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Violinist Joshua Bell is one of the most acclaimed classical musicians of today — renowned for his expressive, elegant, intelligent playing and his deep commitment to bringing the classical tradition to wider audiences.
Now Bell has for the first time recorded the masterpieces of J.S. Bach with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. In his third season now as their music director, Bell performs Bach's sublime Violin Concertos No. 1 and No. 2, along with a never-done-before 'violin and orchestra' arrangement of the famous "Chaconne" from the Partita No. 2 (adapted from Mendelssohn's piano accompaniment), the Gavotte en Rondeau from Partita No. 3 for solo violin (using Schumann's accompaniment), and the universally beloved "Air on the G string."
"Bach is the composer who got me hooked on music in the first place," says Bell, whose "house was filled with Bach when I was growing up." He also began his music career with Bach. Says Bell, "I made my first appearance as soloist with an orchestra when I was seven years old. The concerto was by Bach, and Bach's music has been central in my life, even though I have until now resisted recording his music. My approach to Bach has been continuously evolving. I grew up deeply influenced by a tradition of Bach playing that has since gone out of fashion with the arrival of the 'original instrument' movement. What fascinates me is how the beauty of Bach can shine through both when performed in a 'romantic' style (if done tastefully of course!) and also when done with a more 'historically informed' approach."
|1. I. Allegro|
|2. II. Andante|
|3. III. Allegro assai|
|4. I. Allegro|
|5. II. Adagio|
|6. III. Allegro assai|
|7. V. Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004|
|8. II. Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, BWV 1068|
|9. III. Gavotte en Rondeau from Partita for Violin Solo No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006|