Stories » Joshua Bell with the Academy at Usher Hall. Four Seasons was one of the finest renditions / EdinburghGuide.com

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Joshua Bell with the Academy at Usher Hall. Four Seasons was one of the finest renditions / EdinburghGuide.com

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The chamber orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields (named after the church in London's Trafalgar Square) was founded in 1959 by Neville Marriner who remained its music director for decades until Joshua Bell took over the post in 2011. Bell also continued the tradition set by Marriner of conducting from the leader's seat.

The Usher Hall concert began with ‘The Four Seasons' – Vivaldi's popular composition. Bell was the soloist and conductor, and playing on a three hundred year old Stradivarius, His interpretation of this familiar work was superb, illustrating not only his technical brilliance, but also that of the musicians in the orchestra. It was one of the finest renditions I have ever heard of this well-known work. Bell and Edgar Meyer have been friends for years and the second piece on the programme – ‘Overture for Violin and Orchestra' – Meyer specifically wrote for Bell and the Academy. Then the programme reverted back to the eighteenth century concling with a rousing rendition of Beethoven's Symphony No 2.

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