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The Essential Joshua Bell

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

Customer Reviews

Post-Subway: Brilliant! Sad! Makes Me Stop to Hear the Roses

Was moved by the article in Washington Post about Joshua's experiment in the Washington DC subways to see if people would notice beauty in their busy daily lives. The outcome was both facsinating and deeply sad... but a reality that really less than 1% of us are going through life at any moment aware of our surroundings AND able to change our schedules if something amazing happens. Parents, please let your children stop to catch a glimpse of something amazing. If all you do is rush them by the magic in life.... what is the sum total of their childhood experiences?? Anyhow... I loved the music in the video of the experiment and looked for music just with Joshua Bell in it. Most on here were with other instruments... a few just solos. This is my way of listening to Joshua even if I couldn't on that day. Brother, keep pushing your own envelope and thanks for finding the time to do such a powerful performance that echoed all the way out here to Hawaii.

Absolutely Wonderful!

I never thought that one artist could play so well, using every good quality of his talent and his violin! Joshua Bell can play soft and sweet, but he can also play with power! Bravissimo on the vivace and spiccato parts! Absolutely wonderful!

beautiful, relaxing, romantic

Great album to listen to while studying or enjoying a bubble bath. Makes you feel like you in Europe, in a quaint, small city, and . . . in love. :)

Biography

Born: December 9, 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...
Full Bio

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