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Joshua Bell - Gershwin Fantasy
Joshua Bell, George Gershwin, John [composer] Williams
Joshua Bell - Gershwin Fantasy
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

On Gershwin Fantasy, Joshua Bell's Stradivari embraces the lyrical spirit of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with more success than most vocalists. Accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra, Bell's violin literally sings thro...  more »

      
   
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CD Details

All Artists: Joshua Bell, George Gershwin, John [composer] Williams
Title: Joshua Bell - Gershwin Fantasy
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 2
Label: Sony
Release Date: 7/28/1998
Genres: Soundtracks, Classical
Styles: Forms & Genres, Concertos, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 074646065921, 074646065983

Synopsis

Amazon.com essential recording
On Gershwin Fantasy, Joshua Bell's Stradivari embraces the lyrical spirit of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with more success than most vocalists. Accompanied by the London Symphony Orchestra, Bell's violin literally sings through "It Ain't Necessarily So," "Summertime," "I Got Rhythm," and "Love Is Here to Stay," while John Williams (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List) serves double duty as conductor and pianist on several tracks. Three Preludes employs the violin and piano transcription by Jascha Heifetz, a longtime Gershwin friend, and features Bell at his jazziest. Even Gershwin himself--well, the recording of a 1926 piano roll of the composer--joins the virtuoso on the swinging "Sweet and Low-Down." --Jason Verlinde

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CD Reviews

ONE OF THE FINEST
MOVIE MAVEN | New York, NY USA | 08/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Joshua Bell, one of the finest violinists around, is obviously in charge of his own career, what & where he plays and what he records. This album of Gershwin music is so wonderful, it'll put you in a good mood, whistling down the street as soon as you hear it: the FANTASY FOR VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA ON PORGY AND BESS is as good or better than the famous CARMEN FANTASY by Sarasate which violinists all over the world make part of their repertoire. Nine different excerpts from Gershwin's opera are blended beautifully and movingly in this arrangement by Alexander Courage. The THREE PRELUDES (originally for piano solo) are the ones that Heifetz did for himself. Bell shines in these pieces. And then there are the songs: 7 in all including "Love Is Here To Stay," "Liza," "I Got Rhythm" and others. Bell makes his violin sing. Buy this CD for yourself or as a gift along with Bell's new version of Bernstein's WEST SIDE STORY SUITE. You'll make someone very happy with these wonderful CD's of 20th century American popular music. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
THERE'S BETTER, BEST, AND THEN BELL!
Gail Cooke | TX, USA | 08/03/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A mid 19th century French poet wrote that his heart was wounded by the violin's "long sobs." If that versifier were alive today and heard "Gershwin Fantasy", his heart would surely be wounded but it would also be warmed and made joyous in response to the glorious music of America's premier young violinist, Joshua Bell. The commendatory matching of John Williams, the London Symphony Orchestra, George Gershwin, and Bell on this CD results in one of the most enriching musical experiences in many a day. With Williams at the piano Bell is both assured and daring. The Porgy and Bess fantasy stirs with its poignancy and sets foots to tapping with its jubilance. With original violin arrangements by Jascha Heifetz, the Three Preludes are hauntingly lovely as Bell performs with technical precision and compelling grace. Seldom has "I Got Rhythm" been as zestfully played or "Embraceable You" enjoyed such a sweetly skillful rendering - poignant lyricism at its best. Joshua Bell gives a virtuoso performance as he plays with his mind, heart, and, yes, his soul. We are the beneficiaries."
Bell Rings in Gershwin's Best
Kenneth S. Wheelock | Pittsfield, MA USA | 01/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"While listening to a rehearsal of "Porgy and Bess" George Gershwin is reputed to have said "this music is so beautiful I can hardly believe I wrote it." Listening to Joshua Bell's Stradivarius sing through Aexander Corage's Gershwin Fantasy on Porgy and Bess shows the truth of Gershwin's remark. This is Gershwin at his best, snazzy, sexy, sophisticated and lyrical. Mr. Bell must have attended a seance where Gershwin's spirit was summoned up to coach him because he is in tune with Gershwin's idiom, from laughter to tears. The three Preludes, arranged by Heifetz are if anything even jazzier than the original piano only version. This is helped by Mr. Williams outstanding accompaniment, it makes one long for a John Williams performace of the Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in F its so good. What can one say about Gershwin songs (orchestrated for violin and orchestra) that hasn't already been said - this is a perfect recording. Joshua Bell may have once been criticized for technically flawless and mechanical playing when he began concertizing, that is no more - he knows how to laugh and sing, dance for joy, and weep all while playing his fiddle. The remarkable thing about it all is it all comes through the recording process. Truly a stunning tour de force - a homage to one of the greatest figures in modern American music, George Gershwin."