Joshua Bell Romance of The Violin
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- Released: October 28, 2003
- Originally Released: 2003
- Label: Sony
- 1.O mio babbino caro (from 'Gianni Schicchi')
- 2.The Girl With Flaxen Hair (from Preludes, Book I; La fille aux cheveux delin: Prelude for Piano L 117 / 8)
- 3.Nocturne in C sharp minor (Op Post)
- 4.The Swan (from Carnival of the Animals)
- 5.Serenade (from 'Schwanengesang' song cycle for voice and piano, D 957
- 6.Casta Diva (from 'Norma')
- 7.Andante from Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major K. 467
- 8.Nocturne from Quartet for Strings No. 2 in D Major: 3rd movement
- 9.Dance of the Blessed Spirits (from 'Orfeo ed Euridice')
- 10.Songs My Mother Taught Me, song for voice and piano B104 / 4 Op 55 / 4
- 11.Pur ti Miro (from 'L'incoronazione di Poppea')
- 12.Elegie (Elegie 'O doux printemps d'autrefois' for voice and piano)
- 13.Traumerei ('Kinderszenen' for piano, Op 15, No. 7 'Dreaming')
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Every track on this CD contains a beautiful melody, many of them easily recognizable, all of them exuding tranquility. "O mio babbino caro" from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi opens the disc, with Bell delicately accompanied by a harp and spinning the long melody with great sensitivity. Bellini's "Casta diva" from Norma lives up to its reputation as the epitome of bel canto in Bell's hands; his violin sings. The middle movement of Mozart's 21st Piano Concerto takes well to the violin, and Debussy's "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair" is played with great warmth and sensuality. It would be easy to turn a recital like this into treacle, but Bell is wise enough to realize that the music is already sweet enough and he plays with great reserve and a minimum of sentimental slides. The light accompaniments always support, with woodwinds prominent but used with grace. This CD, in short, is a beauty: a fine gift, a lovely mood setter. --Robert Levine
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