- Released: August 22, 2000
- Label: Sony
- 1.Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, op. 47: I. Allegro Moderato
- 2.Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, op. 47: Ii. Adagio Di Molto
- 3.Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, op. 47: Iii. Allegro, Ma Non Tanto
- 4.Concerto No. 1 For Violin and Orchestra In A Minor, Op. 28: I. Allegro Moderato
- 5.Concerto No. 1 For Violin and Orchestra In A Minor, Op. 28: Ii. Andante
- 6.Concerto No. 1 For Violin and Orchestra In A Minor, Op. 28: Iii. Moderato - Allegretto
Joshua Bell has returned to the mainstream repertoire from his recent successful excursions into film (The Red Violin) and bluegrass-crossover (Short Trip Home), and his playing, always brilliant, and arresting, has reached a new peak. Despite the booklet's claim to the contrary, these two concertos have nothing in common except fiendishly difficult bravura solo parts; rather, they represent a perfectly valid pairing of opposites. Bell makes the most of the contrasts, bringing out each work's idiomatic character. The Sibelius, from the eerily icy opening to the exuberant ending, is heavy, rugged, austere, majestic, expansive, with grand, intense climaxes. The Goldmark has a Hungarian flavor with its romantic, melancholy lyricism, poetic, almost religious inwardness, charm, and vitality. Bell's effortless virtuosity is unlimited but entirely unobtrusive; his intonation is perfect, the passage-work crystal clear. He seems incapable of producing a bad sound, even in double and triple stops; his tone is ravishingly beautiful, radiant as golden sunshine, warm as dark velvet. Best of all, he makes music: every note is expressive, everything has shape and direction; the playing is always noble, honestly felt, and without excess or exaggeration. --Edith Eisler
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