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Joshua Bell - Bach / WCRB: CD Of the Week

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Releasing a recording of Bach's music is, for many instrumentalists, an essential life goal. Some tackle it early, with spectacular results (perhaps pianist Glenn Gould most famously, but also, more recently, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor). And some return to Bach several times over the course of their lives, their interpretations evolving over decades (like pianist Andras Schiff and cellist Pieter Wispelwey).

Joshua Bell is by no means an elder statesman. At 46, though, he has been on the international stage for decades. He was 14 when he performed his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra. But Bach, while a constant in Bell's life, has only now been added to the violinist's extensive discography. Now the Music Director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the opportunity for a deeply collaborative effort - the kind not really available as a guest soloist - was finally available.