Joshua Bell’s Vienna

Joshua Bell’s Vienna

As anyone playing a musical instrument knows, it is the outstanding performer who makes it all look so easy. Yet most people don’t have the faintest idea just what goes into an outstanding musical presentation…

When Yehudi Menuhin was already a world-class performer, he went to see the legendary violinist Fritz Kreisler, because Menuhin wanted to learn the authentic Viennese violin style. And years later, our own Joshua Bell has been delighting audiences with his performances of the same Viennese music. Yes… he’s impressive in the core violin literature of Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Beethoven and others. Earlier today, however, I had an opportunity to hear his recording of the music of Vienna. This music requires the performer to be familiar with the *style*, the swing, the melodiousness, and yes also the “Schmaltz” of Viennese music.

In my view, Mr. Bell learned all this from some other expert, because his performance was equally delightful to Menuhin’s old recordings.

Here is Joshua Bell playing Fritz Kreisler’s Liebesleid and Liebesfreud. (Love’s Sorrow and Love’s Joy):

Here…. For comparison… is the great violinist and composer, Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962) playing his own piece named “Liebesleid”. These are two recordings with 12 years of interval.
Recorded A) on 14th February 1930; in Berlin, with piano accompaniment; and B) on 15th January 1942; in Philadelphia in the Academy of Music (with orchestra)

Tags: Joshua Bell, Fritz Kreisler, Liebesleid, Liebesfreud

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