Voice Of The Violin

Voice Of The Violin

by Joshua Bell


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After the chart-topping success of Joshua Bell's Romance of the Violin, a sequel was surely inevitable. But Voice of the Violin isn't just another array of classical favorites lusciously arranged for solo violin. If anything, it outdoes the first installment in beauty and charm, showing off Bell's ravishing lyrical tone in melodies that were first composed for the human voice. Bell's instrument can impersonate the passion of the operatic tenor (exceptionally so in "Una furtiva lagrima" from Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore), and it can also sing the soprano's song (the enraptured "Song to the Moon," for example, from Dvorák's Rusalka). The orchestral arrangements are nearly as subtle and sensitive as Bell's playing, yet one standout number strips away the symphony, pairing the violinist simply and eloquently with pianist Frederic Chiu for a heartfelt rendition of Debussy's song "Beau Soir." Another exceptional performance comes when the human voice finally appears in its own right -- and in the person of diva du jour Anna Netrebko, no less. Her radiant duet with Bell on the Richard Strauss song "Morgen!" is worth the price of admission on its own.

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