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Author Topic: Joshua Bell  (Read 549 times)
Zohn
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« on: April 30, 2009, 05:27:40 AM »

I'm listening to Joshua Bell's "Romance of the violin" at the moment - what a soothing album for my soul. Highly recommended!!!
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"To me...music exists to elevate us as far as possible above everyday life." ~ Gabriel Faure
Queequeg
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2009, 05:16:59 PM »

 +1
I listen to that CD all the time. I hope to see him in concert sometime in the next year.
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Randy_R
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 06:33:42 PM »

Sadly, I missed hearing him perform a Barber's Violin Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony last November. He was in town the same weekend as a local charity music festival that I volunteer to help with. I understand it was an outstanding performance. Hopefully I'll get a chance to hear him in the future.

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Queequeg
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2009, 07:51:40 PM »

Washington Post: Pearls Before Breakfast (two years ago this month)
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Zohn
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 06:24:12 AM »

Oh man I love this forum -  +1 Thanks Queeq!!!
This is such an amazing article, and is going to my favourites. Interesting is the following part I copied from the article. Confirms the mystey behind the value of the sought-after instruments as hotly debated on other threads on this forum, and the responses from some of the "experts"... 

Bell always performs on the same instrument, and he ruled out using another for this gig. Called the Gibson ex Huberman, it was handcrafted in 1713 by Antonio Stradivari during the Italian master's "golden period," toward the end of his career, when he had access to the finest spruce, maple and willow, and when his technique had been refined to perfection.

"Our knowledge of acoustics is still incomplete," Bell said, "but he, he just . . . knew."

Bell doesn't mention Stradivari by name. Just "he." When the violinist shows his Strad to people, he holds the instrument gingerly by its neck, resting it on a knee. "He made this to perfect thickness at all parts," Bell says, pivoting it. "If you shaved off a millimeter of wood at any point, it would totally imbalance the sound." No violins sound as wonderful as Strads from the 1710s, still.

The front of Bell's violin is in nearly perfect condition, with a deep, rich grain and luster. The back is a mess, its dark reddish finish bleeding away into a flatter, lighter shade and finally, in one section, to bare wood.

"This has never been refinished," Bell said. "That's his original varnish. People attribute aspects of the sound to the varnish. Each maker had his own secret formula." Stradivari is thought to have made his from an ingeniously balanced cocktail of honey, egg whites and gum arabic from sub-Saharan trees.

Like the instrument in "The Red Violin," this one has a past filled with mystery and malice. Twice, it was stolen from its illustrious prior owner, the Polish virtuoso Bronislaw Huberman. The first time, in 1919, it disappeared from Huberman's hotel room in Vienna but was quickly returned. The second time, nearly 20 years later, it was pinched from his dressing room in Carnegie Hall. He never got it back. It was not until 1985 that the thief -- a minor New York violinist -- made a deathbed confession to his wife, and produced the instrument.

Bell bought it a few years ago. He had to sell his own Strad and borrow much of the rest. The price tag was reported to be about $3.5 million.
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Randy_R
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 01:08:27 PM »

Bell bought it a few years ago. He had to sell his own Strad and borrow much of the rest. The price tag was reported to be about $3.5 million.

I've noticed that a number of well known concert soloists play instruments owned by 'such-and-such' foundation on loan. Thats a hefty price  tag.
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Randy R., Georgia, USA
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lw216316
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 01:14:43 PM »

interesting story.
so....if the varnish is wearing off and 'THE' sound is still there.....
(wood and craftsmanship  bigrin)

I looked him up on wikipedia and found some interesting things about him -

Quote
In a curious experiment initiated by Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten, Bell donned a baseball cap and played as an incognito street busker at the Metro subway station L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. on January 12, 2007. The experiment was videotaped on hidden camera; among 1,097 people who passed by, only seven stopped to listen to him, and only one recognized him. For his nearly 45-minute performance, Bell collected $32.17 from 27 passersby (excluding $20 from the passerby who recognized him).[6] Weingarten won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for his article on the experiment.[8][9] 

Quote
  Bell was born in Bloomington, Indiana, United States, the son of a psychologist and a therapist.[1] His mother is Jewish and his father Christian. He considers himself a cultural Jew.

I listened to this example
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZjw9pN0kX0&feature=PlayList&p=D020AE9E5A9A1A56&index=0

- Larry
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