I'd much rather read than write so it's not much of a blog...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One Season Ends

The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra finished their classical season last night with an appearance by Joshua Bell. He of course was the consummate virtuoso but what we both noticed this time, in this performance of this particular piece, was the glorious sound of the violin. As Bell said, "it has a very powerful lower register" and it seems to be made for the Violin Concerto No. 3 by Saint-Saens.

Bell prefers his 1713 Gibson ex Huberman Stradivarius, with its "good balance between the sweetness, which Strads tend to have, a sort of soprano, feminine sweetness to them," he says. "But also, it has a very powerful lower register. It's very well-balanced, and it projects very well in the hall."

He will play the "very operatic, very dramatic" Saint-Saens concerto on his Stradivarius. Bell also describes the piece as underrated, but definitely a showpiece that he finds captivating.

"The slow movement is one of the most beautiful of all the violin repertoire and sort of magical ...," says the 41-year-old violinist. "Then the last movement is sort of Gypsy flair, kind of brings the house down. It's got everything. It's got the flash. It's got the beauty."
Melinda Johnson, The Post Standard