Joshua Bell: The Classical Collection

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Joshua Bell: The Classical Collection
Joshua Bell (violin & conductor) with Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Orchestra of St. Luke's, John Williams (piano)

[ Sony Classical / 14 CD Box Set ]

Release Date: Wednesday 20 September 2017

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Sony Classical International proudly presents Joshua Bell - The Classical Collection, a 14-CD set of albums of classical repertoire that Joshua has recorded for the label over the past twenty years. Displaying the unique breadth, versatility and breath-taking virtuosity, beguiling sensitivity and sheer tonal beauty that has made Bell an icon for audiences of all ages and musical tastes throughout the world, this new collection showcases Joshua Bell in cornerstones of the violin concerto repertoire, chamber music and concert pieces.

The repertoire in this career-spanning edition includes Bell's 2008 recording of the Vivaldi Four Seasons with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, which "…scorches and sizzles without ever falling prey to pyrotechnic vulgarity," (ClassicsToday.com), the 2014 Bach release, also with the ASMF, which was celebrated as "…original and exceptionally executed…" by Gramophone, and two of Joshua's most popular albums thus far, Romance of the Violin and Voice of the Violin, where the violinist regales us with "honeyed arrangements" (Fanfare) ranging from Monteverdi, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin and Bellini to Dvoƙák, Debussy and Orff, with soprano Anna Netrebko joining the violinist for "a sensitive and touching performance of Richard Strauss' 'Morgen'" (Fanfare).

Other highlights from the collection include British composer Nicholas Maw's Violin Concerto, a work written for Bell in 1993, featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Sir Roger Norrington, conductor; The Red Violin Concerto based on themes from John Corigliano's score to the film The Red Violin, with the Philharmonia Orchestra London and Esa-Pekka Salonen and Leonard Bernstein's cherished West Side Story Suite, also performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra London and David Zinman.

Rounding out this boxed set are Bell's recordings of treasured masterpieces by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Gershwin, Ravel, and Sibelius - accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic and Michael Tilson Thomas, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Salzburg Camerata with Sir Roger Norrington and Bell's close friends and regular chamber music partners, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk. Bell is also featured as a conductor in riveting performances of Beethoven's Fourth and Seventh Symphonies with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

"These are splendidly alert performances, responding to every nuance in the music, and they made me listen to Beethoven with fresh ears. Particularly impressive is the pianissimo playing Bell obtains from the orchestra...This recording is a real pleasure." (BBC Music Five Stars on the Beethoven Symphonies)

"The playing is unfailingly exquisite; the arrangements are generally sensitive - Mozart's Laudate Dominum being notably effective." Gramophone on The Voice of the Violin

"Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk, a notably well-matched team, give idiomatic performances of these three sonatas...They're especially adept in maintaing the flow of the musical narrative and, with it, the music's emotional flux....Bell is especially impressive in the moto perpetuo finale - not only thrillingly precise but full of colour and variety, too" Gramophone [French Impressions]

"such is Bell's particular brand of ease with which he mixes traditional sensibility with the lighter articulations and gestures of recent tastes that one is instantly spellbound...Locating small shapes within a larger architecture is one of Bell's crowning virtues, alongside a depth of sound of almost Henryk Szeryng-like dimensions... the conception is original and exceptionally executed with searing and soaring artistic intent." Gramophone Editor's Choice [Bach]

"Here's an unconducted Double Concerto transformed into pure chamber music, in which two old friends spar amicably with the lithe support of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. There's an intriguing, subtly competitive friction between violinist Joshua Bell and cellist Stephen Isserlis, the one so glossy and fluent, the latter more gnarly and individual, each audibly inspiring - and often provoking - the other" BBC Music Concerto Choice [Brahms]

Penguin Guide Rosette Winner [Vivaldi]

"…there is so much stirring and seductive music… and Joshua Bell brings it all off with magnificent assurance and conviction." BBC Music orchestral Choice [Corigliano]

Tracks:

Bach, J S:
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV1041
Violin Concerto No. 2 in E major, BWV1042
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Partita for solo violin No. 2 in D minor, BWV1004: Chaconne
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV1068: Air ('Air on a G String')
Partita for solo violin No. 3 in E, BWV1006: Gavotte

Beethoven:
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61
Camerata Salzburg, Sir Roger Norrington
Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Bellini:
Casta Diva (from Norma)
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Bernstein:
West Side Story Suite
Lonely Town (from On the Town)
Make Our Garden Grow (from Candide)
Serenade (after Plato's 'Symposium')
New York, New York (from On the Town)
Philharmonia Orchestra, David Zinman

Bizet:
Je crois entendre encore (from Les Pêcheurs de Perles)
Orchestra of St. Luke's, Michael Stern

Borodin:
String Quartet No. 2: 3rd Movement (Notturno)
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Brahms:
Double Concerto for Violin & Cello in A minor, Op. 102
Steven Isserlis (cello)
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8
Steven Isserlis (cello), Jeremy Denk (piano)

Corigliano, J:
The Red Violin Concerto
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop
Sonata for Violin and Piano
Jeremy Denk (piano)

Debussy:
La fille aux cheveux de lin (Leconte de Lisle)
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Beau Soir
Orchestra of St. Luke's, Michael Stern

Donizetti:
Una furtiva lagrima (from L'elisir d'amore)
Orchestra of St. Luke's, Michael Stern

Dvorak:
Songs My Mother Taught Me, Op. 55 No. 4
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Mesícku na nebi hlubokém 'Song to the Moon' (from Rusalka)
Orchestra of St. Luke's, Michael Stern

Falla:
Nana (No. 5 from Siete canciones populares españolas)
Orchestra of St. Luke's, Michael Stern

Fauré:
Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1
Orchestra of St. Luke's, Michael Stern
Après un rêve, Op. 7 No. 1
Berceuse, Op. 16
Jeremy Denk (piano)

Franck, C:
Violin Sonata in A major
Jeremy Denk (piano)

Gershwin:
Porgy and Bess Fantasy
London Symphony Orchestra, John Williams

Preludes (3)
I Got Rhythm (from Girl Crazy & An American in Paris)
Embraceable You
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Liza
But Not for Me
Sweet and Low-Down
Love Is Here to Stay
John Williams (piano)

Gluck:
Orfeo ed Euridice (Orphée et Euridice): Dance of the Blessed Spirits
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Goldmark:
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 28
Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen

Massenet:
Elégie
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Meditation (from Thaïs)
Orchestra of St. Luke's, Michael Stern

Maw, N:
Violin Concerto
London Philharmonic Orchestra, Roger Norrington

Mendelssohn:
Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Camerata Salzburg, Sir Roger Norrington
Hexenlied, Op. 8 No. 8
Orchestra of St. Luke's, Michael Stern

Monteverdi:
Pur ti miro (I gaze upon you) from L'Incoronazione di Poppea
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

and much much more

Saint-Saens: Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano in D minor, Op. 75: Allegro molto