Nobel Prize Concert: Joshua Bell (2011)
I really enjoyed this fine DVD. While the setting is the Nobel awards for 2010, the concert itself is a separate event filled with wonderful music.
The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo, a conductor with whom I’m not familiar, but I expect to hear more of him. Oramo leads a beautiful performance of Beethoven’s Leonore Overture #3, and a simply superb reading of the Symphony #5 by Jean Sibelius. In between these two selections we get to hear Joshua Bell in a terrific performance of the violin concerto by Peter Tchaikovsky.
For many listeners, Joshua Bell will be the main attraction on this disk. And he is really excellent in a highly romantic reading of the Tchaikovsky concerto. The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra — a world-class ensemble — and Sakari Oramo give perfect support to Mr. Bell. The only slightly negative aspect of this DVD is the fact that the viewer has to watch the profuse perspiration of the soloist, because it clearly is an exhausting task to perform this concerto. In the end, however, it is obvious that Bell has complete mastery of this music.
During the interview with Joshua Bell we learn that the Stradivarius violin that Bell plays had belonged to violinist Bronislaw Huberman, one of the major violinists of the early twentieth century. This violin had been stolen from the previous owner, and years later the thief confessed to the act and Mr. Bell was able to purchase the instrument.
The Swedish orchestra does a terrific job in performing the Beethoven third Leonore Overture and the Sibelius Fifth. The Beethoven is finely shaded in its various moods and dynamics, and the Sibelius symphony is stunningly lyrical and powerful.
Here is Joshua Bell performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto Op. 35:
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Tags: Nobel Prize Concert, Joshua Bell, DVD, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra