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Joshua Bell|Romance of the Violin

Romance of the Violin

Joshua Bell

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This CD from the young American violin phenomenon Joshua Bell will fill the bill for background music in restaurants with a lot of velour, and it might be nice for the car CD player on a late-night cruise along the shore. For others, however, it may be a bit of a bore. The disc offers 50-plus minutes of sheer melody, all of it in nearly the same moderate tempo. Despite its name, most of the music on this release is arranged for violin and orchestra from vocal or keyboard pieces; there is one cello work, the "Swan" section of Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals, and the closest thing to original violin music is the Nocturne movement from Borodin's String Quartet No. 2. There are several operatic melodies ("O mio babbino caro," "Casta diva," and, more surprisingly, "Pur ti miro" from Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea), and some short piano tunes. Romance of the Violin is essentially a classical greatest-hits collection, one of many available, and more expensive than most at a hefty $18.98 list. The orchestral arrangements are by pop producer Craig Leon, and though they're precisely rendered by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in the finest sound Sony has to offer, they have a very familiar kind of sameness. Romance needn't be, shouldn't be, so monochrome, and this is a lateral move at best for Bell, who has shown great promise as the player who might bridge the gap between classical music's traditional listenership and its new crossover audiences.
© TiVo

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Romance of the Violin

Joshua Bell

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1
Gianni Schicchi: O mio babbino caro
00:03:26

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Craig Leon, Producer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Grace Row, Producer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor - GIACOMO PUCCINI (1858-1924), Composer

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

2
The Girl with Flaxen Hair
00:02:36

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918), Composer - Craig Leon, Producer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Grace Row, Producer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

3
Nocturne No. 20 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. posth
00:04:08

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Frédéric Chopin, Composer - Craig Leon, Producer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Grace Row, Producer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

4
The Carnival of the Animals: The Swan
00:02:49

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Craig Leon, Producer - Craig Ogden, Guitar - Grace Row, Producer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor - Camille Saint-Saëns, Composer

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

5
Serenade
00:03:47

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1829), Composer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Craig Leon, Producer - Craig Ogden, Guitar - Grace Row, Producer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

6
Casta Diva from Norma
00:04:57

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Craig Leon, Producer - Grace Row, Producer - VINCENZO BELLINI (1801-1835), Composer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

7
Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467: Andante
00:06:16

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Craig Leon, Producer - Grace Row, Producer - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Composer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

8
Orfeo ed Euridice: Dance of the Blessed Spirits
00:03:53

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK (1714-1787), Composer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Craig Leon, Producer - Grace Row, Producer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

9
Nocturne from String Quartet No. 2 in D Major
00:06:38

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Craig Leon, Producer - Grace Row, Producer - Alexander Borodin, Composer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

10
Songs My Mother Taught Me, Op. 55, No. 4 (Arr. for Violin and Orchestra)
00:02:44

Antonín Dvorák, Composer - Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Craig Leon, Producer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Craig Ogden, Guitar - Grace Row, Producer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

11
Pur ti Miro from 'L'incoronazione di Poppea
00:03:37

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI (1567-1643), Composer - Grace Row, Producer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Stephen Orton, Acoustic Cello - Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Jacob Heringman, Lute - John Constable, Harpsichord - Michael Stern, Conductor - Craig Leon, Arranger - Craig Leon, Producer

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

12
Elegie: O doux printemps d'autrefois
00:04:09

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Craig Leon, Producer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Grace Row, Producer - JULES MASSENET (1842-1912), Composer - JULES MASSENET (1842-1912), Lyricist - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

13
Kinderszenen, Op. 15: No. 7, Träumerei
00:02:30

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Performer - Craig Leon, Arranger - Craig Leon, Producer - ROBERT SCHUMANN (1810-1856), Composer - Grace Row, Producer - Joshua Bell, Performer - Joshua Bell, Violin - Michael Stern, Conductor

(P) 2003 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Album Description

This CD from the young American violin phenomenon Joshua Bell will fill the bill for background music in restaurants with a lot of velour, and it might be nice for the car CD player on a late-night cruise along the shore. For others, however, it may be a bit of a bore. The disc offers 50-plus minutes of sheer melody, all of it in nearly the same moderate tempo. Despite its name, most of the music on this release is arranged for violin and orchestra from vocal or keyboard pieces; there is one cello work, the "Swan" section of Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals, and the closest thing to original violin music is the Nocturne movement from Borodin's String Quartet No. 2. There are several operatic melodies ("O mio babbino caro," "Casta diva," and, more surprisingly, "Pur ti miro" from Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea), and some short piano tunes. Romance of the Violin is essentially a classical greatest-hits collection, one of many available, and more expensive than most at a hefty $18.98 list. The orchestral arrangements are by pop producer Craig Leon, and though they're precisely rendered by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in the finest sound Sony has to offer, they have a very familiar kind of sameness. Romance needn't be, shouldn't be, so monochrome, and this is a lateral move at best for Bell, who has shown great promise as the player who might bridge the gap between classical music's traditional listenership and its new crossover audiences.
© TiVo

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