Joshua Bell – Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Bethany Hensel

You couldn’t study violin without learning at least a section of Vivaldi’s classic, The Four Seasons. You just couldn’t. It’s akin to learning football but never being taught how to pass.

You just can’t.

So it was with much excitement when I learned that Joshua Bell would be recording this true masterpiece of music and putting his own, always exceptional spin on it.

With the Academy of St. Martin in the Field behind him, Joshua made one of the most recognizable pieces of music in the world sound fresh and new again. It was as if I were hearing it for the first time.

And it was sublime.

The Four Seasons is actually not just four pieces of seperate music; rather, it’s three concertos comprising each season. The concertos are about two and a half to four minutes long, and you better believe that Joshua and the Academy really fit as much fireworks as they can into each.

I know it’s going to sound strange, but when listening to the cd, I actually kept thinking of something my fourth grade art teacher once said to the class. During a painting project, he said to not leave any white spaces on the page. He wanted it full with color.

Well, this Four Seasons album didn’t have any blank spaces, and it wasn’t just full, it was bursting with color and energy and vibrancy.

"Spring" was delicious, "Summer" was full of sweltering heat, (the last concerto of "Summer" is one of my FAVORITES, and incidentally, the piece Joshua had played during Jerry Lewis’ telethon several weeks ago), fall was graceful and poetic, and "Winter" was just meaty and athletic and wonderful!

I’ve always said that hearing a symphony on a CD recording and hearing one live is a completely different experience. Well, Joshua is coming to Pittsburgh the 26, 27 and 28th. And if the CD blew me away, I can hardly imagine what the live performance will do!!!!

1 thought on “Joshua Bell – Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – Bethany Hensel”

  • If you want an interesting experience, check out “Eight Seasons” a CD by Gidon Kremer. It’s a recording of both Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” and Astor Piazolla’s “Four Seasons in Buenos Aires”
    The cool thing (if my memory serves) is that the Piazolla’s “Summer” quotes Vivaldi’s “Winter.” Initially I thought it odd until I realized that since Buenos Aires is in the southern hemisphere, when it’s Winter in Venice, it’s Summer in Argentina.

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