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Joshua Bell - Bach / The Classical Reviewer review

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An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Joshua Bell has made a number of critically acclaimed recordings and has been Grammy-nominated. His previous release, with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, of the Beethoven 4th and 7th symphonies went straight to number 1 in the Billboard charts. Bell performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius violin and uses a late 18th century French bow by François Tourte.

Now Joshua Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields bring us, on a new release from Sony Classical, Bach's two solo violin concertos coupled with a number of Bach arrangements.

There is a tremendously lively and incisive opening to the Allegro of the Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, BWV 1041 from Bell and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Both Bell and his players bring some terrifically taut playing, wonderful ensemble and a real sense of joy in this real Allegro with some beautifully turned phrases. The Andante has a rich, gentle opening to which Bell brings a lovely tone as he weaves the melody around the orchestral accompaniment with the subtle harpsichord continuo. Bell's fine sonorities blend well over the lovely lower strings of the Academy. The concluding Allegro assai is full of bounce and verve with some terrific little decorations and the Academy is on fine form. These players seem to understand each other perfectly and play as of one mind. Bell's playing is truly phenomenal, so agile and beautifully phrased. READ THE FULL Classical Reviewer REVIEW.