Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Max Bruch, Felix  Mendelssohn, Neville Marriner|
Bruch, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
This was Joshua Bell's first recording, made when he was 18 years old, but it already displays all the hallmarks of his style: an impeccable, brilliant technique so natural that one is never aware of it and a soaring, radi... more »
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This was Joshua Bell's first recording, made when he was 18 years old, but it already displays all the hallmarks of his style: an impeccable, brilliant technique so natural that one is never aware of it and a soaring, radiantly shimmering tone of singular beauty, intensity, warmth, and variety. Even more striking is his response to the music: with deeply felt, genuine expressiveness, he combines the spontaneity, romantic ardor, passion, and exuberance of youth with a mature inwardness, simplicity, and serenity. Using his formidable virtuosity only in the service of the music, Bell plays with great charm, poetry, and nobility, and without a trace of sentimentality; his musical feeling is so honest that he needs no external exaggerations to express himself. Like many aspiring young violinists, Bell was assigned two well-worn staples for his recording debut, but he makes them sound as fresh as new discoveries. By contrast, the orchestra sounds jaded and pedestrian, and is not always with him in fact or spirit, but his irresistible vitality triumphs over all obstacles. --Edith Eisler
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Well, what do you expect? * * * * *
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a rather old recording, and okay, maybe Vengerov does do the Mendelssohn better, but you will notice that, even after saying that, I am still giving this CD five stars. If you have room for another Mendelssohn/Bruch recording, make it this one. A few corrections: this was not, technically, his first recording: his premiere CD with London Records was "Presenting Joshua Bell", which is also available here. And as for him not resorting to extra physical effort... well, have you ever seen him in concert? But what you hear on the recording is a sweet violin tone that no other violinist living today can completely accomplish. The main thing that stands out about Bell's recording is the way in which he approaches the music. His technique is near-flawless, but unlike other virtuosos, he feels no need to rub it in our faces. Its only purpose is to serve the music. There are a few places, here and there, on both the Mendelssohn and the Bruch, that teeter on the edge of too much treacle, but more often one is impressed by how refreshing and effortless his interperetation is and how beautiful these pieces sound when not cluttered up by the bells and whistles of someone making sure you know how hard they're working. While Joshua Bell's sense of musicality has grown considerably since this recording, his love for the violin and his fidelity to the music have been apparent from the beginning. It ain't the best Bruch and Mendelssohn ever, but it's definitely worth giving a whirl."
Clean and Powerful
J. Park | 04/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Bruch Concerto knocks me off my feet whenever I listen to it, and Joshua Bell so easily expresses the runs in the 2nd movement as if they were falling tear drops. The technique is unquestionably secure and the Mendelssohn is what that concerto does for every violinist. I creates a uniquely reserved excitement that the great orchestra accompaniment carries. There are cheaper recordings of these concertos with good violinists but buy the one you won't get bored of."
Joshua Bell in the Beginning - Extraordinary From Day One
"Tee" | LA | 05/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's incredible that Joshua Bell was still in his teens when he recorded this amazing album! Wunderkind could have been coined to describe him. Yes, his playing has the energy of youth but his playing is flawless and suggests the maturity of someone years his senior. I recommend giving this disc to people who have yet to be bitten by the classical bug and are open to the experience; it was my first classical cd and remains one of the ones I play most often. As has been mentioned, the two concertos fit so well together, one is scarcely aware the first one has ended. Joshua Bell is definately one of the most important classical musicians of our day and one of the most accessible to the general public. I'm looking forward to many decades more of extraordinary work from this gifted artist."