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Joshua Bells strong, nuanced NYPhil - Thanksgiving performance brought rich elements to Beethoven / popmatters

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popmatters - Sachyn Mital writes….An evening with Joshua Bell is always a treat, and given his status as one of the world’s foremost violinists, he is highly sought after. But it felt extraordinary to have him perform alongside the New York Philharmonic for three evenings around Thanksgiving, especially as it has only been a few months since the Philharmonic began hosting indoor shows again. Bell was the soloist for just the first part of the program, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61. Rounding out the rest of the evening were Chen Yi’s Duo Ye and Stravinsky’s Suite from the Pulcinella ballet.

With their regular space, David Geffen Hall, undergoing construction, the Philharmonic has been performing in various locations, including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, as was the setting for this evening. Musical director Jaap van Zweden and the rest of the Symphony were just across the street from their future home and likely are salivating at the thought of returning to their home.

Bell’s strong, nuanced performance brought rich elements to the Beethoven work. It was undoubtedly a high-caliber draw for the audience. While it was ultimately a rewarding listen, particularly the larghetto portion, the overall grandiosity in the final rondo turned the atmosphere staid going into intermission.