Home » Stories » Bell - Isserlis dynamic duo are perfectly synched at Mostly Mozart / ZEALnyc

Top 10 for Dec

Bell - Isserlis dynamic duo are perfectly synched at Mostly Mozart / ZEALnyc

Bookmark and Share

Not many musicians can match violinist Joshua Bell for the sheer ferocity he brings to his music-making, but cellist Steven Isserlis is his perfect foil. Friends, colleagues, and sparring partners for three decades, they are symbiotic in their electrifying artistry when they play together, and the Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello, better known as the Brahms Double, is a tailor-made vehicle for their musical volatility. The double cadenza near the beginning of the first movement is a magnificent piece of string duo writing-Brahms' skillful use of double-stops makes it sound like a full string quartet is playing. In their performance with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra on August 8, Bell and Isserlis were virtually combustible but perfectly synched and impeccably in tune, physically demonstrative but profoundly connected to the inner life of the passage. It was a breathtaking rendition of this memorable stretch, and firmly established the lofty standard the two musicians would sustain and exceed for the remainder of the bravura performance. The unity of their ensemble spilled into the orchestra, whose playing under guest conductor Andrew Manze was clean and blazing, precise and especially well integrated.

READ THE FULL ZEALnyc REVIEW