Joshua Bell: Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

The new release by violinist Joshua Bell is a beautiful revival of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” coupled with Giusseppe Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill Sonata”. The album comes in gorgeous packaging with illustrated cards containing poems written by Vivaldi himself for each of the four seasons. The liner notes also give insight into the works themselves, as well as Bell’s motives for choosing these particular pieces.

The Autumn:
The village celebrates with dance and song
its pleasure at the good harvest
& many, heated by Bacchus’s draught,
end their enjoyment in sleep…

Despite how much I enjoy listening to classical and opera music, I’m not as well versed in either genre as I would like to be. I know I tend to like certain composers considered to be “Baroque” like Vivaldi and Bach, as well as the more popular Beethoven and Mozart. I also adore Albinoni’s “Adagio In G Minor”, though to be honest I prefer the eerie cover by The Doors. I’m a sucker for screamers (circus marches) and pretty much anything featuring a harpsichord. And I love the voices of Pavarotti, Caruso, Mario Lanza, and Maria Callas. But more often than not I find I can’t remember the titles, artists, or composers of other songs I like. But details aside, classical music is like any other genre to me – I love some, I dislike others. Joshua Bell falls into the former category.

Bell’s album is one that I find myself listening to when I need to calm down, and it has yet to fail in making me sigh with relief and feel more relaxed than before it begin to play. From the airy and familiar opening notes of Vivaldi’s “Spring” through the deeper tones of “Summer” and “Fall” into the more serene “Winter”, Joshua manages to capture the classic elegance of “The Four Seasons” while simultaneously breathing new life into Vivaldi’s masterpiece. So much so that the final rendition of Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill Sonata” seems a bit bland in comparison.

I was not granted permission to share an mp3, but you can hear samples at the links below. You can also listen to an interview with Joshua Bell conducted by Mona Seghatoleslami (a new acquaintance of mine) on WV Public Radio. Also, check out Mona’s blog Classically Speaking.

Joshua Bell Official Site

Buy @ Amazon

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  1. Pingback: Muruch » Blog Archive » Joshua Bell: At Home With Friends

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