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Bell | Bax play Mechanics Hall / Worcester Telegram

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If there ever were such a post, surely Joshua Bell would be the country's musical poet laureate. How else to describe his playing? It's thoughtful, imaginative, and rigorously coherent. And it's wonderfully expressive, too, even if Bell's pitch is sometimes a bit wayward. If the latter's the price to pay for playing of such passion and interpretations of such warmth, though, so be it. Bell's combination of musicianship, intensity, and charm has made him one of the most rightly popular violinists of his generation: he's one of a precious few, after all, whose playing is marked by a distinctive personality. On Saturday night, a sold-out crowd at Mechanics Hall got to experience that winning charisma when Music Worcester brought Bell and pianist Alessio Bax to town for a much-awaited recital of pieces by Beethoven, Brahms, Ysaÿe, Debussy, and Sarasate. 

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