Joshua Bell recital with the Schubert Club

Last night Joshua Bell returned to the Ordway stage, but not with the SPCO at his back.  After three years as an artistic partner to the SPCO, performing in nine concert programs, he returned as one of the international artists for the Schubert Club.  On stage he was joined by Jeremy Denk on piano.

While the concert was listed as sold out, there were a number of empty seats, although those empty seats filled somewhat after the first movement of the first piece as late patrons were seated.  I am sure the traffic issue of Minnesota Wild fans departing contributed to their lateness, just as I am sure the cold and windy night contributed to the seats that remained empty.

For me personally the concert felt different from the other times I have seen Joshua Bell, but that is easily explained.  I have seen Joshua Bell perform seven times with the SPCO and six of them from the front row.  Tonight I was in the first side box of the Gallery level, so I was watching the performance from much further away.  His performances with the SPCO were with the SPCO, so he had a chamber orchestra backing him up, not just a piano.  This brought out his playing a little more.

The program consisted of four pieces,

  •  The Devil’s Trill, a Sonata for violin & continuo in G minor, B.g5 by Tartini.
  •  Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor by Prokofiev.
  •  Four Romantic Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op 75 by Dvorak
  •  Sonata No.1 for Violin and Piano in D minor, Op. 75 by Saint-Saëns

I liked The Devil’s Trill the best followed by the Dvorak and Saint Saëns.  All of the performances both by Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk were outstanding.

There were two encores, but I don’t recall what they were called, which were great just like the listed program.

Joshua Bell had a long line of people waiting for autographs, and it clearly kept him there for a while, as he came into Kincaid’s much later in the evening.  He may not have been performing with the SPCO, but there were a lot of SPCO musicians in attendance (not those performing the second night of the Minimalist Masters concert) and at Kincaid’s afterwards so he may have felt at home.

In chatting with Dale Barltrop at the end of the night in Kincaid’s, he was curious, as a fellow violinist would be, of the program.  Dale was sad that he wasn’t able to hear The Devil’s Trill as he will be performing that same piece with the SPCO this May, you can check out the performance schedule here.



1 Comment

  1. Jorpotrok said,

    November 23, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Outstanding Article , I thought it was marvelous

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