended. With larger works such as the concertos of Goldmark, Mendelssohn, or Beethoven, hearing only single movements doesn't do full justice to either the composer nor to Bell's performances. This anthology also surprisingly lacks Bell's recording of the Tchaikovsky concerto, perhaps one of his most energetic and innovative performances of a standard repertoire concerto. So if you're really not sure if you like Bell's playing or his choice of repertoire, this is certainly an enjoyable introduction. Otherwise, do yourself a favor and invest in the complete albums from which this collection was made. ~Mike D. Brownell, Rovi


Born: 09 December 1967 in Bloomington, IN

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Internationally known violinist Joshua Bell has performed with all the major orchestras and is proficient in the works of Beethoven, Lalo, Tchaikovsky, and Wieniawski. He is known for both his contemporary and classical repertoire. Joshua Bell was born in Indiana in 1967 and acquired an interest in playing the violin at an early age. By the age of 14 he had made his professional debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He studied under violinist Josef Gingold. After his debut performance, his career...
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