French Impressions

French Impressions

by Joshua BellJoshua Bell


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French Impressions, Joshua Bell's 2012 release on Sony, presents three great violin sonatas, prime examples of French chamber music that have been cherished for their emotional power and nostalgic coloration. Indeed, the "Violin Sonata in D minor" of Camille Saint-Saëns and the "Violin Sonata in A major" of César Franck are so significant in French culture and evocative of their time, they are thought by literary scholars to have served as inspiration for the fictional Vinteuil Sonata in Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. With Maurice Ravel's "Violin Sonata" reflecting a more modern and playful approach to the genre, the program explores the warm sonorities and subtle moods of French music, as channeled through the classical sonata form, and the refined expression of all three works is lovingly handled by Bell and his accompanist, Jeremy Denk. Bell's playing ranges from gossamer fine lines to thickly resinous attacks, and his command of the violin's timbres reveals the rich possibilities to be found in these pieces. For his part, Denk provides flexible and understated support, with a piano part that ranges from robust activity where needed to atmospheric delicacy. Sony's sound is clear and focused and gives the violin central placement, so all the shades of expression and dynamics are easily heard above the piano.

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Product Details

Release Date: 01/10/2012
Label: Masterworks
UPC: 0886978202628
catalogNumber: 782026
Rank: 60834


  1. Sonata for violin & piano No. 1 in D minor, Op. 75

    1. Allegro agitato
    2. Adagio
    3. Allegretto moderato
    4. Allegro molto
  2. Sonata for violin & piano in A major, M. 8

    1. Allegretto ben moderato
    2. Allegro
    3. Recitativo - Fantasia: Ben moderato - Molto lento
    4. Allegretto poco mosso
  3. Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in G major

    1. Allegretto
    2. Blues: Moderato
    3. Perpetuum Mobile: Allegro

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