Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46

Scottish Fantasy, Op. 46

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Romantic composer Max Bruch’s two masterpieces have inspired Scottish Fantasy, the new album from Grammy Award®-winning violinist Joshua Bell. Bell performs and directs the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in his first-ever recording of the virtuosic Scottish Fantasy and offers a fresh take on Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26 – the first concerto Bell recorded thirty years ago with the Academy conducted then by Sir Neville Marriner. The Scottish Fantasy has become a great favorite of Bell’s in the last decade. Bruch’s unique fantasia bristles with the snap and lilt of Scottish folksongs, and has been a favorite of violin virtuosos since its premiere. Though Scottish Fantasy is a newer addition to Bell’s repertoire, his affection for the piece runs deep. Bell calls Bruch’s Violin Concerto #1 “the most seductive of violin concertos,” saying “It’s a piece that audiences go crazy over because it’s so rich and lush, and it’s easy to grasp. It’s got excitement, power and passion.”

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REVIEWS:

Bell, now in charge of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, proves a capable conductor as well as, when required, a sumptuous Romantic violinist. He is fully aware of the performance practices of the time in which these pieces were written, with plenty of portamento and the richest tone that an abandoned vibrato can produce.

– BBC Music Magazine

Technical finesse and interpretive confidence remain salient features of Bell's music-making, although he's greatly expanded his expressive arsenal. There's more than a dash of the gypsy soulfulness and spice in the opening to the concerto. His tone fairly throbs with vibrato, ornately embroidered with portamento. His rubato feels natural and authoritative throughout the Scottish Fantasy, with its fancifully discursive solo part.

– Gramophone
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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Sony Masterworks
    • UPC/Barcode: 190758420028
    • Item Number: 19075842002